[D-Blog Week] Diabetes Hero.
Today's D-Blog Week prompt: "Let’s end our week on a high note and blog about our “Diabetes Hero”. It can be anyone you’d like to recognize or admire, someone you know personally or not, someone with diabetes or maybe a Type 3. It might be a fabulous endo or CDE. It could be a d-celebrity or role-model. It could be another DOC member. It’s up to you – who is your Diabetes Hero??"
I remember being at Rhode Island Hospital, sitting in my room with Eddie, the boy who had been bitten by a spider. He and I compared notes on our injuries - "My leg is swollen from the bite of the spider," he said, gesturing to his leg in the traction. "I have diabetes," I replied, not knowing what that meant or what it should look like.
And then we went home. And my brother and sister were waiting. My family, all of my aunts and uncles and cousins, and my friends and my classmates, they were all the same. The only thing different was this low-hanging, cumulonimbus cloud of type 1 diabetes that we didn't fully understand or fear or hate or embrace, but we knew it caused emotions to rain down, at times.
I do remember climbing trees. And playing in the backyard with my brother and sister. I remember building blanket forts with my friends and going to sleep-overs. I remember family trips to Disney World. I remember going to the beach and school dances and having a crush on a boy named Mike when I was in fifth grade. I remember riding my bike and scraping my knee. I remember our pet cat, Dippy. I remember tap dance classes and building little garden homes for worms in the backyard. I remember feeling just like everyone else almost all of the time. Diabetes did not own any part of my childhood.
There are lots of people who have helped me get "here," to this place where diabetes doesn't define me but just explains some of me. But none more than my mother. She has paved this road of life with diabetes to be simply life. And there aren't enough words in the world to thank her enough.
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(Also, am I the only one who hears the word "hero" and immediately thinks of Varsity Blues?)