Sunday, March 11, 2018

I'm Not a Warrior

During Diabetes Awareness Month last November, continuous glucose monitoring company Dexcom ran a campaign called “Warrior Up.”  They invited all Type 1 “warriors” to share a picture or video of their “warrior call” on social media, and in return they would donate to one of four deserving Type 1 charities.  Fun idea…you scream and/or look tough on camera and some good causes benefit.  Since November, Dexcom has continued the warrior theme with the hashtags #WarriorResolution and #WarriorWednesday, and showcase “Dexcom Warriors” on their website.

The theme of all of this is that people with Type 1 are warriors.  To me that message doesn't work.  I’m not a warrior.  I’m not fighting a war, and I’m not fighting against Type 1.  I have friends and family who’ve fought cancer and won.  I’ve fought off a cold and strep throat.  But T1D?  I’m not fighting this disease because it’s not something I can beat…there’s no cure, no remission and nothing I can do to bring that about.  I had to make peace with that a long time ago.  Does that mean I’m glad I have this disease or that my diabetes and I always get along?  Not remotely.  Most days we have a very delicate truce…T1 doesn’t kill me and I don’t give in to frustration when T1 doesn’t cooperate with my plans.  We have our moments, and even entire days where we really don’t like each other.  But whatever our relationship, I’m no warrior.

I don’t mean to downplay how hard Type 1 is.  Even on days where everything goes exactly as I want things to go, this is hard.  And perhaps most significantly, it’s a constant factor in everything I do all day.  But if I see T1 as the enemy, as something I’m fighting against, I’m focusing on the wrong thing and putting this disease ahead of living.  So with thanks to Dexcom for the technology I love for managing this disease, I’ll say no thanks to the warrior title.  That fight isn’t for me.