Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Diabetes Marathon

I'm not sure how everyone will react to this blog post, but I feel very strongly about it, so therefore, I must blog it.

As of late, I've seen a lot of Persons With Diabetes competing with each other, most especially in the online community, over who's sicker, whose numbers are worse, whose vlog or blog is better, who has more complications, which type has it worse.

Does it really matter?

Aren't we all facing a chronic illness?

Does it matter whether or not we shoot up in public, shoot through our clothes, fumble with our testing supplies, publish or share our numbers, have a good day or bad day, overeat or eat clean, take our meds with soda/coffee or water, exercise too much or not enough?

Don't we all
still have diabetes?

Is there a competition we entered when we signed up for this gig? Oh, no, I forgot - NONE of us signed up for this rotten, lousy disease. We didn't choose D; it chose us, for whatever reason. Like in life, we're fat, we're skinny, we're short, we're tall, we're black, we're white, we're blonde, we're bald - we are all different! Isn't that what makes the world go 'round?

But one thing remains constant and certain: we are all Persons With Diabetes. Every single one of us.

Does it matter that I go to an endocrinologist while some of you might still be with your GP? Does it matter that I am on an injectible drug while some are on the pump? Does it matter that some of us have other conditions while others are managing quite comfortably?
Does it matter more that some are Type II and others are Others?

Do any of those answers diminish anyone else's Diabetes?

Last I looked, I wasn't racing toward the finish line of this disease. I'm plodding ahead, sometimes getting further than others, sometimes holding back to wait for my friends, sometimes sprinting ahead because I can see the light ahead at the end of the tunnel.

But I didn't commit to racing a marathon with diabetes.
Certainly not against people I consider to be my peers, my support, my network, my clubmates.

There are people in the community, online and in real life, who know a lot about this disease, and there are people who blow a lot of smoke into mirrors about this disease. Does that make me respect any of these two types of people less? Not any more than it makes me have respect for the many kinds of people and their bodies reacting to their diabetes.

Aren't we all playing for the same team?

I hope I've been a support to many Persons With Diabetes. I know students and faculty come to me at school because I get it - I know what they're talking about. I understand.

I hope that I can provide the support, the restraint needed to listen, the bent ear, the lack of judgment (read NOT judging - not lack of GOOD judgment) that it takes to tell Persons With Diabetes that we all matter.

How do you think you measure up? Or does it matter to you?