Diabetes Walks

Okay, so I just completed the Susan G. Koman race for the cure. I technically did it with a couple friends, but essentially, I walked up the day of the event… paid a fee… and ran the race… alone. I had something to prove for myself… take back some control of diabetes… and honor my grandmother. It was a personal thing for me and I needed to do it alone.

My first thought looking at the MASSIVE crowd was… “WOW! Breast Cancer is a BIG business…” I was walking for myself who may have to deal with breast cancer at some point in my life (I had a scare well before diagnosed with T1) and for my grandmother who died from bone cancer… not the same diagnosis… but there isn’t a big race and international fundraiser for bone cancer… which could put me off on a tirade of how we value breasts over other body parts… but then… I already have enough battles to fight :wink: I choose to look at it as cancer-is-cancer and every little help makes a dent.

Regardless, in a moment, I was swept into the emotion of so many people comping together for a common cause and the rest is history. I finished my first 5k run EVER and did so (learning lots the hard way) under the challenges and limitations of T1.

Enter the diabetes discussion…

I was diagnosed as a T1 at 35. My friends and family thought this was “too weird” and actually pulled away from me… I was asked stupid questions… the general fear was that because I haven’t married yet that I must live a risky lifestyle and maybe I really had AIDS masking my T1 diagnosis, because ONLY KIDS get T1.

So my friends at the time and my family made a point of keeping their families and kids away from me. Not to mention my step mother and best friend at the time were both in health care and knew my Endo who assured them I have a genetic disorder instigated by a trigger… not irrational fears…

No luck. I no longer have those friends and I’ve cut my family off until they quit acting irrational and accept me for who I am. A friend who is a counselor offered a rational explanation and that my diagnosis forces them to face their own reality, especially because I was lucky and found out by a fluke, rather than a major hospital episode. Okay, I get the explanation, but it does nothing to resolve my feelings of abandonment, lack of support, and isolation.

I read here, in tudiabetes, how the disease in any form can be such an isolating disease in-and-of-itself… add to that my family/friend experience… add that to the depression of a daily silent drag…

So,

Am I being too sensitive when I try to sign up for the Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes and find that I HAVE to have a TEAM? I just want to pay my fee and walk… and while promoting it… if someone wants to jump on board, then Great!

The irony is killing me… Not only… it’s defining the marketing drive behind different chronic diseases (which is completely another post discussion and rant on our health care “system.”)

It is ironic, but maybe it’s also an opportunity. If you want those people and your family back in your life, this is a way to invite them in and show them something.

Or it’s an opportunity to create an entirely new circle of friends.

I’m fortunate to have a supportive family. I was diagnose late in life, too - age 47 - but I can’t imagine having to handle the rejection you’ve had. Keep your chin up. You’re not alone.

Terry

I am unsure if my story will help you …I was diagnosed with type 1 at age 42 1/2 ( 1983 ) ; in 1984 had breast surgery …a modified mastectomy .I have been a Canadian Diabetes Association supporter from day 1 , became a dragon boater ( breast cancer ) in 2004 ( ? ) …most ladies in the boat did not understand , what I had to cope with as in high and low blood sugars , while paddling hard. Last year I decided , that I had NOT mastered how to handle my insulin delivery …said " goodbye " and when I see the ladies in my community there always is a friendly " hello " …Yes, my humble observation : …breast cancer is big business…my aim is to make Diabetes as big .I do participate with Team Diabetes Canada marathons and am so lucky to be able to have found my niche .I wish you well …N.

im thinking of getting my family to do the step out, since Im volunteering and forgot about the walk. blushes I haven’t done much in the diabetes community, but in the last year I have wanted to get more involved, but Im moving out of state in the next couple months for a year and a half so it’s kinda difficult to do so. anywho yeah I am thinking of getting a couple people to do the walk for me since I will be saying “Hi welcome go over there to give your donation. have fun and be safe.” as people come to be registered or whatever. I heard about this red strider program I have no clue what it actually is, but I guess its for those of us with diabetes. I wanted the red jersey from the tour de cure, but because I didn’t sign up or anything I didn’t go to that. :frowning:

Well, you could see if there’s a team that’s local to you and ask if you could piggyback onto their team instead.

There is a local pump club near me that wears Medtronic shirts (and Medtronic pumps) and invited me to walk last year even though I wear a different brand of pump. Or I met a girl in my area on TuDiabetes and chat with her on Facebook and am walking on her team this year even though it’s a walk in a sister city rather than the one on my side of the metroplex. You don’t necessarily have to deal with the stress of being your own “captain.” I’m the same way - I just want to walk.