Sunday, March 24, 2013

Never Give Up

The other day I was working at the college during the open house and as the day was winding down, I took on the job of handing out the left over cupcakes that were from the session at 11:30.  An older man walked up and down the halls holding books and pamphlets he must have picked up along the way - he wasn't with anyone but he stopped to chat to a few people that were still manning their booths.

After he had walked past my booth for the third time he stopped to look at what was on the table I stood in front of.  "Ah, Fanshawe College," he said. "I came here a long time ago..." He smiled at me as he picked up a few of the papers on the desk. I then asked if he wanted a cupcake.

"I've got diabetes..I actually just found out..." he said.

Now, it isn't uncommon for me to find this similarity between me and older people, so I wasn't overly shocked but I decided to talk to him a little bit about it.

"I was going to go visit Europe, but during my physical they found out that I was diabetic..."

I responded with, "I am diabetic to actually, type one..."

and he responded with, "You must have the kind that is worse than mine..."

He then walked around the table to talk closer with me, and he told me about how he was so excited to go on his trip, but once he found out he had diabetes he was scared to go.  I told him about where I had traveled and how just two months after being diagnosed I boarded a cruise ship and sailed the Caribbean. He smiled at me, but then his face turned back into something less excited.

"I was really depressed you know..."

I wasn't sure what to say except for the automatic 'oh no..' that came out of my mouth.  He told me how he was depressed because he didn't know how to manage it...but he is thankful for only having to take pills. He told me how he began to feel better when his doctor told him that he didn't have to give up everything...adding that he just recently bought a marble cake from the grocery store.

I was happy for him that he had found happiness and peace with his diagnosis, unfortunately he also told me that his best friend had committed suicide due to also being diagnosed with diabetes.  He added that his friend had it all, a corvette, a big house and lots of money but when he was diagnosed he gave up.  He wiped a few tears from his eyes and smiled at me and told me to not give up and that it was a pleasure meeting me.

I have met handfuls of diabetics each one with a message and lesson to give - but this lesson although brief is something I will never forget.



  1. I don't know how it is in Canada, but from everything I've heard, most type 2 diabetics do not get the education that juvenile onsets (type 1's) do. So when they learn they have diabetes, they must learn about it themselves. And a lot of people think being a diabetic is horrible. Not many diabetics think it's okay to have this disease. I mean, look we have insulin that we can take several ways. We now have at home glucose meters to monitor ourselves. It is up to the diabetic to take care of their bodies, not the doctors like a lot of people think.

  2. I think you're right about type two's not getting a lot of education. I know personally, my grandparents who are both type two, often ask me questions that I would have assumed a doctor would have covered.

    It is a very different disease in the ways it is looked at I believe from patient's perspective as well as from the doctor's perspective on how they go about teaching the patient.

    I am sure a lot of type one's have been super helpful to type two's as far as being able to help them out with food ideas etc.

  3. Thanks again for that fantastic speech you did at Fingle Ontario. We recently had an interview with and we mentioned you. Thought you would like to read it ...

  4. Thank you so much Louise and Eyob! That's awesome!