It has been 4 years today since my baby girls' was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember the kindness of the staff at our local Hospital, I remember getting in and out of the ambulance as the bigger nearby hospital changed their minds about taking my daughter (for the best I know realise) and I will never forget the shock of not being able to travel with my baby to the closest major hospital in the ambulance – not knowing if she would make it. The ambulance staff were amazing and kept us as updated as they could and the Local Emergency team did everything they could to assist in a terrible and frightening situation.
Type 1 diabetes is a life sentence. For the patient and the family. It is also the start of a new life. One that involves a whole new language and a new level of politics.
My little girl is amazing. But I have also learned that so are many of my friends – new and old. So are my husband and my mum. Diabetes changes so much. Friends have learnt that I cannot be as reliable as I once was. My mum has become a life saver – giving me a much needed break as my husband works away, to help pay for the additional costs of managing type 1 diabetes that the government does not cover, and to give us a better life. I have made new friends through diabetes, who understand my life and my fears. But I have also found that my closest friends understand. They just do. I am really lucky to have them in my life.
I have also found that there is an unfortunate side to the support world. There are women who bitch, undermine and judge, often for their own gain. I probably should have expected it – but it really took me by surprise. Why would people do this? And how do they live with themselves? I have found that there are women who will actually go out of their way to bring you down and for this I am very sorry. For them mostly, as I believe that they must have very sad lives that they need to create pain for another.
Over the past four years I have learnt a love about myself. I have learnt what I really want to do. I have learnt how hard it is going to be to do it. I have worked at a fairly senior level in big pharma and for one of the biggest charities in Australia, but it will take more than knowledge to create the groundswell of change that is needed to create better lives for everyone with diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2. I have learnt that judging others does not help anyone and that only through assisting and creating change can we make a better life for everyone. One day I hope I will be a large part of that change. Until then, I will dabble at the edges, poking and prodding and trying to encourage people to understand each other.
My message for today… diabetes does not discriminate. For some types of diabetes diet and lifestyle may help – but it may not. You don’t know your future nor the future of your kids. Do not judge others and where you can, please lend a hand or an ear.
All Images: Copyright Invigor8