At a recent event, I was engaged in a discussion with a couple who are ‘fairly new’ on this journey. After a conversation on a myriad of topics the gentleman said to me, “Can I ask you something personal?” Never one to run from such a question I answered, ‘Sure”.
“How do you stay at it? We are so new at this and I am so confused. Not by choices but by the so many who seem to know, telling me how, and what, I should do. That all pharma is bad and greedy; that I should manage a child a certain way; that a cure is a pipe-dream…..how do you stay at it and who do you believe?”
How much and how often is that question place in front of our face?
I come from a political background. I learned something a long time ago that has served me well both in my political discussions and on our diabetes journey. The first thing I do is go into any discussion, like I know nothing. That way I have opened the door to learn. Many people get into discussions, to tell you their point of view and to justify the way they believe. I don’t, and can’t, engage in that anymore.
I’m also a realist (thanks to mom). In the last election, it was an absolute certainty that there would be a new President. So I braced myself that a new one would be in place. My candidate not winning, or winning, only mattered to my personal belief, after that there was only one absolute certainty; the person winning is my President. Me wanting or not wanting does not matter because for the next four years that person is sitting in the oval office. I’m a realist. Happy or unhappy becomes short-lived and the process moves on.
My energy is better spent on things I might have a chance of changing. In my 58 years I have seen many things happen, I have seen many disasters (natural and man-originated); I have seen promises broken and kept; I have seen successes and failures; I’ve seen my share of a great deal…….and no matter what, on the next day the sun not only shined…….it shined brightly.
Diabetes, already unhappy with, I had to get to the point in my life that dealing with diabetes would become where happy or unhappy did not impact the end, I needed to accept what it is, and move on.
What I never gave much attention to is the wave of idle chatter. When I hear about anything in the diabetes world, that I do not know about, I find out. I don’t find out for someone else, I find out for my kids. I find out for me. I constantly tout that education is the equalizer in diabetes. And THAT is the truth. The more you know, the less trivial ‘arguments’ become important because you already know what works best.
I don’t get into discussions about pump or MDI (multiple daily injections); waking up to test or not; to give this food over that food; there will never be a cure or there will be; when I heard something, I investigated. But THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is what I know to be true for us. Nothing else matters and probably should not matter to you either.
If people ask my opinion, if I have one and if asked, I will give it. As my-brother-in-arms Jeff Hitchcock states constantly, ‘look at the data”. I don’t listen to another’s opinion in data, I look it up for myself because I’m not in this battle for any other reason and I have too much work to do than to try to convince people about anything.
Share to engage in a discussion. Engage in a discussion to learn. Go investigate to learn. At the end of the day it was/is up to Jill and I to decide the path to take….and we have; and we still do to this day. Some people share some of our path, and others have more differences than similarities in how we handle our diabetes journey. And that is just fine.
In anything I have dealt with, it comes down to this; I work as hard as I can for something I believe in, if it comes out in our favor — wonderful; if not, I’m assured of one un-argumentative fact……that sun will surely shine, and shine brightly tomorrow.
I am a DiabetesDad.