World of Difference

July 26th, 2012 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I spent a fantastic four days with 12 other type one athletes last week at the Ragnar Northwest Passage. It reminded me a little bit of being up at camp, plus fifteen years.  (I know; I had to do the math a number of times… fifteen years feels like yesterday!)

I really enjoy the fact that when we get together, diabetes is not as forefront of a topic as one might think.  We pretty much share what type of insulin delivery/monitoring we do (Pump? Syringes? Pen?) and which brands we like and why, and then sometimes how old we were at diagnosis.  Pretty much after that there isn’t that much to say…(unless you want to discuss whether you are a diabetic or a person with diabetes…)

I sort of like that.

We did discuss how so many of us are control freaks/type A personalities.  One woman captured it well when she said we are so used to Being In Charge to protect ourselves it’s sort of now how we operate.  Yet in a group of other type ones, we all sort of did our own thing to take care of ourselves and let the rest go.  Insulindependence did a fabulous job acknowledging that in subtle ways: they sent us the itinerary, discussed and gave links to restaurants we planned to visit, told us how long the drives were scheduled to take.

Little things like that that we so rarely get without scrambling after in our daily lives spent with non-diabetics who don’t have to think about this stuff.

Which, I believe, do not end up being little things at all when you add them together, day after day, for decades.  It’s one of the things I think can wear us down when we live with diabetes.

I don’t have many words of wisdom beyond these: one way to take care of yourself and your life with diabetes (or your diabetic life, take your pick) is to spend some time with other people who care about these same seemingly small things. 

It will do you a world of good.

I don’t mean get together and complain about anything: I mean get together to DO something—whether it be making a meal or taking a walk or going fishing or golfing or shoot running 200 miles—but do it with people who have similar thoughts running silently and relentlessly through their brains.

It’s very nice to know and truly feel you aren’t the only one.  Very nice.

(Many thanks to insulindependence and my team!!)

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  1. Stephen says:


    Best. Experience. Ever.

  2. Susannah says:

    I agree. Diabetes was most definitely not the focus of the experience. Sure, it was present and it was focal to our fundraising, but it was the people and our shared experience that stayed front and center. One reply I gave when someone asked me about how it went, “Fantastic! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, especially one that involved 6 people I didn’t know, in a van for 32 hours, all with type 1 diabetes (known to cause problems from time to time), all experiencing sleep deprivation.”

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