Representing the Type 2 Nation
Finding meaning and making an effort that makes a difference
By Travis Grubbs
May 2013 — Why were we born? Do we have a purpose? Was there really just a "Big Bang" which eventually resulted is us (me + the millions of readers of this column) being present on this earth; where we will eventually die of natural causes, diseases, in car accidents, acts of violence, etc. I have trouble with that theory. I believe that we have a creator and that we all serve at least one purpose, if not purposes.
Pat Summerall, the veteran sports caster, died in April. He was known as being a quiet and dignified professional. Pat was also known as a recovering alcoholic, a chronic condition that he did not keep secret.
Several years ago Mr. Summerall gave an interview where he revealed that an intervention was held and he was forced into rehab. He was so angry that his stay was extended in order for him to get over his anger and then successfully complete the program. Pat Summerall took control of his alcoholism and became a role model for others to follow.
In La Sarre, Quebec, Canada there is a little boy with type 1 diabetes. He has bravely faced his chronic condition, but he has been bothered by being seen as different because of his insulin pump. His parents decided to have insulin pumps tattooed on their bodies so that he would not feel different. This is their story.
They are proving to be great role models for parents of children with diabetes! Not only do they help their son deal with his chronic condition, they make themselves part of it. It's not all about him anymore, but about them. Body art not your style? Then talk to your child to see what would help them deal with their diabetes.
As a type 2, what kind of role model are you being? Are you helping make type 2's, like me, look good or bad? Are you representing the type 2 nation in a responsible manner, like not scarfing down fast food? Are you losing or gaining weight? Have you talked to others about how not to be the food police? How about teaching others the difference between type 1 and type 2? This can go a long way in helping our nation because we know how ticked-off both groups get when they are mistaken for the other!
What about you spouses or parents of type 2's? Are you supporting them by not stocking and serving high carb fare such as sweets, baked goods, pasta, etc.? Are you changing your own diet to make it easier on them as they seek to control their diabetes? Are you making the effort to learn what they need to manage their diabetes? My wife, Tanya, was great at encouraging me by quickly reading up on the glycemic index of foods, reducing the carbs being served at our meals, and giving up those things that I could no longer eat or drink (such as alcohol). She is an impressive role model for the spouse of a diabetic.
So why are we here? Well for me, I believe in a higher divine power and that I am supposed to help others and make a difference. This just doesn't benefit them, but me as well. I do not believe in coincidences or chance, but that things happen for a reason. My type 2 might be an inconvenience, a pain, and a challenge, but it has resulted in me losing weight, gaining some awesome friends, and being placed in some awesome circumstances. I love it!
So I pledge to do my part and represent the type 2 nation to the best of my ability. This means I need to get my butt back on my bike, eat less carbs, and lose the ten pounds I picked up over the holidays. What about you? What can you do to help the type 2 nation? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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