|Chloe & I at Beach Volley Tournament in 2011|
We all look up to someone and I am not sure why we do it, but when asked the question I am sure everyone could reply. For some, it is their grandmother or cousin, while others idealize someone famous. I couldn't help, but wonder who diabetics look up too in relation to their diabetes. Do we all, as diabetics, have a 'diabetic' role model?
For me, the first diabetic I ever met after being diagnosed was Chloe [the founder of a non-for-profit group called Connected in Motion]. That was my first 'real' experience of meeting someone who was essentially just like me. I met her just shortly after I was diagnosed and to say it was a surreal feeling would be an understatement. I couldn't believe that someone else had felt the way I did pre-diagnosis, feeling tired, having to go the washroom, drinking excessively. All of the things we talked about that day (which I am sure can be found back in a blog from 2009) really made me feel comfortable with being diabetic.
For many diabetics, they don't know that there are others out there just like them - that there is a girl out there with blonde hair, blue eyes, and an insulin pump. Feeling alone in a diagnosis seems to be all too common for a lot of people. After joining a few 'diabetes' groups on Facebook I began to realize that a lot of diabetics out there haven't found their role model yet.
After reading several posts from diabetic parents about their children - I couldn't help, but feel like I needed to help out. Besides the odd comment back to them, I just felt like there was a way to show diabetic children, teens and young adults that living with diabetes isn't a death sentence nor is it a good enough excuse to stop living, dreaming and wishing.
As time goes on I have realized that my blog has made that kind of impact on a lot of people, giving people a chance to see me as a role model of diabetes. This makes me feel good, because hearing the heart breaking stories from parents of diabetics or even diabetics themselves, makes me want to just take their hand and show them what living with diabetes can really be all about.
I was never a diabetic child, and I have never had a bad week of diabetes, but I do know what it is like to toss and turn and throw your pump from side to side, to be asked if you can 'eat that?' and to feel so incredibly low that if you were able to drive a car, your first stop would be a buffet. I know those feelings and I know that there are thousands and thousands of other diabetics out there that can relate.
So, why not find your diabetic role model? Someone you can look up too and be inspired by? That way you can always be in check of your diabetes, yet still know that when you're having a bad day - it is okay.