Ask the Guys of GAC Column
Welcome to “Ask the Guys,” a column where you can ask these guys living with Type 1 diabetes what it’s like as a dude, because sometimes we don’t talk about the tough stuff. This is a place to do just that. Beyond Type 1 plans to explore issues of masculinity, how a chronic illness can affect our perceptions of it and how it can inform it.
Question: What would you tell your younger T1D self?
Rob: You don’t have to do this on your own! There’s an incredible supportive community out there full of people that you’ll really love. They understand what you’re going through and will help make the burden of diabetes a little lighter. Also, soften your edges as it relates to others. You’ll meet a lot of people in your life who have no idea Type 1 diabetes exists, much less what an insulin pump, pen or CGM is. Use those opportunities to build bridges with people, rather than alienate them with a negative response. It’ll make you feel better too!
Jesse: I would tell him that he’s doing a damn good job. All the hard work and attention he puts into managing his care is paying off and to keep up the hard work. I would tell him that he makes diabetes look like a cake walk compared to other illnesses. I would tell him that when someone said to him as a kid ” diabetes will be cured in your lifetime” that they meant it and about all the great research with actual results on the horizon. There are so many new technologies right on the cusp that will make his life so much easier. Lastly, I would tell him to embrace his legacy as the “Pump Slayer” for better or worse and the opportunities that title will give him. To use his presence in the diabetes community as a vehicle for education and his career. I would give my younger T1D self the biggest of hugs and all the baked treats I could find just to say how proud of him I am.
Ryan: Stay positive and things will fall into place. I have married my soulmate who also has Type 1 diabetes!
Jordan: I’d say bro, this is going to be a crazy ride. But you’ll still be alive in seven years, so that’s nice. You still eat more donuts than you should, too, but you know not to make it a habit. You are still trying to figure it out. It’s not going to be easy, but you’re going to be okay. And I’m proud of you. The decisions you’ve made over the years have turned this obstacle to an opportunity. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but man you can stop dreaming about riding your bike across the country and actually do it (you might even do it again, but keep that secret between us). Things won’t always go according to plan, but that’s not a bad thing. Just do me a favor and when you see an opportunity, go all in, hold nothing back. Don’t ever leave a situation thinking you could’ve done more because you are more capable than you give yourself credit for. Cheers little jmoneyflip, keep your head up. P.S. Bro you are going to finally rock that mohawk you’ve always wanted once you get to college and it’s going be awesome. Cherish those days before you are forced to cut it to be more ” professional” and “get a real job.”
Justin: Listen to your mother. She wants what’s best for you! When she asks what’s your blood sugar, she doesn’t want to be getting on to you. She wants to know for her own peace of mind and to know how her baby is doing.
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