Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yes, I'm Living with Diabetes
We speak from what we know. We can answer questions only if we some how have a gist of the subject or we can somehow base the answer on something we have learned in the past or experienced. I can clearly tell you what diabetes is but I can not tell you how an engine of a truck works. We all have been through different obstacles in our life that give us answers that many others are not aware of and I think that's a gift.
Participation is key in the majority of my classes in college. My teachers stress how important it is to share answers, stories and questions. Never in high school was I the person raising their hand hoping to get picked to share an answer, now however I am. I enjoy answering questions and giving my opinion. My interest in debate has highly increased since being diagnosed with diabetes. Strange?
I feel like my diabetes has given me a voice. I now can say, you know that's not right because or I think that's right because. I feel like my opinion is valid unlike before I felt less educated. It's different however coming from a background of illness. Like mentioned before, the word disease is not exactly seen as positive and when I share something diabetes related people are unsure how to take it.
An example was today in my Human Relations class. We had an assignment to write down twenty things about ourselves. They all had to start with, "I am." I am a diabetic, I am friendly, I am a scrapbooker, the list went on. We didn't have to share our twenty things but a question was asked, "Can our twenty identifications change?" I knew first hand that the way we describe ourselves surely can change so I raised my hand.
I am a quiet person, and therefore sit closer to the front of the room so my answer was heard by the teacher and the people sitting closest to me. My answer was, " I am diabetic, a lot of the way I identify myself now is different from the way I would have identified myself before being diagnosed." The teacher thought this was an excellent answer however wanted to repeat it to the rest of the class. Instead of repeating the answer right away like she did for most kids, she asked my permission first.
I found this strange. How come if a student was to share, "my identities changed when I moved to a different location," the teacher would just blurt that out to the class but once I give an answer about a disease changing my identity's, she needs permission. Of course I told her she could share it with the rest of the class, that's why I raised my hand.
I think the point that I am trying to get across is that people may not share their personal stories of pain, disease or upsets but I do. I realize that most of the answers I have in class come from what I have learned from diabetes and I am not afraid to admit that, yes I am living with diabetes.