“Never let the tragic become tragedy.” I wish I could remember who said this on the radio yesterday, because I’d like to give her credit and because it pertains so well to our neighborhood and surrounding area.
It is tragic that at least 23 people in our area have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in five years, however, we have not let it become a tragedy. Add the families who had received diagnoses before the incidence became noticeable and we’ve got a lot of nearby families to turn to for support.
Day-to-day, we may run into you and other D-friends on Glu, Six Until Me, Children with Diabetes, or Facebook. The online diabetes community leaves little room for isolation. But where we are, we also regularly run into our D-neighbors at the bakery, the library, the lacrosse fields. Occasionally, we arrange to get together, sometimes with a specific purpose in mind, sometimes just to chat, but always to learn and grow.
We are a disease-induced community-within-our community, one of varied interests, skills, and political and religious persuasions. We take our children to different clinics, deliver insulin by different methods, and volunteer for different organizations. But, we all understand the language of diabetes; the gravity of a failing insulin pump, a vomiting child with insulin on board, and an empty container of glucose tabs during a low. We understand the hard work and triumph in competing in sports, improving an A1C, and participating in a clinical trial. Our community is complex and fluent in the language of diabetes that we have learned through shared and unique experiences.
This shared language, this community support, abates the tragedy.
By Ann Marie Kreft