Thursday, May 16, 2013

Courage, Brains and Heart

Accomplishments Big and Small: Another topic in DBlogWeek's Series:
We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.)

As I've been writing about my diabetes achievements, it struck me that they are much like those that the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion faced in the Wizard of Oz.

The Cowardly Lion

Remember how scared he was? He was afraid of everything. I too was that Cowardly Lion as I faced that stupid orange as a newly-diagnosed 28 year old, during my short stay in the hospital. I can recall each dimple in that orange, and remember the fear that I was, at some point, going to just have to do that to myself. I could not fathom how that was going to "be just like" giving myself a needle. But I did it. That was my first step to finding courage. As it turned out, it was my first courageous step in my diabetes journey. Since then I've found myself in the Cowardly Lion role many times, but I've also found as many opportunities to find courage along the way.

The Tin Man

Diabetes is a sneaky sort. Just when you think you have figured it out, you are humbled and realize that you haven't figured out a thing. Low blood sugars will sneak up on you, and highs can slap you down. A quote comes to mind from a song that has absolutely nothing to do with diabetes, but the words resonate for me:

I get knocked down, but I get up again

Diabetes is just like that. Just when you think you've figured it out, it will knock you down. I have been humbled many more times than I can count. But through no shortage of strategizing, analyzing and sorting things out, I seem to still come out on top. I am not yet master of this disease, nor do I think that I ever will be. But I'm better at dealing with it than I used to be. As I evolve with this disease - along with diabetes technology, I'm getting better at it. As with the Tin Man, I have discovered that I have the smarts to figure this out, and one day hope to draw back the curtain on that diabetes wizard.

The Scarecrow

By far, I think that discovering the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) is like discovering my own heart and, even better, discovering that I am part of a bigger whole. It wasn't so long ago that I didn't talk much about diabetes. We've come together from different places, cultures, we are employed, unemployed, insured, uninsured, we are cool and we are nerdy. We have brought our talents, our skills, our perspectives and our challenges to the diabetes table. I am part of that community. Somehow we manage to be a big, messy and still, somehow cohesive group, supporting each other through it all. We are a community with heart and what can be better than being part of that?

To read great posts from fellow "Scarecrows", click here.

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