I had dinner with Allie of Allie’s Voice last week here in the lovely lowcountry and it was great, very eye opening! I think our dinner was eye opening to me because I have not met many type 1 diabetic women in my life, other than my sister, and I know, cognitively that just because I share an illness with someone doesn’t mean we share the same ideas and feelings about that illness, but I’ve never met anyone like Allie before. I have pretty much always done what my doctors told me to do, I’ve listened to their words of instruction without too much complaint, I’ve accepted what they’ve said as gospel, truth, fact. I have never questioned whether the insulin they were giving me was not my best option, I’ve never questioned their emphasis on tight blood sugars. Well, you can see where this is going. Allie was diagnosed the same year I was, 1985 and she looks at the management of her disease very differently than I do.
I won’t go into the detail of how Allie manages her own disease because what matters is that Allie asks questions, she doesn’t do what her doctors tell her to do if it doesn’t make sense. Allie is working to give diabetics a voice in the medical community and I applaud her for her hard work and determination. I told Allie that what she was telling me did not sit well, I felt like a five year old and wanted to put my fingers in my ears and sing la-la-la-la so I didn’t have to listen to her disturbing stories about big business pharmaceutical companies….
But I didn’t plug my ears. I listened and I was glad. I was glad that there are people out there in the diabetes community like Allie, who are very different than me but who share the same struggles and want to make my life, all of our lives, a little easier.