Uncertain, but Hopeful. Vulnerable, but Resilient.

Make no mistake… there are reasons to be frightful as we near the end of the year. When it comes to diabetes, there is more than one reason to be mad, outraged.

I saw some of that in our #DSMA chat last night.

We talked about what 2018 has been like, what headlines grabbed our attention, and we made some predictions for 2019. Not everyone’s answers reflected hope and inspiration. In fact, nearly everyone, at one time or another, expressed disappointment, anger, or sadness.

But there was a lot of inspiration too. New jobs, excitement over meeting new diabetes friends at conferences, school successes, and a lot more. Seeing this helped reinforce something I’ve known, but have forgotten at times this year.

People With Diabetes are strong. We have more fortitude than even we ourselves could have imagined at diagnosis. We’ve overcome diagnosis, DKA, insurance denials, co-pays, hypoglycemia, stigma, discrimination, and a hundred other things that would try the soul of most healthy individuals.

We continue to pursue our goals, undaunted by doubters and uncooperative pancreases. We give our time and our money as if we had extra to give (truth: we don’t). We champion the causes we’re most connected to, and we champion the individuals that truly don’t have any extra time or money to give right now.

We educate, on a formal and informal basis. We learn constantly, formally and informally, because the nature of our condition and its care is constantly changing. We’re resilient, because what other choice do we have?

I might have forgotten some or all of that amidst all the craziness that 2018 has dished out. But Wednesday night reminded me that even though we’re vulnerable because of a failed organ, we’re certainly not finished yet. We’re still capable of great things.

And 2019 promises even more. Many of our participants in the chat talked about going beyond talk and plans, and moving toward real, concrete action on things like increased access to affordable insulin here in the USA. And more developments in closed loop technology. And more availability of real, meaningful support of those newly diagnosed.

I was also encouraged by how much everyone in our diabetes community is encouraged by others in our diabetes community. How much those human interactions, either online or in person, mean for our health and well-being. That benefit cannot be overstated.

Personally, I plan to continue some of the crusades started in this year and previous years. But I also plan to change a few things, just because I don’t want everything to be the same all the time. And I want to find more time to help and laugh with those in this community who mean the most to me.

Sure, we still have challenges. Diabetes itself challenges us every day. But we have hope. And a brain. And a heart. And courage. And empathy, which is what the last member of the group in The Wizard of Oz received before their part was edited out of the movie.

Okay, I was kidding about that last part, except the empathy. Empathy is important. And so are you. There is a lot for us to still worry about… we all know that. But we have each other. Let’s use our amplified voices for all the good we can, for us and for the ones who need us the most.

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  • Rick Phillips  On December 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    It is tough for me to focus on diabetes these days. As a world, I feel so many things have blown completely past any importance that needs to be considered before diabetes. Of course that is not the total issue, and we all must advocate for our condition, because no one else will do it if we do not.

    Given all of the big mess we live in, I can say I am proud to be part of this community. We are represented in a way that is second to none. I am delighted where we have been and more important where we are going.

    Liked by 1 person

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