This week is Diabetes blog week. This runs between Monday 16th to Friday 20th 2016. The aim is I & hundreds of other bloggers of all things diabetes write blogs every day about certain topics.
“Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?”
So where do I start there are many important messages and issues that I would like to get across in my blog. I guess for me its getting people to understand the complexity of living with the condition and for people to stop commenting on all things type 1 when you haven’t lived with it or chosen to walk a mile in Arlo’s shoes or our shoes.
We’ve learnt to adjust and live with type 1 diabetes from the outside looking in we majke it look easy . What I have found the most difficult to adjust to is people’s attitudes and comment’s to type 1 diabetes. From work colleagues , children in playgrounds , family members,& best friends we’ve learnt to bite tongue’s, take a deep breathe and move on.
An example of this happened a couple of weeks ago when I was on a course at work .
The subject of kids came up and then I mentioned Arlo. One of the girls I was talking to started talking about diabetes wanting to know the symptoms were as she was concerned that her son may have it. She then turned around and said:
“Well you know I was worried for a bit but then I thought my son is fit, healthy , doesn’t get ill, not overweight and doesn’t eat sweets or drink fizzy drinks so you know he can’t have it.”
I was gobsmacked but not surprised this isn’t the first time I had heard words to this effect. It does happen people can say some very hurtful things without actually realising they are being hurtful. I can understand it’s not everyday you have to deal with type 1 diabetes and with campaigns such as Jamie Oliver’s or TV programmes citing that sweets and diet give you diabetes you are going to have raise your own awareness and try to not get angry.
Since Arlo was diagnosed our support network of friends has reduced considerably and where I was once a social butterfly with Arlo flying around seeing and meeting new people we now tend to stick to a very tight knit circle of friends who have been there with us from the outset and have walked a mile in Arlo’s shoes and mine. Arlo needs to be around people he can trust, is comfortable with and can speak to at any time If I am not around. Arlo also just wants to be normal. I am at my most proudest with Arlo when I hear him talking to other children in parks. He gets stared at and he knows this, he tells me so. Some children are brave enough to ask him what he has sticking out of his arm or want to know what the tubing is Arlo tells them he is like Iron Man, the children listen with an unsure look on their face. Some kids have tried to kick him where the pump is and others have tried to hit his arm where the cannula is .Thankfully not a lot but enough for Arlo to tell us about it, the look of shock on our faces says it all . Arlo simply shrugs his shoulders and happily says “Its ok mummy I just tell them I have diabetes and I’m iron man or its my phone !! ”
I started off at the beginning of this post saying the most important thing to us was changing peoples attitudes , raising awareness amongst friends. That’s not entirely true I want Arlo to have to continue having a positive attitude to everything and not just type 1 diabetes. I want him to continue talking to us about what makes him happy, sad & what makes him laugh or cry. Above all I want Arlo to read this blog when he is older and say to himself.
“Yeah I got type 1 diabetes but I had a really happy time as a kid.”