July DOC: This month really hit home
This week, I haven’t had time to write or post too much on the blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Indeed I have been reading other diabetes blogs and Twitter conversations… a lot. Some of what I read really had a personal effect on me, like it was written just for me, at just the right time. You folks don’t just entertain me with your writings, but sometimes you really make me think, and consequently, make me try to become a better person. When it touches us on a personal level, that’s when the DOC is at its most powerful. Here are a few examples of how July really was personal for me.
Earlier in the month, Sara wrote a post on Moments of Wonderful titled “This is not helpful“. She explored how a person discusses their faith in context with a chronic condition such as diabetes. What started out as my reply turned into a full-fledged blog post that took over a week to write. At first, the post took the tone of “when other cite faith to comfort me, it works – even though I don’t have much religious faith myself'”, but as I went on writing, I realized how much my religion really is a part of my life, I just hadn’t realized it. I realized how my decisions and customs are rooted in religious tradition, and that I would feel a complete void if they were to disappear. Even further, as I was typing one particularly sentimental paragraph, their might have been a divine intervention as this happened. I never published that blog post and I don’t know if I ever will. People have very strong feelings when it comes to their religion, and it’s certainly not my desire to challenge that. I’m concerned that my dissenting view might affect some of the (online) relationships I’ve built, and I don’t want to tarnish them. Then again, I’m all about being honest, so I’m not sure what I’ll do with that one.
At home, my 8-1/2 month old son has been having chronic ear infections. His pediatrician kept prescribing antibiotics and then concluded that he’d need tubes in his ears. My wife and I had been debating whether or not to do it, or whether the infections were a result of a newly-discovered allergy or possible unsanitary conditions at his day care. In the midst of all of this, this post came up on Sugabetic.me, where Sarah discussed having tubes put in her son’s ears because of the infections. Thanks to this post (and the Twitter discussion that ensued between me, Sarah, and Sara) I am now more prepared and know what to expect. Baby Z had his tubes put in on Wednesday (he’s been a little fussy since then, but not too bad). The Diabetes community came through again, even with something completely unrelated to diabetes. Thank you.
On one day in the month, I found myself out of the house and out of insulin. Although nobody knew what I was thinking, I was kind of beating myself up over it for being so lazy and irresponsible. I knew it was time to change out my set, but kept procrastinating and eventually forgot to do it. Two days later, Shannon found herself in a similar situation. (Yes, the post is from August, but she revealed the situation on Twitter in July.) I know I’m not the only one, but it’s comforting to really see that I’m not the only one.
This one night still gives me goosebumps. A Twitter “regular” tweeted that she hadn’t tested her blood sugar in four days. Which prompted the always-inspirational, always-motivational Kim to respond with a simple “How about now? I’ll test with you! :)”. A few minutes later, she tweeted this picture (you’ll need to click it, because I don’t know how to embed Instagram posts in WordPress). What followed after was just incredible to watch unfold. PWDs from across the globe were suddenly testing their blood sugar and tweeting photos of the result. Numbers in the 50’s. Numbers in the 300s. Numbers in mmol/L’s. Some with handwritten notes. Some on Accu-Checks. Some on Verios. It was one of those spontaneous moments that was just … just watching the whole thing unfold… the only way to describe it was WOW. hashtag-diabetes, hashtag-solidarity. It was really indescribable and wonderful. It makes me know that, if I really need them, the DOC will be there for me, too.
I also watched the DOC rally this month to support Scott K. Johnson, after he wrote about how having to attend the funeral of another T1D in Mortality and Rest. There is no way that I can paraphrase his feelings and thoughts here, so you’ll just have to click over to Scott’s Diabetes and read it there. But reading this was like déjà vu to me. I’d just heard this story. A week prior, I was reunited with a T1D from my childhood. Through our discussions, he revealed that when one of the three T1Ds in our high school graduating class had died, he really struggled. When he heard that I had passed as well (later proven to be false, obviously), he nearly lost it. He figured it was hopeless, that if the two of us wouldn’t make it, neither would he. But seeing me was encouraging, and I believe — I hope — that seeing the replies that people posted on that blog were encouraging to Scott as well.
One of those comments, though, really stuck in my head. It was from Kerri, who wrote that she sometimes talks to her husband about her hopes for their daughter after she’s gone. As if it’s a certainty that the PWD won’t live as long as the person without diabetes. It makes me feel guilty for never having that conversation with my own wife. I have a responsibility to make sure my kids are taken care of, and perhaps a sense of denial has got me avoiding that obligation. Something about this comment makes me think I need to take action on something, though I’m not entirely sure what, to my to-do list.
The July DSMA Blog Carnival is over, but the topic for the month was “The diabetes community has taught me how to _______ and _______.” This month, the community meant a lot to me. If I had to fill-in-the-blanks, I suppose I’d say you folks have taught me to follow the signature tagline of Jerry Springer (from the days when he was more respectable).
“Take care of yourself … and each other.”