Friends are the family you get to choose. They're the people you can count on to make you laugh so hard that you fall to the ground with tears from your squinted eyes streaming down your face, grinning ear to ear while crutching a side stitch and belting your most sincere laugh. They're the people who will console and help you for hours as you sob, moan, and complain about your stress. They're the people you can turn to when you need somebody to drive you to your doctor's appointment because your car is broken and the bus isn't at the right time and it's too far away for you to walk to. You're friends are the people who you can turn to when your blood sugar is low, when you need carbohydrates, or when you are feeling stressed that you have diabetes. You're friends are there through thick and thin, and they are, besides you, your doctor, and your family, the most important people in helping you deal with and lead a normal, happy, healthy life with type one diabetes.
The recent support group (which took place over oovoo video call early Sunday morning on August 26, 2012 in India and late Saturday evening on August 25, 2012 in America) focused around how friends are so important in helping to control diabetes. Jack was unable to attend the meeting, as he was attending his college orientation. (Yep! He's going away to college and basically handling diabetes on his own while diving into a a new and exciting college lifestyle!) Myself, Alex, Dr. Santosh Gupta, the crowd of Haridwar, India, as well as newcomers Jake, Diana, Riley, Trevor, and guests in CMC Vellore were excited to be at the anticipated monthly meeting.
The meeting began with some light conversation after introduction. Dr. Gupta asked some of the children about their diabetes. Many children had brought their friends with them, who said that diabetes does not limit their companions when questioned by Dr. Gupta. Dr.Gupta was able to get the children to express how diabetes does not stop their friends from doing anything, and doesn't make their friends any different. Alex then presented his impacting presentation on how to explain diabetes to friends and how friends can help with diabetes. Strategies on how to explain that you have diabetes to friends, coworkers, and family members were distributed to everyone at the meeting. These strategies and Alex's presentation helped to give confidence and to build self-esteem for all of the guests, both diabetic and non-diabetic. Alex continued to explain how diabetes doesn't make anybody any different, and that you can do anything you desire with diabetes. He told friends who were attending that they can help their friends with diabetes by having a "Friendship Kit' where they can carry sugar and other supplies that their friends may need in an emergency! His presentation left a lasting impression on me, so I'm sure it impacted everyone over in India as well! Finally, guests in India asked us some questions. I hope that we were able to fully satisfy their curiosity! Next, everyone in America talked a little bit about themselves, including their various hobbies, sports, intrests, locations, how they handle diabetes, etc. Attendees included actresses, runners, lacrosse players, scholars, and so much more...all of whom did not allow diabetes to get in their way of accomplishing their goals and living a normal, happy, and healthy life! Our meeting then came to a close, and, until next time, we bid farewell.
Overall, we worked through the technical difficulties and held a successful meeting. But with the dedication, encouragement, and help of your friends, how can anything not be successful...especially somethings like a support group and handling the challenges of diabetes?!
Hello everyone! I'm Hannah! I'm 16 years old and have been living a normal life with type 1 diabetes for 10 years! I'm so excited to share the journey of Penpals United with you through our blog!