I’ve been working on getting more and more involved in the online diabetic community in the past…. 2 years or so, through social media. Because let’s be honest – what and who isn’t on social media now?!
It’s at times heart breaking to see what others are going through. Seeing the side effects, the medical conditions caused by diabetes, to hear the hateful comments others get, to see the body-shaming people go through… there are days when I just won’t go on my diabetes account at all beacuase I need a break from the hurt.
But then, there are days when it’s such a great feeling to be “friends” with people who are going through what I have, or seeing success stories of things I struggle with. It’s fun to share recipes and tips and tricks of being a T1D. (For example- I didn’t know the ear ring trick to getting your Omnipod to stop the high pitched BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP when it fails) or even the fact that there are SO MANY companies out there that have diabetic accessories, bags, vial protectors- it’s great!
One of my most favorite pieces of the sugar free pie about social media and the diabetic community has got to be some of the people I meet through it. Recently, a young lady messaged me telling me how her boyfriend was diagnosed a month back and some of the struggles he (and therefore, she) have been facing. As I read when she was telling me, I was so happy for this young man to have such a fighter in his corner! I was thrilled to know that he would have the support he needed to kick this disease’s arse and how strong they both would become because of it…
My heart hurt for her, however, as I knew the worries, and the fear that she’d go through. (I’ve never had to be the primarily provider for another T1D, but I see the worry on my husband’s, family’s, friend’s and coworker’s faces. I’ve heard the stories of how scared they were when I’d get so low that I was unresponsive, or when I landed in the hospital for days on end. I’ve felt the pain I (unintentionally) put them through, the burden I can be at times, and the straight up pain in the butt I’m sure I am) I told her the truth, mainly because 1. I’m not a very good liar and 2. I don’t want to ever do anyone the disservice of lying to them about the life that diabetes serves not only the type one themselves, but those who love us.
She’s strong, you can tell by the way she talks. She’s caring, you can tell by the way she gushes over her boyfriend. She’s also, what he calls her – a diabetes ninja.
And to be honest? I’m not sure I’ve heard a more accurate way to describe a loved one/care taker of a diabetic. A ninja. By definition, a ninja is someone with “a particular set of skills” (to me, that just sounds like Liam Neison, but okay…) but, I think, to most of us – ninjas are quick, agile, fearless, and determined. And that is exactly what those who care for us type ones need – a ninja. Someone to force juice down our throats when needed, someone to ruuuuun to the fridge to get that juice and most of all – be determined on loving us regardless of what our sugars do, or what we might say when our sugars are crazy.
Diabetes Ninjas. I hope that if you need to be one, you can be. I hope if you need to have one, you do. And I hope that you can find the same level of comfort through the online diabetic community like I have.
Keep on, keeping on Diabetes Ninjas. We need you guys.