Finding support while living with type one diabetes has been easy for me. It isn't easy for everyone though. For me, it's hard to imagine a world where you believe you're the only type one, or you know they're out there, but just can't seem to run into one. You scan the pockets of people on the bus, only to mistake headphone cords for insulin pump cords. You hear the word 'basal' and your ears perk up only to see someone reaching for the spice rack.
I have met people along the way that have never met another type one, or at least another type one their age. Their excitement for just being around the presence of another person 'just like them' glows. They want to tell their diabetes story knowing that the conversation is going to be a constant flow of 'ME TOO!' We want this because it is comforting knowing that this battle we face isn't a solo combat; rather, there is a whole army of us out there trying to get through each day living with diabetes.
We are an army. We are strong, we are tough and we have reason to fight. We spend time preparing our action plans and we have to be prepared for the unexpected. We fight twenty-four-seven. Even when we are sleeping, at any time we can be woken up by the vibrating of our insulin pumps or the voice in our head, demanding us to wake up and treat. We are strong and together we are stronger. Our battles may seem like solo efforts, but truly we are all doing our parts with each other in mind.
For those that feel like they have no army, controlling and accepting diabetes can be incredibly difficult. Imagine running into a combat field alone with fifty people running towards you. Blood sugar checks, lows, highs, insulin ratios, carbohydrate counts, the endo, the nurses, A1c results, frequent urination, insulin pump malfunctions, sore fingertips, parents, and school. Alone, with no one to talk to, a person without the feeling of an army behind them, can feel alone in battle.
I truly believe that social support is just as important as insulin and it hurts to know there are people out there who are hiding their diabetes or cannot seem to find that social support.