Saturday, August 4, 2012

Over a cup of coffee

The Diabetesforum is nearly open for 5 years. Over the years, many diabetics have come out of the closet to  find peers and make new friends. They have introduced themselves in the hope to meet up with others who experience the same things. Apparently it's not always that obvious for some to open up to others. To acknowledge they have a chronic disease. To talk about their fears, their anxieties, their concern. Some people just don't want anybody else to know they have diabetes.

Nearly one year ago, I met a lady who has been a diabetic for over 25 years. She had never ever met another diabetic before. I was astounded.. how is that possible? I mean, I have met so many diabetics by now. It's not that we're hiding some place. Okay, the word DIABETIC is not written on our foreheads. It's not that our disease is visible to others. If you are willing to open up though, there's absolutely a way to meet other diabetics and share stories.

I always find it exciting to meet new diabetics. To hear their story and to comfort them if they would have any sorrows. Seeing the relief in their eyes when you share cell phone numbers, so they can call you if they feel like talking to someone or ask their questions. It's a relief to tell someone - who knows what you are talking about - your BG has risen to 425 mg/dl and you're unable to bring it down. They know the crappy feeling and the despair, the unquenchable thirst, the sick feeling to your stomach. You don't have to explain it to them. And nobody tells you to stop whining about a disease you can't change.

You're lucky if you have a family that supports you and helps out when the diabetes is taking over. They do the best they can to listen to you and help you cope. In the end though, they can give their best shot, it will never be like being understood by a peer diabetic. Just because it's our disease.

Leave your house and go for a walk. Ask a fellow diabetic to meet you somewhere over a cup of coffee. Talk to one another and share stories. It'll do you good. There's no need to hide or pretend you're completely healthy. Because you're not. Healthy, I mean. Even though your diabetes may be well controlled, you will always have a chronic disease you should bear in mind.

You don't have to let the whole world know about your condition. You don't have to talk about diabetes every day. But whenever you feel the need to talk, it's good to know there are people out there who are willing to help out and give you a shoulder to lean on.

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