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 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…
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.”)