Getting Ready for Diabetes Month.
Diabetes Month is fast approaching, and I've been thinking about this community - our community - and how much it means to me. I was reminded of a poem I wrote back in 2007 about the impact this community has had on my own health and awareness, and I wanted to share it here, because you guys are what matters.
What Matters (originally published in November 2007):
I live every day with a pump at my hip
A meter close by, and a smile on my lips.
So many moments there are in my day
When it seems that my pancreas gets in the way,
Be it exercise, cooking or sleeping or driving,
I’m constantly checking to keep myself thriving.
And while my fiancé, my family and friends
Support me and hold me and love to no end,
I started to blog because I felt alone -
The only diabetic as far as I'd ever known.
Needing to find others who understood
How a number was scary, how a food could be good.
How I worried my eyes were damaged from cake.
I worried my worries were too little, too late.
How I worried my feelings were strange and unique
And that my diabetes made me some kind of freak.
I wrote my first post, took a great gasp of air,
Hit the big publish button and from out of thin air
My words were set loose to the great world wide web
And I wanted and hoped to hear what others said.
Within just a week I had found several others.
Type 1’s and type 2’s and some fathers and mothers.
These people, they knew, and I felt less alone.
I feared less my future and all the unknowns.
The blogging took off and it chronicled things
Like my job and my friends and my engagement ring.
I poured out my feelings and dealt with my fears,
I let loose my laughter and reigned in my tears.
I felt so much stronger with all the support
Of the people who knew how my body fell short.
When I peel back the layers to what matters most,
It's not about how many readers I host.
It's not about statcounts and not about feeds.
It's not about fame and it’s not about greed.
It’s not about comments or big recognition,
It’s about all the challenges of this condition.
This community knows me where I hurt the most.
It makes me feel normal, supported, and close.
I'm thankful for every day towards good health.
I’m thankful I’m not doing this by myself.
Endless thanks to the people who read these brave writers
And for making the burden we carry much lighter.