In ’93, the summer after my diagnosis, my church youth group went on a Missions trip to Mexico. This was my first trip away with new “restrictions” and not to mention we were going out of the COUNTRY. I can remember packing extra everything – syringes, test trips, insulin, glucose tablets, batteries for my meter. It was a relatively smooth trip. Except for the night we all loaded into the church vans to drive to McDonalds for dinner (we stayed on the Texas side of the border and traveled across into Mexico daily to do our Missions work.) In the van, on the way to McDonalds, of course right before we get there … I remembered I’d left my insulin in the door to the refrigerator. Oops. I had to tell this to our youth leaders, and I suggested that I’d get mine to go and take it back and I’d eat it back at our lodge. But Jim (one of the leaders) offered to drop off the rest of the kids at McD’s, and drive me back to get my insulin so I could eat with everyone else. By the time we got back to McD’s, everyone was finished, but they all waited for me to eat mine without making a big deal about it. But inside, I was humiliated and embarassed. I didn’t want to stand out, or be different. But I was.
One thing about me is that I hate for anyone to have to go out of their way for me. I’m incredibly self sufficient. My mom says that even when I was little, I was always the one reminding her to turn off the lights, etc. (I see a lot of that in my four year old, too. Full circle.. ) I try to remind myselfs that it is ok to ask for help. And it is ok to lean on people. (Great, now I have the song “Lean on Me” going through my head. Oops, you probably do now, too – sorry ’bout that!) And not only is it ok, but sometimes it is necessary.
When I started this blog last month, I also unbeknownst to me at first, joined the DOC (Diabetes Online Community). This is the collective term for those of us living with or affected by this disease. It’s anyone that tweets, blogs, lurks, etc. Being a part of the DOC has made me realize I’m not alone. I’m not weird (Ok, maybe still a little.) And I’m very much still ignorant about this disease that has plagued me for almost 20 years. I am learning something new every day. And I am so hungry for more information, that I am surprising even myself.
To those of you from the DOC that are reading this – thank you. Thank you for not only reading this, but for the support that you have either already offered me at some point, or for the support/advice that I am sure you will offer at some point in the future. Or for writing your own blogs/tweets, etc., that have inspired me. It’s a wonderful group to be a part of.
I have written letters to my local JDRF chapter, as well as Medtronic, to see how I can become more involved. I’ve signed up to be an Advocate. And I have co-chaired our local JDRF walk every year, but I want to do more. Suggestions are welcome.