Hello to all my new friends that I hope to make on this site. I just signed up, and need to work on getting more on my profile, but I thought perhaps a blog about me would be a good start. Diabetes has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My older sister was diagnosed at 6 mos of age, she is now 43, my older brother was diagnosed at 7, he is now 45. I can remember thinking they got all the attention when I was younger, so mom used to measure my food on the gram scale and try to give me equal attention, but oddly enough, in my little brain, I wanted diabetes just like my siblings. Then at 5 years of age, I was diagnosed with it as well. Well, I thought, finally, I have arrived. After a few weeks of living in the reality of this disease, I was ready to stop "playing that I was a diabetic now" and go back to my old life. What, you mean this is what it's really like, for the rest of my life, no, wait, I didn't mean it, I changed my mind, take it back,please, what, I can't, awwww mannnn......this sucks! How funny to think back on those days, but of course, I adjusted, as we all do. I have had diabetes for 34 years now, and fortunately, no complications, although I have witnessed many complications through the struggles of my sister and brother, which are heart wrenching and scare the s*** out of me. Somehow my sis keeps picking herself up, no matter what is thrown at her, holds her head high, smiles, and is thankful for everyday she has on this earth. She has taught me sooo much. About a decade ago, my dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I have so many stories to share about my experiences with this disease, I think I should write a book, someday I tell myself.....do you think there would be an interest out there for something like that? Perhaps a collection of everyone's experiences, I'm sure there are so many interesting stories out there.......hell, it could be a series! Anyways.....I've been coming out of the closet so to speak in the past year or two. Kind of odd, but as a kid back in the 70s there was not a lot of people talking about this disease, and when other kids found out, they treated you odd, as if they could catch it or something, so I was taught that I could keep it to myself, only tell those that needed to know, like teachers and parents of close friends, and act and live a "normal" life, just like everyone else. In retrospect, I think that may have been a mistake, keeping it hidden, but my parents did the best they could in coping with the challenges they faced of 3 children with diabetes. So, I carried that secret veil throughout my life, only telling those closest to me that I felt I could trust, and keeping it under wraps. Well, about 2 years ago I started feeling the need to share, to help others, to make a difference, and so, I reached out to the folks at my local ADA to get involved. I was volunteering online, but that was not enough, I wanted more. I asked them about advocacy, they did not have a group, I was insistent as to inquiring "why not", and before I knew it, I was asked to form one. What, me, I...uhhh.....ummm...ok, I said, thinking, holy crap, be careful what you wish for, just like the story at 5 years of age, here I go again right?! lmao....What an experience this has been, talk about going from one extreme to the other! So, I am still learning, in the past 1 1/2 yrs., I have gone from being silent, to be very vocal, which has been scarey for me, but always is well received. I have formed the only ADA advocacy group in the state of FL, which is growing very slow and steady, and up to about 8 or so local volunteers now. I am struggling with a general fear of public speaking, but am forcing myself to do this, as I am growing so much from this experience. I'm pretty comfortable with my group, but getting up in front of the board to give group updates freaks me out. Any tips for making your voice stop shaking in these scenarios would be welcomed!!
Okay, this is getting very long, thanks all who have taken the time to read it! I have really enjoyed this site so far!
Warm wishes to everyone on here! :)

Views: 10

Comment by Laurie L'Heureux on August 30, 2009 at 9:30am
Thanks Jim! We had our first group meeting in Feb of this year as well! How's your group experience going so far?
Comment by Amanda on August 30, 2009 at 11:50am
Hi Laurie, I enjoyed reading a little about you. I would definitely be interested in your book idea. It's so great to hear from others who can totally relate to all the "weird" feelings that we get as diabetics. For me anxiety and low blood sugar symptoms are quite similar. And I have alot of anxiety. I was diagnosed with type 1 22 1/2 years.
How interesting you and your siblings have diabetes. I am one of five, including a twin sister, and I am the only one with diabetes, luckily. I also pray that none of my children get it. I have always been very vocal about having diabetes. I am curious if anything triggered your diabetes? When I was in 3rd grade, my parents took me to the Doctor because my Dad thought I had the "fruity smell" of diabetes, but I didn't(My Dad grew up with a BF with diabetes). Then in 5th grade, my Dad and I both got the flu. He got better, but I got worse and ended up with a diabetes diagnosis!

Thanks for your story. I love hearing from *seasoned diabetics* who have no complications! It's inspiring with my worrywart nature. I'm trying to buckle down and do better.
~Amanda
Comment by Gerri on August 30, 2009 at 1:17pm
Welcome, Laurie!

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I came to a Type 1 diagnosis as an adult & I've often tried to imagine what it must be like as a child, especially years ago.

Courageous of you to be vocal & so active now. Wow, what a change--kudos.

Don't know if this will help, but this is what helps me with public speaking. I pretend I'm talking to friends, tell myself no one's judging me & most importantly--I'm the expert. Hey, I wouldn't be up there talking if they didn't need/want to hear what I've got to say, right! Pep talks to myself. Most people have a fear of public speaking, so you're far from alone. The more you do it, the more confidence you'll have. Like everything else, it's just practice.
Comment by Laurie L'Heureux on August 30, 2009 at 5:43pm
Hello Amanda! Thanks for reading my blog and for your support. It was hard for us to figure out how all of us kids ended up with diabetes. We had a great aunt on my dad's side that had diabetes, but no one else that we knew of had it. Seemed odd that we all ended up with it. Then later in life my dad popped up with it, to which we all pointed the finger and said, AAAHAH...so you were the culprit! Just kidding.....With all of us kids, we started out with a sickness or flu like symptoms, and upon going to the hospital e.r. after becoming very ill, were diagnosed with diabetes. By the time it was my turn, my parents didn't waste much time getting me to the hospital for treatment. I can relate to your feelings of anxiety, I get those feelings about the "what ifs" of this disease, especially after what I have seen happen in my family. But then again, I look at how well my family deals with these challenges, how much my sister appreciates everyday she is given, and I think I cannot waste my days in anxiety or fear, but rather be thankful for my good health, be positive, and live in the here and now! :)
Comment by Laurie L'Heureux on August 30, 2009 at 5:47pm
Thanks for welcoming me Gerri! :) I do appreciate your advice on public speaking as I am really struggling with it. I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind, and the next time I present, I will go back and re-read your post! Thanks also for the support! Keep in touch!
Comment by Gerri on August 30, 2009 at 7:29pm
You can do it! Soon, you'll be smiling at your previous fears.

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