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On Paper.

“So you write a blog about diabetes?  Don’t you run out of things to write about?”

A really nice lady at the JDRF event past weekend posed this question to me.

There’s always something, some bit of minutiae to chose to chronicle.  Maybe the blood sugar of 70 mg/dL coupled with a southeasterly Dexcom arrow that woke me up at 3 am.  Could be the realization that I haven’t changed my lancet in mumble mumble days.  Or my husband’s question – “Do we have AA batteries?” – and my immediate thought of “I use them in the pump.  I hope we do!”

Could be that every meal, every snack, every bit of exercise, every time before I drive, every time I pee (“Is this high blood sugar or is this just … pee?”) … so many moments take something diabetes-related into account.  It’s not “woe is we” but sometimes just whoa, because diabetes can take up a lot of thought space.

“No, there’s pretty much always something to write about,” I answered.

And her face fell a little bit, and I realized she was asking not for herself, but for her son who was living with type 1 diabetes.  I didn’t realize that the underlying question wasn’t about writing prompts but more, “Will diabetes always be on his mind?”

Diabetes will always be on his mind, just a little.  Just enough to keep tabs on it.  Sometimes more often, depending on the needs of his body and his mind.

But even though there will be so many moments when diabetes is taken into consideration throughout the course of our lives with it, they’re just moments.  They don’t define his whole life.

“There’s always something to write about, but I chose to write about these diabetes things and to focus on them.” I amended, wanting to hug her.  “I’m not highlighting these moments in my life … just on paper.”

She smiled, looking relieved.  “On screen, right?”



8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love this post. yep parents do think about it all the time, maybe more than the kids with diabetes themselves… Hug on you, Kerri

    11/18/13; 10:45 am
  2. Thanks for writing this, Kerri. Such an interesting topic, one that can really make you step back and think (or over-think) it. All about balance, in making sure we aren’t losing ourselves in these D-moments and giving them more attention than they really need or deserve. It’s almost like D-overload where you have so much data in front of you from multiple devices, that you just can’t process it and make sense of how it all fits together in the bigger picture. I’ve found that even by highlighting my own small D-moments, or even talking and thinking about whatever D-topic may be on the mind, I am keeping this at the front of my mind more often than not. Sure, it does allow me to have more information and factor that into my world. But it also means I have to spend more time actually focusing on finding balance, and not getting overwhelmed by diabetes. Losing myself to it, basically. Of course, I realize that I’m more than diabetes and it’s not the definition of me, but it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. And I miss the days of putting other things on paper (or on screen). Anyhow, great post and thanks for it.

    11/18/13; 10:50 am
  3. Lisa #

    You have wisdom. I’m amazed at how you were able to notice the meaning behind her question, and were able to respond with just the right words. It is truly a gift.

    11/18/13; 11:54 am
  4. Lindsay #

    So true! Love this post. 🙂

    11/18/13; 1:22 pm
  5. Brenda #

    Yes so wise and still so young! As the mom, do I ask my son about his D? But he’s an adult now so if I don’t ask, am I showing that I respect his independence or does he think I don’t care and what if he wants to talk about something but is not comfortable to raise it first and then I didn’t ask and what if, what if what if…………? (And at 3 a.m. that sentence has many more parts to it .)
    Kerri, your writing and the online community, helped me understand that having T1D is constant and constantly changing and complex and more than physical. At first I thought it was more something that was checked and dealt with at meals and before bed.
    And by trying to share what I’m learning is how I advocate to others. Thanks for being a teacher.

    11/18/13; 5:23 pm
  6. I’ve just begun to follow your blog and I really appreciate you sharing your life with diabetes with the world. I’m not very connected with other diabetics, I haven’t socialised with any for a very long time.

    I’ve had Type one for twenty-six years now and it still amazes me how often something diabetes-related comes up. Every single day. There’s always something and it’s always in the back of my mind. I’m glad you were able to put her to ease though. I completely agree. It’s always there, it will influence our lives, but its not a burden all the time. Thankfully!

    11/18/13; 7:19 pm
  7. Living, breathing, and dealing with diabetes everyday is something so hard for people outside of it to understand. For all the years before I was diagnosed with T1, I felt that being adopted was the same way….you can “say” that you think you would feel this way or another way about being adopted, wondering who your birthfamily was, etc, but unless you actually LIVE it, you will never truly know. Same for diabetes. I never feel like I can explain to someone so that they truly understand what my every-waking-minute is like with diabetes. I’m not saying it’s bad – I’m just saying, it’s really hard for me to explain it to you.

    11/18/13; 10:12 pm
  8. Karen #

    This reminds me of when I being diagnosed 1.5 years ago with LADA, at age 51. An early “goal” was to have that first moment when I did not think about my disease EVERY single second of the day. Took over 6 months. I do tire of being T1 but so appreciate that I have a treatable, serious disease. My friend has a rare untreatable autoimmune disease and it is so rough for her. Thank you modern medicine.

    03/4/15; 11:28 pm

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