Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hidden in plain sight

   All I saw was about 4" of tubing and I knew he was one of "us".  This morning, two pews in front of us I noticed the short loop protruding from under shirt and I knew what was at each end of it.

   It's interesting, I think, to stand back and look at the world from outside the DOC, the support groups, the fundraisers, the clinic appointments, and to for a moment take note of and appreciate the level of unawareness there is.  I'm willing to bet a weeks worth of lunches that not even my aunts and uncles on either side of us even noticed let alone the rest of the congregation.  Jonathan saw the Medtronic clip on the outside of his pocket and knew right away what it meant.

   It's almost like a secret society.  If you know what to look for, it really doesn't take long to find it.  Somebody has their pump clipped in their pocket.  Somebody has a blue circle pin on their jacket.  Somebody has a sneaker on them somewhere.  Yet at the same time, when we go back to normal speed it all gets caught in the blur.

   Shortly after Jonathan was diagnosed, I found out that someone I had known, more of an acquaintance, of about 2 years had been a Type 1 for almost 20 and I never would have guessed.

   I guess my point is, it's all around us.  Aside from our own D battles, if our children (and some of us) didn't have diabetes, it would still be there and as prevalent as it is, it's still hidden.  There are no braces, or crutches, or chairs, or special transportation, or physical differences or interpersonal challenges.  It's all hidden on the inside, sometimes only as deep as a t-shirt.  No wonder it's so hard to get people to understand and remember.

   But I do have hope.  I do because I am seeing it more.  I'm seeing more stories in the paper, and online, and TV, and radio, and I hear people talking about it.  Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but some days it feels like a snowball that is going to roll out of control and avalanche the world with information and awareness.  At least I hope so, because in order for them to help, they have to know.

   November 14th is World Diabetes Day.  Tell everyone why next Sunday is so important.  Tell them why it's a BiG blue day and keep pushing that snowball.