There was a story in the local paper yesterday about a 5 year old calling 911 because his mother was in a “diabetic coma” and last week, there was a story in the news about a diabetic man getting into a car accident and last night there was an ad on TV preaching about the deadly complications of diabetes. My six year old son can’t read the newspaper, but he did hear the stories on TV. The 5 year old in the paper called 911 from a cell phone and didn’t know his address which slowed EMS’s response time. The boy is quoted on the 911 call as saying, “My Momma is dead.” The reporter stated, “Doctors later told Richardson Burden (the mom) that she would have died if she had not received medical care.”
These stories are like an infection, they snuck up on me without any warning and after I read them, hear them on TV, I feel knocked out and want to crawl back into bed. These are defeating stories, these are Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolia stories, these are stories that scare me, scare my children.
This morning as I sat on the couch reading the Sunday paper, I listened to my boys talk as they built legos in their bedroom. Will, my 6 year old, was explaining to his brother that I would die before them because I was their mom, I was older. He didn’t say anything about diabetes and maybe he has not connected the ideas of death to the ideas about my disease, but he will eventually. And that is the part about this disease that I hate the most, the stories in the news of people who get into car crashes or lose consciousness because of low blood sugar. Maybe they didn’t check their blood sugar before they went to bed or got behind the driver’s seat, maybe that was their mistake, but I’ve done the same thing myself. None of us can be perfect all the time.
So maybe for every negative story that is published in the news and on TV, there should be a positive story to even the balance. Stories about people with this disease who climb mountains, run marathons, write books, raise children and work as educators and doctors in this field. I think my day would start off on a much brighter note with a story of inspiration instead of defeat.