Saturday, November 11, 2006


I realize that I'm a day or so late(story of my life), with my post, but I wanted to contribute something to mark this occasion...

Over the last 4 and a half years I've had my ups and downs with this disease- both literally and figuratively speaking. I've contributed my thoughts and opinions on other peoples' blogs, posted on message boards, and also written my own posts...

I haven't always agreed with everything that's been posted/written, nor would I expect everyone to agree with me, after all everyone has their own point of view. But, saying this, I do appreciate every one's view point, whether or not they differ from my own. Anyway, along the way, I've read many different things & there have been certain things that have struck me... I thought I would share a couple things with you.

One of these things was something I read on a message board I frequent often. A member there posted questioning why she got this illness. Truthfully, this post sounded like something I would write myself.

I often ask WHY did this have to happen to me? I've been known to remark how it's SO unfair that this is the fate I've been given. In fact, just recently I broke down about this, when I was having a lot of difficulty with my blood sugar.... I was so full of rage- angry and frustrated about my disease. That particular time, emotions did get the better of me. I felt out of control and helpless in my situation... which is a horrible way to feel .

Anyway, in my response to this member's post, I stated that no one ever said that this was going to be in general is hard and adding Diabetes into the mix just ups the ante! Speaking frankly, being diabetic isn't easy at all, I think most all of us have struggled with it at some point during our lives. But that said, I believe the sooner we realize that we can't just blow this thing off or resign this thing as being something simple, the better off we will be.

The fact is, managing our disease is something that takes a lot of work, effort, and discipline.... If we let anything slip just a little bit, it does take a toll on us on many different levels. No we're not perfect, but we've got to do the best we can or, ultimately, face the consequences.

However, after writing my response, I took a step back and realized that I don't always take my own advice... Yes, I think what I wrote makes sense logically and, yes, I wrote it in effort to help this other person, but actually paying heed to it is a totally different story.

For reasons beyond me, sometimes I'll ease up on paying attention to things I know I need to and sooner or latter I notice changes, and not for the better, with my control. It's something that I know I've got to be more conscious of...

I think it's easy to be going along living life, and kind of let things slip. And as for myself, I eventually become aware of my control spiralling outside of my grips and the dreadful panic sets in... which is usually more problematic than need be. Then, instead of stepping back and removing myself just a bit from the situation and coming up with a plan to regain control, I let the emotions and panic take over...

It would be so much more beneficial to maintain healthy habits each day, just common sense things (eating well, taking our insulin/meds as prescribed, exercise, sleeping, logging, and stay in touch with our doctors), I think we'd be all the better. I know it sounds simplistic, but I think sometimes we tend to let one or more of these things fall by the wayside and it does take a toll. Then we sit there and question why we are in the situations we are in. Anyway, this is something that I plan to work on...

The other thing that I wanted to share was about the photographs titled a Lifetime of Diabetes... I think Art-Sweet was the first to bring our attention to these pictures of children living each day with this chronic illness. It just so happens that someone also brought this up on a message board I am active on... To my surprise, it was met with a varied mix of reactions.

My own personal reaction was that I felt moved and touched by the collection of pictures. I felt a pang in my heart (if that makes sense) at seeing these young ones affected by this illness. And after reading other people's reactions to viewing this collection, the majority seemed to face the same way.

However, to my surprise, some had a completely different reaction. A few posters felt the pictures were not something that they would want Diabetes to be viewed as... It was said that these pictures paint these children as victims of this disease, that they are put in a negative light, when they should be seen as strong, fighters over this disease.

Honestly, I can understand this viewpoint, but I think, ultimately, Diabetes can put us all in a victim role- you don't need pictures to do that. It strikes a lot of us without rhyme or reason, and can lead to a lot of unfortunate complications. And the fact that those pictures show these children at different stances managing their disease is nothing more than just that... it's not an unrealistic portrayal of life as a child with diabetes. In contrast, if the pictures showed happy, smiling faces of the same children in the same situation and stance, I would question how real the depiction was of this disease. I also want to add that just b/c we are, in ways, victims of this disease, does not mean that we are not strong or that we are not fighters. Personally, I think having this disease has made me a stronger, more determined person as a result... and I would like to believe that I am a fighter.

I guess what I'm trying to say with this blog entry is that through the people of the Diabetic OC (and other Diabetes online sites, blogs, etc), I've learned so much. I've learned about other people living with this disease and their experiences. Having others share their thoughts and experiences has helped me deal with my own daily life with my own disease. Not to mention, that it's made me learn a lot about myself... I've been able to hear opinions, advice, views, and more and it's made me look and examine things differently than I would normally. And because of that, I think it's equipped me to better manage my disease and my life- I've been able to grow from being involved with this wonderful online community.

It goes without saying that I hate this disease... That's something I will never deny. But saying that, I feel lucky that because of this disease, I have this common bond with you all... It's something that has brought us- people from all different places, cultures, and sitations- together, which really is an awsome thing. I just want to acknowledge how grateful I am for that and, more importantly, add that it's something I would not trade for anything...


Blogger Johnboy said...

I think this slacking off from time to time happens with everyone to some degree. I believe the key is in recognizing it, and then in quickly refocusing without regret for what you have done or not done during this period.

I definitely agree about one the the values of blogging being higher self-awareness. It is a good way to reflect and work things out.

As for the community aspect, the O.C. is awesome.

Happy D-Blog Day!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

And thank you for all of your contributions too!

11:28 AM  
Blogger BetterCell said...

Andrea......You have posted one of the best/sincere posts that I have read in a long time. Your character reveals a good/strong/compassionate person that is worthly of a Big Hug!!
Regarding your statement of:
"No we're not perfect, but we've got to do the best we can or, ultimately, face the consequences". A person can still "face the consequences" with T1DM despite doing the best he/she can, That is one of the sad things abt. this Illness.
In addition regarding the photos of how children w/T1DM should be presented (happy/determined faces), it reminds me of the Propoganda Photos that the Chinese Government under Mao Tse Tung would present of all the people in the fields raking wheat/digging for coal/and other tasks, all portrayed with happy smiling faces. Of course "Foreigners" were never told what would happen to them if they did not smile!!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter is 3 and newly diagnosed, and I just don't picture her as victorious over the challenge of diabetes at age 3. When you ask her what diabetes means, she says that it means she gets to get poked. I think the pictures very accurately portrayed what diabetes means to children. I, however, have been diabetic for 15 years, and diabetes to me is just life. It is how things just are. Thanks for your insight into all this!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


So sorry to hear about your daughter...


9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am waiting for my feed back on my sister

3:11 PM  
Blogger AmyT said...

Never too late for Happy Dblog Day, thanks.

And just for the record, I don't always take my own advice either. Sure, I'd love to practice healthy habits all the time. But I'm human. And so are you :)


6:46 AM  

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