In light of my music themed recent posts, I noticed I tend to tie in song or album names into my blog post titles, so I’ve decided to make that an ongoing thing. To that end, this post’s title references the grandaddy of all rock bands, The Beatles, and they’re song, “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Of note, the album that song is from, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, just celebrated its 50th anniversary this month and I’m close on its heels to celebrating that milestone myself!
That is exactly what I want to talk about in this post – friends – specifically, my fellow type 1 friends. I had a wonderful evening the other night with a couple of the members of an informal group of type 1 moms that I have known since my first son was born 14 years ago! Six of us from the group were able to meet up and eat pizza and cannolis, drink wine, talk about lows and highs, managing type 1 as we all head into, or are already in the midst of, menopause, what our kids are up to, our spouses and partners, work, travel and everything in between. The larger group has us all over the country and a couple out of the U.S. as well.
I can’t tell you how much this group has meant (and still does!) to me. Before I found these ladies, I felt like the only type 1 diabetic to ever be pregnant. It’s easier now, but when I was pregnant with my first son, who is 14 now, there was not much out there to be found on type 1 pregnancies – almost everything was geared to gestational or type 2 diabetics. I remember as a child even being told that I probably should not have kids. I have three now, so there!
Now, I’ve never been much of a joiner and to some degree, I regret that. I tend to do better one-on-one rather than in large groups. I do regret that I never attended a diabetes camp as a kid and even with that regret, I struggle with deciding if my daughter should attend one. Reaching out and actually finding these T1 moms (Sugar Mommas as we have always called ourselves) was hard for me to do, but I honestly can’t imagine life without these incredible ladies. We commiserate with each other with health issues and some of us, myself one, now also have children diagnosed with type 1. We advocate, we participate in walks, we educate our friends, family, and neighbors, we work to dispel misinformation, but most of all, we just deal with this 24/7 and get on with our lives.
I’m proud to have worked, along with a fellow Momma, Saffron Henderson, as a patient advocate with one of our founding Sugar Momma members, Renee Cruea, the Executive Director of the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research in Washington DC at a yearly Coalition for Imaging & Bioengineering Research event to advocate for imaging research funding through the NIH. You can learn more about the Academy and CIBR, here: http://www.acadrad.org/
As I said in the beginning of this post, I felt like the only type 1 diabetic to ever be pregnant when I was having my first child and that’s a pretty lonely and scary place to be. It goes way beyond words to know that there is always someone just a text, phone call, or group post away who knows exactly what I am going through. Sometimes you just need an ear that gets it. Sometimes you need help coping and/or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes you need advice. Sometimes you simply need a communal “F you diabetes.” These women with their diverse backgrounds and professions and their collective knowledge of the disease and life in general can always help get me through whatever comes from dealing with diabetes. In more ways than one, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Check out my latest music review on Rik Emmett from Daryl’s House on June 10, 2017: http://livemusicnewsandreview.com/rik-emmett-dave-dunlop-daryls-house-june-10th-2017/