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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Six


**D-blog Day was started on November 9th 2005 (by Gina Capone) during Diabetes Awareness Month, to help unite diabetes bloggers and create awareness about diabetes. For more information, head on over to Diabetes Talkfest.

For this Dblog day, we are supposed to write about 6 things we wish people know about diabetes. Jeez, just 6? That's like saying you can only have one bite of cheesecake. Or watch one episode of Jersey Shore. Or have just one square of toilet paper to wipe yourself with. One of those things I don't give a flying crap about. Guess which one!

But one thing I definitely, with-all-my-heart, would-give-up-cheesecake-for, do care about is making sure the general public is edu-ma-cated about Type 1 Diabetes. These are my 6...

1. I did NOT give my 12 month old too much sugar and that is why she has diabetes
Let me make one thing very clear. I tried to do everything "right" when it came to Elise's diet. I breastfed exclusively for 6 months, and until she was 2 1/2. I made most her food myself, using wholesome mostly organic ingredients. When she did have jarred baby food, it was all organic. I think the most processed food she ate was cheerios. The girl never even drank cow's milk until she was 18 months (well after her dx). Diet does not cause Type 1 Diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease which means for some reason, your body is attacked by its own immune system. This can result in any number of diseases; rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, grave's disease, and of course, Type 1 Diabetes.

2. There are only two things my daughter cannot eat; poison, and cookies... made with poison.
Elise and others with Type 1 can eat anything you or I can eat. We just have to make sure we give her the proper amount of insulin to cover that food. Unfortunately, there are some foods (pizza, ice cream, mac & cheese - you know, all the kid favourite foods) that wreak total havoc on her blood sugar, but we think it's more important to let Elise be a kid first, and a kid with diabetes second. We are striving to teach Elise how to make good choices when it comes to food, and that almost everything is okay in moderation.

3. Yes, she will have this disease the rest of her life (or until we find a cure)
Unfortunately, there is no growing out of Type 1 Diabetes. You cannot cure yourself, no matter what Halle Berry says. Just because she's pretty AND a movie star, doesn't make it true. Elise will live with insulin injections, finger pokes, high/low blood sugars, insane medical costs, and the risk of complications for the rest of her life.

4. There is more to this disease than just avoiding sugar (which is false anyway) and getting shots.
I wish people could see the seedy underbelly of this disease. The honeymooning pancreas which can cause dangerous lows. Blood sugars that are all over the map just because the wind is blowing out of the east today. Fear of Dead in Bed Syndrome. The inability to leave your child with just anyone. The horror of dealing with a stubborn low blood sugar. The 12, 3, and 5 am blood sugar checks. Trying to balance food with exercise and insulin. Having to send your child to school with a 7 page care manual. The fact the you even NEED a freaking care manual for your kid. Day after day of trying your absolute best and it STILL goes horribly wrong. I could go on, but this list is too damn long already.


5. If you have a friend whose child is diagnosed with diabetes, they need your support
This is not so much about the disease, but the aftermath of a Type 1 diagnoses. I don't think I have ever been so scared, and shell shocked in all my life. And what made it worse is the fact that we felt abandoned by pretty much anybody we considered a friend. Hardly anyone came to visit at the hospital, and almost nobody was there to even lend an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Don't keep your distance; your friend is probably incapable of reaching out. You need to be the one to extend your hand to them.


6. People with diabetes are Rock Stars (and so are the ones who care for them)
Outsiders have no idea how much work goes into caring for diabetes. And as hard as I try, I will never know what it's like to live with this disease. I am amazed at how Elise deals with diabetes. Sure, we have days where she cries and doesn't want her shots, or her Dexcom sensor injected. And really... can you blame her? But most days she just hops in my lap and rolls up her sleeve (or drops her pants). She learned to check her own blood sugar at the age of 2 1/2. She helps us give her her shots. When you ask to check her blood sugar, she dutifully holds out her finger and a lot of times doesn't even look up from what she's doing. When you ask her to look at her Dexcom receiver, she'll tell you the number is "one, five, two... flat!" She can eat in her sleep. She'll tell you she has diabetes in the same way she tells you she has green eyes or brown hair. It's a part of her and who she is... but it doesn't define her. I hope one day she will know just how proud of her I am.

21 comments:

  1. My number five...
    Parents of children with Diabetes are my heroes!

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  2. Great list!! I couldn't agree more. About that AND your feelings for the Jersey Shore!

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  3. "and cookies made with poison" - Well put! I particularly like, and agree with points 5 and 6. You are indeed a rock star!

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  4. People with diabetes ARE rock stars...I love our kiddos' innocence - like you said how Elise just tells people she has diabetes like the sky is blue. Adam does the same thing. "Hi! I'm Adam! I have diabetes! What's your name?" Gotta love those sweethearts. :)

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  5. Seriously...the "cookies ... made with poison" statement made me do a double read you silly, silly, silly girl.

    AWESOME list, you make me wish I did a better job on mine. I am not feeling too well today...lost my writing mojo with an upset stomach :(

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  6. If only the world knew that it isn't "JUST diabetes" then maybe our friends would still be our friends and understand why we live and breathe D and support us instead of just leaving us to deal with it alone. ugh!

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  7. lol @ cookies with poison! I love your list so much, I'm gonna link it to a friend who is raising funds for diabetes. :)

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  8. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!

    Hand me over those cookies....NOW!

    I love this post :)

    YOU ARE AWESOME!

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  9. LOVE your "cookies...made with poison" line! :)

    Several of the dmom lists I've read today include the stuff about sugar not causing it. I think that's my number one pet peeve-- when people assume we fed our kids crappy diets and somehow caused this.

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  10. Since I have a daughter who is newly diagnosed and couldn't possibly come up with 6 reasons for the DBlog post of my own, I decided to 'borrow' my favorites form the many posts I read today by other DMoms.

    I hope you don't mind, but I used you poison cookie example as one of the 6 on my post. I linked to your blog so readers would be directed to the other 5 fabulous things you mentioned.

    Hope you don't mind!!!!

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  11. Love the "cookies with poison comment" :) Also #6 made me cry. So good :)

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  12. Honestly, I am still recovering from the cookie comment. I am CRYING Joanne, C-R-Y-I-N-G!! Brilliant list my dear friend! I reposted the link to this blog on facebook. The entire world should read it!

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  13. LOVE IT!! I might use the cookie thing the next time someone "offers" their opinion.

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  14. This is definitely one of my fav lists of the day! I am totally sharing that cookie comment, so well said! LOL!

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  15. OH YEA! VERY well said sista! Love everyone and the cookies take the cake!!! (can one say that? is that funny? ok, not that funny!) Loves and hugs to you and yours...great post!!!

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  16. Loved the "cookies... made with poison" comment too. So funny. And true. Great list!

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  17. Great list! I love #6! I think our super amazing kiddos are rock stars....and you are too!

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  18. "Or watch one episode of Jersey Shore." -- LOL :)

    Fab list!! I particularly like #5 and #6!

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  19. awesome awesome list!! I swear us d moms are theeee coolest :)

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  20. Hi, I was referred to your blog awhile ago and just wanted to say thanks for sharing all that you do. We are fairly new to this diabetes journey (my 4 year old daughter was diagnosed 4 months ago). I've started a blog as well. Nikki D.
    www.vabeachduckfamily.blogspot.com

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  21. Thanks for commenting on my blog....it's nice to find others that can relate and have the same feelings. Of course you can add me to your blog list....I'll add you to mine too!

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