Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Glimpse inside the life of a Teen with Diabetes

The other morning, I woke up, had my usual Chai Latte and headed down into my office to begin my daily computer ritual.  I opened my email program, signed into Facebook and checked to see what had been happening in the world since I shut things down the night before. I love to scroll through and read about my many family and friends as well as enjoy the great new pictures that they may have posted while I slept.

On this fateful morning, I came across a post by a teenage friend. I have a number of "friends" who are children that I have known all of their lives or  are the children of good friends.  Its always interesting to see what they post--good or bad.  This young person and the person's friends almost brought me to tears. I was so proud of what they had to say to each other. I was so impressed and given so much hope by what I read that I had to write about their story.

The poster was disappointed in their own diabetes care.  They felt that they had neglected their health over the past week and diabetes had really kicked their butt. They had been running high and knew that it was bad for their body. This person was very upset with their actions--or lack of. 

Quickly friends chimed in words of support and encouragement.  They understood. They had been there as well. They began to encourage each other. All members of this conversation stated that tomorrow was a new day and they would all work harder to keep themselves healthy.  They understood each other. They "got it" in a way that no one else could.

I was so very proud of these young people.  They are mature beyond their years. I know their parents. I know that, like me, some of their parents have struggled wondering if their children will "get it".  They fear that their child will never take responsibility for their diabetes--that they don't understand  the seriousness of the disease or that they just don't want to learn. It appears that we are very wrong.  

Even as I write about them, there are tears in my eyes.  These young people with diabetes have a maturity that is not often seen in their peers.  They are quirky and amazing young people.  Their smiles light up a room but they carry a heavy burden.  As parents we fear that burden but it appears that thanks to social media, they can share that burden with like individuals and become stronger because of it.

These are not my children but I feel truly privileged to "know" such amazing, strong, and empathetic young adults.  Many people refer to children with diabetes as their heroes.  These young people truly are heroes.  You are amazing! Thank you for sharing in a way that we as parents can begin to understand. 

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