Joe Solowiejczyk and CWD.
Back in 2009, when I attended the Children With Diabetes "Friends for Life" conference for the first time, I had the opportunity to check out the "It's Not Just a Numbers Game" session with Joe Solowiejczyk. It was awesome!
From that entry:
"I schedule my diabetes depression days," he said. "I plan them and then I tell everyone I know to call me every hour and tell me how courageous I am." He laughed. "After about an hour, I'm sick of it and I just want to move on with my day."
I like Joe. I like listening to him talk and I respect him for managing diabetes for over 47 years. I respect him for saying, "It took years for me to be able to say, 'I'm having a hard time with diabetes,' without it being a chip on my integrity." This statement resonated for me because I think people want to read blogs about diabetes and find a lot of upbeat moments and happiness. But the truth of life is that there is an emotional gamut to be run and we have the right to run it, diabetes or no diabetes.
"You can not like it and still do it. Hating it [diabetes] and doing it are not mutually exclusive states."
He talked about the daily duties of a person with diabetes, from waking up in the morning and testing to all of the bits and pieces of precision management that are required along the way. The possibility of a cure was mentioned. And while many diabetics say "I'll eat the contents of an entire Crumb's Bakery," or "I'll drink orange juice FOR FUN," Joe smiled gently.
"If there's a cure? What will I do? I'll sit on a park bench for three weeks and stare at the sky and do nothing."
Joe has a video that's up on the ChildrenWithDiabetes site, and it's from that same 2009 Friends for Life session. If you haven't had a chance to see him talk live, you can catch some of his personality and inspirational words in this video.
Just watching this video again today has made me smile, and made me less frustrated with the 221 mg/dl I woke up with this morning. Thank you again, Joe.