Hello one and all and no one!

Ahhh another day. I have volunteered to be a leader at the Perth Diabetes camp this January. Yes, it is exciting and all. I think the benefits of a Diabetes camps for Children are completely underrated. But that isn't the problem. 5 Months ago things would have been different, but come December, I am not so sure I should be 'leading' Children when I can't even cope myself.

I'm not seeking a 'Naawwww YES YOU CAN! Its all about experience, not numbers!!'. But surely with experience, comes good numbers? I have been trying hard (I say hard, but I don't mean very hard) to correct my BGL's again. Every day I test in the morning and I say 'I can do this!" loudly in my head. But the hours pass and as always I have forgotten to test or to bolus or to give a damn. Call me pessimistic, call me irresponsible, call me anything but this disease is so damn hard to deal with at the moment.

I am in the middle of moving house. Getting University sorted out. Dealing with having not seen the love of my life in 3 months. Dealing with the fact that moving states deems me friendless. I am so incredibly lost and so incredibly bored but SOMEHOW I just can't get myself to care about diabetes. And the worst part is I CARE SO MUCH! Complete contradiction that only diabetics would understand;

I COULDN'T CARE LESS ABOUT MY DISEASE RIGHT NOW BUT I CARE SO MUCH!

GAAH! That is why I question if I have the right to motivate young children on how to cope, when I can't. Its not the maturity or my history that will help them, it is helping them to deal with their diabetes physically and mentally when I can't. Sometimes I wonder if I am going for my own sake and not the children's. I am really hoping I find my motivation to get back into 'T1D' shape after I lead a bunch of children. And maybe (come the end of the camp) I will feel like I deserve to motivate kids or I will persist until I find that confidence again.

The question to ask yourself today:

Are other T1D children worth the effort of maintaining healthy BG levels? And the answer is YES. Because we could drastically change the outcomes of their futures purely by showing ourselves to be responsible T1Diabetics. I might be secretly a horrible Diabetic at the moment, but for those few days I will at least pretend to be at ease with this disease, by testing constantly and eating properly so that they might mirror my actions.

Leena.

Views: 70

Comment by acidrock23 on December 28, 2011 at 7:39am

I got a huge benefit out of learning to teach Tae Kwon Do a couple of years ago. A lot of times, it was sort of a bummer as I was older and in worse shape than a lot of people however I am also cheap and, as it was a flat fee, I realized that the more I went to class, the better deal it was. Of course, I also realized that the way to improve was to practice and listen to the master yelling at me to lose weight, jump higher, tighten my stomach, snap your hip, etc. It was like boot camp and, eventually, I got to the point where I got good feedback from students I helped learn to improve things that, when I started TKD, I was like "there's no way in hell I'm ever going to do [what I later learned to be...]a tornado kick!".

You could easily find yourself in sort of the same boat with the challenges of diabetes? If there's "testing time" when you'd blow it off, look for results. Maybe the camp wouldn't focus on "how do I improve these results" because people are always squidgy about messing around with rates and ratios without doctors, etc. but you may perceive data trends that you can use to create some momentum for yourself out of your camp experiences? Because of the demands of the TKD classes and wanting to get into better shape, I decided "I need to get a pump" and, reading up on it, I was like "wow, carb counting, what a clever idea!". Things fell into place after that but it was like 6 years of it, not giving up and just keeping at it. If you can get to where you can do something to improve just one of your daily numbers because of improving your discipline through being "in charge" (of a bunch of hooligans...eeek...), you can take that and improve the rest of your numbers and feel great about it. Then, next year, they won't know what hit them...heh heh heh

Comment by Bradford on December 28, 2011 at 7:52am

Leena I think everyone struggles with this disease on occasion. I think even if you're at one of those points right now, it's still important for you to volunteer for the diabetes camp. However, don't fake it. Kids don't want to be patronized or talked down to by someone. They will respect you more if they see that you're a real person who struggles with it just like they do. All you can do is try your best with the tools you've been given (your brain, willpower, insulin pump, etc). They will be (in my opinion) more willing to try the advice that you give them if you share your ups and downs with them because you will be much more relateable.
So don't think that you have let them down or failed them before you even get started! Hold your head up, know that you're owning your diabetes, and take steps to see an improvement in your control...that will go a long ways in the eyes of those kiddos who are lucky enough to have you leading them at camp.

Comment by Kitabparast on December 28, 2011 at 8:00am
Kathleen,

You get to help kids with diabetes? YOU ROCK!

And - I'll go out on a limb here - you don't to have perfect control or even be coping with it perfectly to teach others how to deal or cope with diabetes. You just need to KNOW. My Dad will sometimes say, "You should take classes on diabetes." I usually respond, "Nope. I know a tons of stuff about diabetes. The issue isn't knowledge; it's putting it into practice." So, we all know a ton about diabetes. But whether we implement what we know is another matter all together.

