Contributor: Abril and her mom, Mary
Connection: Child with type 1 diabetes, and caregiver/parent
English Translation (approximate):
Child: “Hi, my name is Abril and I have type 1 diabetes and I was diagnosed when I was 7 years old. I feel really happy and I can do whatever I want.”
Mom: “Hello, my name is Mary and I am Abril’s mom. It has been a year with Ms. Diabetes in the house, but we have realized that we can do anything. There have been some changes, right?”
Mom: “We have to exercise more, change some of our eating habits. About a year ago I couldn’t even talk about it. I would cry and cry. And today, I see that it is bad but it can be done. We have changed a lot, and we feel really happy about that. What makes me happier is that Abril can do anything – she competes in triathlons, marathons, she runs, she swims, and jumps. She is absolutely happy, and we have learned from this. Most importantly, we have to learn, right? Read and learn a lot about diabetes to succeed.”
Just as we did in 2012, we asked people who visited our booth at the Friends For Life conference to share a little bit about their own journey with diabetes, and their advice for others. We had so many people participate this year that we’ve split the messages into three separate videos – here’s the second of three videos, featuring parents of kids living with type 1 diabetes.
What advice do you have for other parents? Leave your own “words of hope” in the comments below!
This is the third episode of “We Can Do This” – a series of group videos where people with diabetes come together around a common topic and share their diagnosis stories, lessons learned, and advice for others. Launched in 2012, the first video showcased five people who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as adults, while the second featured three people who live with diabetes-related anxiety.
Something that many people living with diabetes (of any type) face is the persistence of stereotypes and stigmas. You may have faced some of these inaccurate, and sometimes offensive, comments yourself – that people with diabetes “can’t eat candy”; that all you have to do is just take your medication and it all just works out; that type 1 only happens to kids (and they somehow magically will outgrow it); that type 2 diabetes is somehow “earned” due to obesity or laziness.
The truth is that type 2 diabetes exists on a large spectrum, and there is still much to learn about why and how it occurs, and in whom. Not every person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes fits the stereotypes, and we’d like to introduce you to a few: Phyllisa, Rachel, Joe, and Sue.
Contributor: Cherise; @SweeterCherise/@DiabetesSocMed
Connection: Adult with LADA/type 1 diabetes
Quote: “No matter what anyone says; no matter what a number may read: you are better than diabetes. Do not let diabetes steal your joy.”
Contributor: Emily; http://aimingforaverage-a1c.blogspot.com/
Connection: Adult with type 1 diabetes
Quote: “A lot of people sympathize with me when they hear that I have to inject myself with a huge needle every three days when I change my infusion site. I guess it’s easy for non-diabetics to sympathize with the physical pain, because that’s something they can understand or have experienced themselves, but what they can’t understand is the other kinds of pain that come with this disease: the loneliness of feeling like you’re the only one having to deal with it, the anger and self-pity that comes when you’re wondering, ‘Why me?’, and the frustration and disappointment when your A1C comes back too high.”
Contributor: Kim; @txtngmypancreas
Connection: Adult with type 1 diabetes; creator of the You Can Do This Project
Quote: “If you’re having a tough time living with diabetes, I totally get that. But I also want you to know that even when it gets super tough, you can bounce back from that. Talk to people – you won’t want to, because you won’t think they’ll ‘get it’, but you need to. I wish I had.”
(For those who live with anxiety, even talking or reading about anxiety can be a trigger, so please proceed with caution before watching the video below.)
You may remember the “We Can Do This” video from this past April, in which five people who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as adults shared their diagnosis stories, lessons learned and advice for others who may be going through the same thing.
Keeping in line with that format, Vol. 2 gives a glimpse into the life of people who live with both anxiety and diabetes (or care for someone with diabetes). People already living with diabetes are about 20 percent more likely than those without diabetes to have an anxiety condition at some point in their lifetime, and it’s a topic that many are uncomfortable talking about.
And because the You Can Do This Project centers around the idea of opening up about the tough stuff – that’s exactly what Kate, Alexis, and Hallie did.
To connect with others with diabetes and anxiety, check out the new community “Anxious You Anxious Me” on Facebook and Twitter. You may also email Alexis directly at Anxietyyouanxietyme@gmail.com.