Monday, October 18, 2010

Defining Yourself

My brain is ready to explode after too long of drawing a complete blank.  Years ago my son and I were asked to participate in a report on diabetes care here in Canada.  It was called "The Serious Face of Diabetes in Canada"  and was prepared by the Canadian Diabetes Association. At that time we had a photographer come out and she took pictures in the summer. We took pictures everywhere but there were no smiles allowed. This was serious business.  Some of the pictures turned out great and they took the one they liked along with our story to use in the report.

Fast forward to this summer and they called to ask to do a follow up.  I was in the middle of moving but felt it was important for us to be a part of this so I said yes, we would be involved again.  The follow up story was done. It wasn't perfect but I was too stressed with other things to be picky (I am sure the author was very grateful for that!).  Because of their scheduling, pictures were not arranged until a few weeks ago.  At that point I was sent a release form and asked to come up with a photo that defined my child.  It could be him in sports, with his pump, in his favorite shirt--anything that defined him.

Being me, I missed reading the part that said, "a picture that defines your son".  I was ready for the photographer to chose a site, take some pictures, and life would go on.  Wrong.  He called, I put him off for a bit because my brain was still not working well on that task.  He is supposed to call back this week and set up a time and place.  I am still at a loss.

My son is not a swimmer, hockey player, race car driver, piano player or Indian chief.  He is 13.  He plays sports in school. He is bilingual.  He takes his frustrations out on his new kickboxing bag.  He lifts his dumb bells while playing XBox and texting his friends.  In other words, he is a typical thirteen year old. 

My son is not defined by his diabetes.  His diabetes is just part of him.  Testing is a necessary evil that he avoids.  His pump is his best friend but their relationship is a quiet one.  Its always with him, close by his side but he tends to keep it tucked out of sight.  He will point out another person with diabetes in a room but will not engage them in a conversation.  Diabetes isn't who he is, its just something that he lives with.

I think that is a healthy thing but it really doesn't help me with this photo session. Maybe we should just get pictures of him, with his dog on his lap, texting me...its not like that doesn't happen a lot in our life. Wish us luck! When asked for his input, my son's response was "Idk".  Yep, him and his cell phone may well be the picture of choice!


  1. Great post, Barb. You and your family are faced with great challenges, but you appear to be a fantastic support for your son.
    Let's hope that technology soon comes with a cure!
    My best regards to your family!

  2. Thanks so much!! I would love to see a cure sooner rather than later. Diabetes may not define him but its definitely a large albatross that lives in our home.
    Hope all is well in your corner of the world as well :)