Monday, May 15, 2017

DIabetes Blog Week Day 1: Diabetes and The Unexpected

Today is the first day of Diabetes Blog week, and my first time participating.  I haven't blogged on any regular basis so this will be a welcomed challenge.

Today’s prompt: Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random. What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens? Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?
When I think about the unexpected with diabetes, I feel like I can quickly tick off a ton of examples of how my diabetes had a mind of her own and did what she wanted, despite my best efforts and bringing every trick in my diabetes management toolbox, but still wasn't successful in taming the beast.

But I'd rather focus on the unexpected positives that it has brought me.

Sense of Purpose:
I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 2, and was fortunate to have gone to diabetes camp, Camp Nejeda.  As an adult, I have come to realize that there's not a lot of local support for adults with diabetes.  My mission of correcting this started about 6 years ago, with many false starts.  Over the last two years I have partnered with my local American Diabetes Association, and Camp Nejeda to create events/programs for this demographic.  My purpose, or mission is to expand these beyond Massachusetts and New Jersey. It's hard work, but I love it and can't wait to see where it goes.

Sense of Belonging
I feel like I always walked to the beat of a different drummer.  I have never been sure if it's because of my diabetes and knowing what I need to do and putting that first, or just how I'm wired.  It wasn't until I met other people with diabetes that I felt an instant connection with.  The people I met when I was 12 at diabetes camp are still some of my closest friends even though we don't get to see each other that often  The PWD  (people/persons with diabetes) that I have met as an adult, in person and online, I've had that same instant connection with, and I love it  The power of "me too" isn't to be taken lightly.

Sense of Being Supported
The DOC (diabetes online community) while we have greatly varying opinions on things, I know will have my back when I need them.  Friends and family are important to my mental and physical well being, but being able to share, vent, commiserate (what happened to that positiveness??) with is what often helps me the most.  Being able to message a friend stating "Ugh, BG dropped from 300 to 90 and I feel like crap" and they know exactly how you feel, is huge.  *Not to imply people without diabetes can't be supportive, they can. It's just different.*

So, while there are many things that stink about having diabetes, these unexpected positive things have been great.   There are so many great people that I've met, that if not for diabetes would never have crossed paths with.


  1. As a fellow person who was diagnosed as a toddler, I also don't know how I positively would have reached adulthood without camp!

    1. It felt life changing at the time, being surrounded by people who get it. But so many years later I know it played a critical role on how I view my diabetes self, as I call it.

  2. Great list of positives!!! And I'm so thankful to have found you!!!

    1. So thankful for you too. Thanks for all of your hard work with #Dblogweek!

  3. The "Me Too" factor is a huge benefit.

    And the friendships formed in that moment are truly lifetime friendships forged.


    And of course, when those friends yell at you to drink your juice are a benefit too.

  4. A great list of diabetes positives! I'm also doing similar work in my local area, trying to get things happening for young adults with diabetes.

  5. Frank - thanks for the note! Let me know if you ever want to chat and compare notes of what has worked for you, what hasn't, etc.