To the everyday warriors

2018-12-05 06:01

NOVEMBER is Diabetes Awareness Month.

No, it isn’t glamorous.

No, it isn’t about footballers or celebrities.

It’s about the 3 am blood sugar checks, the low blood sugar checks, and the needles.

It’s the smell of insulin on your hands after filling a syringe.

It’s about everyday struggles. The quietly heroic efforts. That’s the diabetic life. The unrelenting battle we fight every day.

When you hear the word “diabetes”, the first thing that may come to mind is overweight, older person, sugar, soda, candy, etc. Society has made it out to be such a shameful word. Wait, let’s not forget that we get accused as though it were our fault, we brought it upon ourselves, we are the ones to blame. How wrong is that! But that’s what society pictures.

Reality is, there isn’t just one type of diabetes, and in our minds, when we hear diabetes, we automatically think of type two, of course the most common one. Type one diabetes is very different from type two.

Type one diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin. It can’t be prevented or reversed. It is not caused by a poor diet, a lack of exercise, or eating too much sugar. A person with type one diabetes needs insulin to survive and there is presently no cure for type one diabetes.

Living with a person suffering with type one diabetes is different with every day that passes — they can do and eat the same things daily, but with different results.

Type one diabetes isn’t only about maintaining one’s diet, counting carbs and giving insulin, it is a complete way of life and there is no break from it, emotionally or physically.

It is a battle against the body everyday with no finish line.

These brave warriors have to keep fighting even when they are tired, weak, or when they felt they have had enough.

My advice for other parents with children who suffer from type one diabetes is the following — it isn’t your fault or your child’s fault. Don’t beat yourself up about it as each day is different.

Find a support group and a support person as only diabetics and their caregivers know how it really feels. Family and friends may understand but that understanding is very limited.

Being a caregiver can be very isolating and very stressful so a support group or person is very beneficial.

To those brave type one warrior’s out there — stay strong and know there’s some comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

KRIBASHNI CHETTY

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