What I realized this weekend is: People who have minor colds and flus get compassion and empathy.
When someone has a cold people say, "I'm sorry, you poor thing... I hope you feel better soon!"
Sometimes this even comes with offers for chicken soup or babysitting services.
A family member who had a cold over the weekend was greeted with these kind words, words I am happy to hear others say. I, of course, don't want to see others suffer... that's why I became a nurse after all. :)
But I felt a longing inside me.
Sometimes, as a PWD, I want to hear the same words!
Sometimes I go years (and once even over a decade!) before I heard someone acknowledge just how hard living with type one diabetes can be.
24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I kid you NOT... I went 10 years without anyone giving even a sentence of empathy!
And when a family member finally said something... it made me cry for a long time.
And to this day I often think of what that person said.
So here's what it was:
"People have no idea how hard it is for you and how much work it is to live with diabetes"
The funny thing is: I had no clue they even noticed how hard it is!
I know we have World Diabetes Day on November 14th each year.
There's even an Invisible Disabilities Association.
But we need the equivalent of
Valentine's Day for people with diabetes.
A day where people say: "Hey, don't you have that chronic disease diabetes? Wow, you're doing an awesome job!"
Or your husband or family or friend could send you a rose or a nice hand written card that says something like:
I really do see the little things you do all the time.
Remember the time we went to the movies and your pump site came loose, so you had to leave?
I remember the time you said "no" to that piece of cake because you were keeping such tight sugars and wanted what was best for the baby.
I see all the times you check you sugar, the times you look a little tired because your sugar is high.
The feeling of defeat when you have to treat a low before dinner.
But please know... I see a courageous women who is a fighter and an inspiration!
I'm actually crying as I write this.
Maybe it's good enough to just write a letter like this to yourself.
I'm serious! This is a silent disease and you and I are often the only ones who reallyknow all the "little things" we do that add up to so much.
What would your letter say? I'd love to hear it... in fact, I'd really find it therapeutic. Drop me an email or let me know in the comment section.
Melissa Shannon commonly says that she:
eats, lives and works diabetes! That's because she's a type one diabetes blogger at
diabetestogo.com, is a Certified Diabetes Educator, and has had type one diabetes for > 15 years! Considering herself a diabetes advocate, Melissa has a special passion for pregnancy and type one diabetes. She hopes to inspire hope, health and humour in people with type one diabetes.