Diabetics helping Diabetics, Tell Someone!

I’m fired up. Fired up about the health care system and helping people. The health care system is messed up. I don’t have the answers on how to fix it, but I do know that something needs to change. But I don’t want this to turn into a rant. I want this post to be about helping people.

When I, ...became, ...was diagnosed, ...turned, diabetic, I was scared. Nothing scares me. Ask my family. The stuff I do physically, the travels, the risks finacially, nothing. There is nothing to fear... Right? Why should we fear, really anything? But when I became diabetic, it scared the snot out of me. I was an adult, living by myself, no family, no wife or girlfriend, no kids, I was on my own. I didn’t have anyone to lean on, nowhere to turn. I did not have health insurance. I’ll repeat that, I didn’t have health insurance. I was on my way to work at a kid’s camp back East, I had quit my job, and had about 200 bucks in cash in my pocket. And now I had a disease. A permanent disease. Not a cold, or the flu, that I could get some generic Nyquil for, but something that killed people. And a disease that I didn’t know the faintest about. Diabetes.

And not only did I not know very much about it, but neither did the doctor’s office I went to. They treated me as a Type 2, or adult onset, diabetic. Because I was 31, I was an adult, I must be Type 2, right? Well, no.

But that’s not what I’m fired up about either. I’m fired up to help people, because people in a similar situation need help. They need information, they need a shoulder to lean on, they need a crew to be part of, they need a community to cry with. They, need us. And we need them. Because I was them. I was the person not long ago who desperately needed a shoulder to cry on and help me understand that this was not they end of the world. Boy, when I was sitting in that white, stark, doctor’s office, all by myself, a minute earlier I learned I had a potentially life-threatening disease, well, I was all alone. And I really needed this diabetic community that’s is around. It may have been around then, it just took me a while to find it, but find it eventually I did.

I finally met a girl who was diabetic (she was a lot of other things) and I learned from her. And I met her friends, diabetics around the world. Climbers, mt. bikers, skiers, ski mountaineers, trail runners, skate skiers, racers. All diabetic. It was awesome. They were doing the things I wanted to do, regardless of whether I was diabetic or not. This was incredible. I wanted to do it all. They traveled, they spoke different languages, they took pictures and made movies. They painted, they ate delicious food, and drank rich red wine. The raced in every sport you can imagine. And kicked some serious ■■■. They climbed the highest mountains in the world. They did it all, and I wanted to be part of that club.

This isn’t to say you have to be all those things if you have the ‘betes (although I try to be). This is to say that you can be. You can do, and you can be anything you want. You have to do it a little bit differently, but that’s OK. I always like to think I was specially chosen by a higher power, because He knew I could handle doing things a little differently. Yeah, you can do anything at all. It’s quite an empowering feeling, knowing that you have some serious muscle behind you, and with you, this diabetic community.

Some of the places I go to a lot, and people I look to for inspiration, and piece of mind. TuDiabetes. Six Until Me. Team Type 1. Type 1 Rider. Mad Idea/Friends in High Places. Triabetes. InsulinDependence.

I want to help. I want to inspire, push, prod, instigate and compel people to live. I want diabetics to know that they will get through this, and they will be better off for it. I am.

If you know someone, especially between 16 and 40, who was recently diagnosed with Type1, or Type2, diabetes, and they want info, they have questions, they need a shoulder, send ‘em my way. Call, email, tweet, Facebook, whatever. We’ll get through it together. Please pass this info along to wherever you like, or to whomever you see fit, they more that know about it, the better.

I am so glad you are finding a postive way to handle this disease and willing to share your experince with others who need the support. that is wonderful of you.

Daniel, I can totally relate with you about the health care system and having no insurance (see my rant like blog here: http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/rant-about-why-i-dont-fit-into). I just found out I have diabetes about a month and a half ago. And to be honest with you, I really don’t think that “gap” in the health care system (that leaves a certain number of us without insurance) really isn’t that hard to fix - it is like the gap was there on purpose or something - or they never thought of a recession that would come about that would leave single, kidless adults without income or insurance. I was in the same spot as you (except I had bf only he had no money to help me either and not very supportive considering how scared s**less I was!). And yeah, did the doctor office really help me understand what I needed to do? No way! TuDiabetes and finding a free diabetes class helped the most - researching on the internet and reading books. I had to basically do it all myself.

It is very sad that there is no “real” help - well, I guess there IS out there but doctors never point you to it. It makes me want to start something up - like a program or something that doctors are required to give information to newly diagnosed diabetics and it should be free - there should be like a special program of classes or whatever for you to go to after your diagnosis to help you understand all of it because you know the doctors aint gonna do it. What- am i supposed to magically know exactly what to do to control this disease? I floundered around for two weeks until I understood what I was doing. It really irked me and made me so mad in the beginning. And proves me that most doctors are only good for handing out meds and doing your blood work. Advice on how to manage this - forget it. They want to have you in and out in 15 minutes so they can smoosh in more patients and make more money. You aren’t worth talking to to them.

I am not an atheletic type like you but I am glad you are finding you can still do all that.

I’m not between the ages of 16 and 40, was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 57. I think we all like the idea of a shoulder to cry on. There are times I feel so alone, and the only Type 1 I know is a 7 year old student at my school.

Thanks for the comments guys. We’re all in this together. It’s cool to know there are others out there, just like me. It just makes me feel…included. Like I’m in the club or something. And I like that feeling, I really do. Cause it’s not the cool kids club, oh no, definitely not that. It’s for very special folks. Us.