Confidence is a difficult lesson to learn with our disease and for most of us we wrestle with the issue for years, and sometimes for the rest of our lives. Are we confident enough to press the insulin pen, push the pump button when we are high drink the juice when we are low? Are we confident enough to tell our date, our friends, our coworkers? Are we able to talk directly to doctors, or disagree with other medical professional etc.?
I know from my own experience, that I wanted to go it alone as a diabetic. I wanted nothing from anyone and especially not attention. I didn’t get my wish. I went low mid-morning one day after being diagnosed the summer before and I stumbled into the nurse station seeking OJ where I was interrogated, and when they found my insulin and supplies upstairs they threatened to remove me from school for a few days. Mom was in the hospital so when they called home thankfully they did not get anyone and as I recall my grandma stepped in said it was all a misunderstandings and she sent a note to school telling them of my diabetes that I was diagnosed over the summer and apologizing for not telling them earlier.
She was an old lady; I had never been in much really bad trouble in school so I got off with a stern warning and a promise to reform. One I knew I would never ever abide by. Today we would dismiss a kid for the balance of the semester and maybe, if he were lucky, the police would let him go after they would be called, he arrested and carted out of school for bringing dangerous instruments to school (syringes for my mid-day shot and insulin). I was lucky it was 1974. Something I tried to always remember when I disciplined kids as a school administrator. Sometimes we are more lucky than smart.
I also resolved to do one thing and one thing alone, never tell the nurse anything about me again. I never saw her again and I never went in there again. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and angry about the “misunderstandings” as I put it at the time. I had lots of misunderstandings that year this was just the first. In fact until I got to Haworth High School I had a few other misunderstandings and yes that would follow me into college my freshman year. I have said before and will say again I survived because my wife would not date me unless I cleaned up my act. I trusted her and well 36 (37 on June 3) years later that trust paid off
Anyway, in the last few weeks we have had some missteps in our community. I won’t go into them or point them out but you may have noticed and if not that is ok, it is not necessary to understand the particulars. What we do need to know is that a few posts have caused some back and forth ranker between members. One writes something someone takes offense at and another answers and back and forth until we have a discussion about who needs to avoid who and when, where, and how to do so.
Let me say at the outset I have been part of this attack withdraw, attack defend, withdraw sort of thing before. Mine happened a few years ago when I made an innocent statement in response to a question about pharmacies. The next thing I knew I was embroiled in a conversation about price advantages that major pharmacies hold over independents and the impact on health insurance plans. Seems odd and technical today and I swear I meant no harm especially since I made a point of supporting independent pharmacies when I oversaw the operation of health care plans, and this poster was supporting independent pharmacies.
I was pretty wrapped up in it for a few days and then it passed and thank goodness it went away. Unfortunately, I believe it likely cost the site a members who was going to be a good asset had they remained a poster. Albeit they would have needed to be ok with differing opinions and not made tiny issues much bigger.
I watched a couple of discussions (including one about a post I made) get a little heated in the last month and to tell the truth those posters needed to make a point and let it go. It is part of being in a community. Like I say in the long run we are stronger together even when we disagree. I certainly do not agree with some things posted on this site. When that happens, I try make a remark and move on, no harm no foul.
99.99% of us understand a post is not an attack, a disagreement is not an attack, a perceived attack can be overlooked, and a response need not elicit a response. It is part of being in a community. It is something I and all of us need to remember.
We are better together in community than being alone in the wilderness; we are better sharing then keeping it to ourselves. But most important in order to do that with trust we have to trust each other. That is what makes this community so strong for so many.
PS: This is post number 198 of my personal commitment (no one asked) to post 200 blogs this year. Next week post number 199 will be about what I have learned by posting so many blogs and post 200 will be about my future plans for writing including blogging on TUDiabetes.org. I have thought a lot about these topics over the last few weeks so hopefully they will be interesting.