The Faces of Diabetes

More A Sweet Life Jul 29, 2011, 4:58 pm

 

As a mother to three young boys, I am aware that my children are easily influenced. Most parents know this and that’s why we think we can guide our children on a desired path if we only allow them to hang out with certain friends, eat certain food and watch certain TV shows. I think what we forget to notice is the things they pick up from us, the stuff we think is “normal” until we see our kids reenact our own behaviors.

Until I became a self-conscious teenager, I assumed it was perfectly normal to yodel while skiing down the slopes, to read in the middle of a crowd, and to slather gobs of real mayo on thick slices of tomato and eat it with my hands. Even though I eventually stopped reading in the middle of a crowd and began talking, the idea or act of reading as a social behavior has stuck with me all these years. When I am bored, I reach for a book, even if my kids are sitting right next to me.

When my sister and I were diagnosed with diabetes, the first faces of diabetes we saw were of people over 50 years old. Our grandfather’s best friend, Ollie Owen was an endocrinologist and a type 1 diabetic.  My school nurse was an over 50 year old woman with type 1 diabetes. This was before Nick Jonas and Crystal Bowersox, and these were the “normal” faces of diabetes. And even though these two people were positive influences in my life, they were nothing like me, and I continued to feel like my sister and I were the only young women with diabetes-we were an oddity. And the media didn’t help. Every time I turned on the TV, I saw diabetes ads with Wilford Brimley and heard statistics of how my disease was the 7th leading cause of blindness, amputations and heart disease. These were not inspiring messages for a young woman.

That’s why it’s taken me a long time to replace these negative stereotypes of diabetes with the positive, healthy faces of the women featured in my book, … Read the Rest

Tags: diabetes, faces, certain, think, over, type, positive, disease, women, sister, woman, years, kids, “normal”, that’s, middle, crowd, children, reading, book,

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  • Description: As a mother to three young boys, I am aware that my children are easily influenced. Most parents know this and that’s why we think…