I am almost through Moira McCarthy’s new book “Raising Teens with Diabetes”. There are so many really great things that I will share with you soon in a complete review but last night I hit the section on advocacy. Obviously I am heavily into diabetes advocacy, I mean I used it is the title to the blog and my website! My son on the other hand is the complete opposite.
I have never been one to stay quiet about my opinion. I have always believed that if you don’t say something how can you expect people to know what you are thinking? If you don’t like something, say something to people who can make a difference. That has been my motto since my preteen years (yeah I have been a mouth piece for a long time!). In my defence, I don’t just shoot off my mouth, I try to listen and learn as well but back to my son...He is quiet. He is private. He hates to talk about diabetes. He does not enjoy diabetes related functions and suggesting that he become an advocate would be like suggesting that he light himself on fire and run stark naked through Main Street. It is not about to happen!
How do you balance such diverse personalities? Carefully! As my son has aged, he became more vocal. At one point he literally told me that he quit! We had been involved in a national diabetes campaign a few years earlier. He was okay with it at the time. It meant a trip to Toronto (but he hates to travel) and a few cool interviews for both tv and print media. That was okay but the second time around was more questions about diabetes and another photo shoot. He was done. No more photo shoots. No more being in the “public eye”. He was retiring at the ripe old age of 14!
I agreed. I allowed him to slip into anonymity. Diabetes became something that he had to deal with but the advocacy and the public “stuff” would simply be for Mom to deal with. Ironically he seems to have a lot of confidence in my abilities (and maybe that explains why he “retired” with such ease). When we have talked about the future, costs of medical devices, and such, he simply reminds me how many years I have to get the governments to all straighten up and keep him healthy! (in other words have insulin pumps covered everywhere in Canada for everyone regardless of age). A tall order from a young man!