Friday, February 21, 2014

Disappointed


The internet can be a vicious place. And today, I feel so disappointed to see that creeping into the Diabetes Online Community.

This community is precious to me. Sacred even. This community has saved me time and time again. Carried me when I couldn't stand on my own. So the way some are responding to Miss Manners is breaking my heart.

Here is the original column. And here are posts by Kari and Sara that I agree with wholeheartedly. A reader asked Miss Manners a question, and she responded with her OPINION, as one does in a column like that. I am shocked at the response by some online to the opinion of one person. Miss Manners thinks it would be more polite to check one's blood sugar in an airplane restroom rather than at one's seat. Do I agree with her? No. Was I angry when I first read her response? Yes.

Here's the thing. It's ok to be angry. Totally and completely ok. But to attack this little old lady is such a vicious manner for sharing her opinion? Not ok. Not at all.

Where is the compassion, empathy, and understanding that made me fall in love with the Diabetes Online Community? This is a tremendous opportunity to educate, that is being lost in words of hate and defensiveness.  I've shared a lot of opinions on this blog. A lot. And I would be crushed if something I wrote was attacked in the way Miss Manners has been attacked.

It's her opinion. And she has every right to hold and share that opinion. It doesn't mean we have to agree with her. I certainly don't. I check my blood sugar in my seat when I fly, and I plan to continue doing so. Hell, I've done a complete set and site change in an airport terminal in full view of others. Do some people think it's rude and gross? Probably. And they have the right to think that. Just as I have the right to disagree with them.

And like Sara said, the comments on Miss Manners' column by regular readers heavily disagree with her. Most people don't seem to have any problem with people with diabetes testing in their seats. That is so encouraging! I love that. To me, that response is way more important than the opinion of one woman.

Miss Manners has her opinion. This post is mine. And you don't have to agree with either of us.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"This Child Died"


"This child died."

Dr. Kaufman's words keep echoing in my head. A beautiful little two-year-old girl, who died because there was no insulin.

I wish I'd taken a picture of Dr. Kaufman's slide so I could show you that precious face. It's a face I won't forget. Big brown eyes. Curly black hair. Hands laying above her head, curled into fists. Her tiny, malnourished frame.

"This child died."

There I sat, staring at the picture of this little girl, with an insulin pump full of insulin. In a room full of people with Type 1 Diabetes, carrying pens/pumps/vials full of insulin. Unfair doesn't even begin to describe it.

"This child died."

Even now, as I sit here at home, there are three full vials of insulin in my refrigerator, mostly paid for by my health insurance. And when those run out, I'll call for a refill and pick up three more.

Injustice. That's what this is. It's an injustice that this little girl died. It's an injustice that children are dying every day due to lack of access to insulin.

"This child died."

We cannot save that little girl. But we can do something. Spare A Rose, Save A Child. Just $5 can provide enough insulin to give a child a month of life. You can quite literally save a child's life. At my house, there'll be no flowers given this year. We're giving hope instead. Giving life.

We can change what happens to these kids. You can change it. Because of YOU, we can change the story: "This child lived."

This child LIVED.




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Wish I'd Known


I loved college. I attended a small, liberal arts school, and had a fantastic experience. I wouldn't trade those memories for the world.

My diabetes was definitely on the back burner. I mean, I didn't totally ignore it. But I didn't go out of my way to accommodate the disease either. My friends knew, and my roommates had the if-I-pass-out-call-911 talk, but that was about it. My A1cs were ok, but definitely could have been better.

There weren't many times that diabetes affected my classes or work. And when it did, I was lucky to be at such a small school. I knew all my professors on a first name basis, and they were wonderful and understanding.

But still. I wish I'd known about the rights and protections I was guaranteed as a student with Type 1 Diabetes. And I wish I'd known I wasn't alone.

Tomorrow night, Wednesday February 5th, 2014, there is a free webinar addressing those things, among others: "Know Your Rights- For College Students With Diabetes." My friend Sara is helping to present the info, along with the American Diabetes Association and College Diabetes Network.

If you or someone you know is facing college and diabetes, please register and join them tomorrow. Know your rights. And that you're not alone.