I want a cure as much as the next girl but can we just stop for a minute and think about the "right now." Think about the teens that are battling with their parents over not checking enough. Think about the women with diabetes that want to get pregnant but are being told no constantly because their control isn't good enough. Stop and think about the child who is crying and screaming at their mother whose trying to put a new site on them. This is a huge issue that is getting neglected.
We need money. We need money to find a "cure" and we need money to at least discover easier ways to manage diabetes. But we don't need money to help our diabetes community cope. I was really struggling the other night. I had just found out my a1c which is 8.4% and I was mad at myself. I sat at the end of my bed, alone, trying to cope. I was about to go to bed, but I needed to relax my mind. I tried to think about the positives but all the negatives kept pushing through. It was when M walked in that I broke down. "I hate diabetes. Why do I have to have diabetes?" The pain grew deeper as I began ranting about complications. "I am going to die. All these opportunities are amazing but they won't be any good when I'm blind, leg less or dead."
M hugged me. I felt so weak. Me, the diabetes guru, the inspirational woman who somehow climbed Kilimanjaro. The thing is, I don't often speak about how diabetes makes me feel. I really am excellent at amping it up and I don't think that's always a bad thing, but what is bad is that when my pot boils over, it floods. It took a solid 30 minutes for M to calm me down and reassure me that I'll be O.K. He asked how he can help, and really the only thing I could say was, "make sure I check my blood sugar!"
The support continued as I had asked the Type 1 Diabetes Meme page for words of advice and the community lifted me up, just like M did the night before. The support continued with my diabetes friends who wrote me messages, sent me photos of their highs and gave me motivation to keep going, day by day, I'm not alone. And guess what, all of this support was free and incredibly helpful.
The issue is that a lot of people neglect seeking help or offering help. Helping is exhausting and can be difficult and asking for help can be embarrassing and overwhelming. But, it really is just about asking and listening from both ends. You take what you need and you leave what you don't want. Ultimately I think it's so important. I try to be that support for the people in my life and in specific the teens from my t1 empowerment group.
Of course a cure would be outstanding and new technology is incredibly amazing, but sometimes I think we get caught up in raising money and forget who we are raising money for. If we spent the same amount of effort raising those with diabetes as we did raising funds I think those that are battling diabetes would feel just that much better.
Special thank you to people like Mike, Mariam, Dani, Amber and Sally who raised me up this week.