D-Blog Week Day 2: One Great Thing… through my husband’s eyes

May 15, 2012By 7 Comments

For the second topic this week, Karen has challenged us to come up with one thing we think we do great as it relates to living with diabetes.  Anyone who knows me can tell you that confidence is never an issue for me, but telling you I’m good at treating my lows (too good) is like telling you I’m good at brushing my teeth or washing my hands, because that is how we all eat, sleep and breathe diabetes every day, like clockwork.

When I asked my husband, “James, what do I do ‘great’ as a diabetic?”  He sort of laughs, and says “Do you mean what do you do great specifically to diabetes or what do you do great all the time? Oh, wait, I guess you ‘do’ diabetes every day.”   He has told me over the years that he forgets I even have diabetes because I am so ‘good’ at it that you would never even know.  He also may not realize he does it, but he is always gushing about me to anyone he knows; coworkers, family, perfect strangers in line at Dunkin Donuts when he sees someone with a pump, “My wife has diabetes… she’s a pump trainer, a dietitian, a blogger… she can help you.”   So when I ask him what I do ‘great’, he responds without a second thought, “You’re the best advocate I know honey.”

I am proud that I have made a huge part of my purpose in life to educate and help anyone else who is living with this disease and may be struggling with the weight of it all (credit to all the D-bloggers this week that help others with thier powerful words of encouragment).  I enjoy nothing more than having a conversation with a mom of a newly diagnosed child, or with a teenager who is struggling with pumping and weight gain, or to an elderly person who lives alone and is determined to keep their independence even when they’ve stopped feeling their low blood sugars.  In a memoir that I have written (publishing date is WAY in the future someday when I can eventually find an agent and take my time to do it the right way), I talk a lot about the years I worked as a pump trainer and the patients I encountered.  It was the most gratifying work I could do helping many type 2 diabetics who thought insulin meant they were at the end of the rope and getting them to realize taking care of themselves meant years added to their life and more time could be spent with grandchildren.

Another gratifying time was when I worked as staff at Clara Barton camp.  I hope that among the numerous campers I encountered that I helped keep at least one teenager from hiding her diabetes from friends and I know for sure I helped a few campers give themselves their very first injections, as a huge step to becoming an independent diabetic.  I could cry just thinking about some of these moments and the fact that more positive things have come out of living with diabetes then negative things.  Then there is JDRF, which is an amazing platform for advocating for a cure, for awareness and a sense of community.  I have enjoyed and continue to embrace opportunities to work with JDRF.

I am so proud of these moments, and of so many more.  I continue to be determined to change the minds of people who are so misinformed about our disease, and get them to understand exactly how we balance life and diabetes… and that we will not necessarily succumb to complications.   I always joke and tell people, ‘If god didn’t give me diabetes, I would probably be playing my guitar on the sidewalk somewhere in NY or L.A. still trying to live the dream’.  Instead, I am on a mission to inform, inspire and educate and to prove people wrong.  I am not doomed and neither are you, let me help you make peace with your diabetes.

My favorite camper Rachel, 10 years ago at Barton. She is now a beautiful teenager!

Hooking up a CGM on a patient when I was a pump trainer

Checking BG’s at a Health Fair

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Comments (7)

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  1. pearlsa says:

    Being a great advocate is spectacular! Nice post.

    http://pearlsa.com/blog/

  2. Thanks for sharing and advocating for that positive message about living a peaceful and happy life despite diabetes 🙂

  3. Erin Dromgoole says:

    Don’t forget helping out some fellow athletes with advice on how to manage their diabetes! HUGE help and an inspiration!

  4. Barb says:

    Love your “pearls of wisdom” and how you put humor into your life. You are
    an inspiration!

  5. busybag says:

    Hi Pam! I’m glad you caught that… I was almost going to write you to clairfy what you meant in the comment yesterday… Just a quick lesson; If you have type 2, you will always have Type 2. If you progress to insulin, you are still a Type 2, but just on insulin now (type 1 is anyone who was immediately diagnosed and needed insulin because the pancreas stopped making it). Also, insulin does NOT mean it’s the end of the line! Insulin can make managing your meals SO much easier and help you prevent future complications. I hope you are feeling well, and it sounds like ou are on top of it! Thanks so much for all your support with my blog!! 🙂

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