Everybody's Different

I'm still thinking a bit about Diabetes Blog Week and some of the themes which ran through it.  One of them, which was intentionally brought out by the 'keep it to yourself' topic but came out somewhere almost every day, had to do with things we're reluctant to share about our lives with diabetes.

We outed ourselves for things like being angry about diabetes, or being happy about something it's brought into our lives.  We were reluctant to share that we do not use every available piece of technology, or that a particular dietary choice is helping our control. We didn't want people to know that we test overnight or that we choose to eat cupcakes or cheeseburgers.  People said they were afraid to disclose who they choose to tell they have diabetes, or the language they use to do so.

I'll start by saying I'm guilty myself.  Sometimes I get past it, but sometimes I don't.  There are things I'm reluctant to share here because I care what other people think of me.

When I posted what my daughter ate on blog week's Friday I thought twice about it.  I imagined all kinds of potential judgments out there.  Some would be appalled that my kid eats what many would consider 'old people cereal' every day for breakfast.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, people would be alarmed that she was eating cake for dessert, or at least one made from a box mix.

There were days not long ago when reading through blogs, I could legitimately assume we were the only people out there not using a CGM.  And that we might be the only people whose kid wasn't attending diabetes camp or Friends For Life.  I felt a weird sense of --- if not guilt --- then at least uncomfortable different-ness.

But here's the thing: I'm almost certain I'm not the only person whose kid eats old lady cereal, enjoys birthday cake whenever possible, chooses (adamantly) not to attend diabetes camp, and took several years to decide to try a CGM which she still requests time off from now and then.

And here's the more important thing: all of that is o.k.  Really o.k.

And the most important thing?  It's also really o.k. if your kid eats fruity pebbles for breakfast, or has never had a bite of cake, or spends the whole summer at diabetes camp or chooses to use multiple daily injections or has never told anybody but the school nurse and his grandmother that he has diabetes, or wears an "I have diabetes" t-shirt to school every day.  Whatever works.  It's o.k.

As my daughter progresses through the middle school years she's becoming increasingly aware of the range of people there are out there and of the range of decisions they make. I find myself searching for words to help her understand and accept that there are all kinds of people who make all kinds of choices which may or may not be the same choices she'd make in their shoes. I find myself repeating the same sentence, which applies here as well:

Everybody's different.

And that's o.k.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. One thing I've learned is that the diabetes community are really supportive and non-judgemental people. We are all unique in how we respond to and manage our diabetes, and there's nothing wrong with that.


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