Nevertheless, wisdom is precious no matter what the source. If you can help kids, AWESOME! Just because you may not be practicing what you're preaching doesn't matter all that much. After all, that's the situation with our beloved doctors anyway: how many of them practice what they preach?

I'm sorry life is such a hurricane for you right now. But, man, I'm so envious of your opportunities to help other diabetics!
Comment by Kathleen on December 28, 2011 at 5:04pm

Thank you for your input guys. I do realize it takes more than just a 'good' diabetic to be of some use to children. I guess as the camp creeps closer I start to question myself and my diabetes's profile. And the answer is always that I am not proud of the way I am at the moment.

Bradford: I completely understand your input. I just hope that I will at least show some form of restraint because Children are so impressionable and if I display what I do right now, they might as well kiss their health goodbye. Thank you so much for the motivation though, it is really appreciated :)

Kitabparast: Thank you :) I do have a certain amount of wisdom I guess. Haha. I just need to make sure I'm channeling it the right way during the camp. My hurricane is probably nothing compared to others, I'm just winging :P But thank you!

Acidrock: I will try and persist as much as you. I've read your little Bio and it looks like you have done very well mastering Diabetic ups and downs :) I will keep that in mind when I finally take that leap to good numbers :)

Comment by Rachel Lamb on December 29, 2011 at 11:17pm

Hi Kathleen, I'm volunteering for the same camp I think (Jan 9th-13th with DAWA and PMH?) and i totally feel ya. After 3 years of being D and totally motivated, dealing with everything head on, I finally feel worn down. I think I'm moving in to a different stage of dealing with D and accepting the diagnosis and just generally noticing the effects its had on my life. How full on, demanding and unrewarding this disease can be. I think i'm officially in a rut!

So I too had the same reservations about volunteering, how can I be a role model for these young children when I don't have my sh*t together? But I think that's exactly why we should be there for them. I find that most doctors and medical professionals only present us with one side of dealing with D, dealing with it in the theoretical sense or (struggling to find the right words here, hope you still get what i'm trying to say :P) the science and mechanics of the disease. But we live it. We know it. Our experiences are real and maybe exactly what those kids need. And maybe not even now, but in a few years when they start to go through similar issues and face similar problems, they will think back to meeting us and know that what they're going through is normal and part of it and they're not alone.

That's what I hope to give to them :) So at the risk of giving you exactly what you said you didn't want - I think it is all about experience, not just about numbers. Because with their doctors it's all about numbers, and I think it's our job to give them not just something different, but something so much more valuable. Hope that helps, looking forward to meeting you at the camp!!

Comment by Kathleen on December 30, 2011 at 1:10am

Hello again Rachel!

Don't worry I completely understand the mechanics/theoretical 'theory' LOL! And what a small world! If it is the princess Margret hospital one and you are doing the meeting on the 5th, I believe we will officially meet. I was told there werent any other Type 1 Diabetic leaders though? Are you also chatting with Taryn? You must think I am a stalker, one minute I add you out of nowhere next minute we are doing the same camp! Haha! But I am not, promise!

Thank you for that perspective. I think I am just in such a complete rut that I don't want people to say nice things to me. So your risk was completely understandable. At the moment, I kind of want someone to say, GET YOUR MIND RIGHT WOMAN, so that I feel the pressure. Because this stupid disease never sleeps. I am also just coming out of my 3rd year and heading onto my 4th come June :)

Looking forward to meeting you too! I am a complete loner at the moment! So a friend (even more so a diabetic friend) would be nice :) haha.

See you soon! (I think)
Leena.

Comment by Rachel Lamb on December 30, 2011 at 8:25am

Haha you'd have to be a pretty committed stalker to write a blog post about the camp anticipating i would join Tu and then add me :P I think it's a cool coincidence, I don't remember them saying there was another T1 leader either... but when were you told that there weren't any others? I only just got my paperwork in last week but I committed about a month ago I think...I'm chatting to Anika, but i already do some work with DAWA through Anika so maybe that's why I just spoke to her and not Taryn...is she from PMH?

Yeh I get the whole not wanting people to say nice things. It's really contradictory and probably self-sabotaging hey? On the one hand I want recognition for how hard it is, how well I'm dealing and just some god damn sympathy! But then on the other, I close myself off from all of that because it makes me feel like people don't get it...if that makes sense!?

Looking forward to meeting you as well, I've added you on fb :) YWAIT meet roughly once a month as well so even if it's not the same camp (which I doubt because I think they're kinda rare in Perth) I'm sure I'll see you soon.
Rach

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