My little man Brody
So that’s my little man, Brody, in his headgear. Will he play football? Probably, but who knows and this helmet is not by choice.
Brody had surgery at 3 weeks to try and fix a condition called Craniosynostosis. Because of this condition he has had to wear this shaping/protective helmet for 1 1/2 years.
A painted helmet
With Brody’s condition, Kara (my wife) and I have had several conversations about people and their reaction to the helmet. You can see in the picture that the helmets above look like totally different helmets but they are in fact the same. Paula Strawn in Washington painted the helmet. We think it looks awesome!
When people suspect that something is wrong …
What I think shocked us was the change in reaction that came with the “cool” looking helmet. When Brody was in the white, medical looking helmet it was amazing how people would avoid and/or ignore Brody. Having 2 other kids, you go through the Goo’s and Gaa’s stages when people come up to look at your baby. “Oh he is so cute” or “she’s adorable ”. People normally flock to babies; they want to talk about them! People even give you great compliments of how beautiful they are!
But when people suspect that something is wrong…. all of a sudden, your child doesn’t exist.
So this blog isn’t just about having Diabetes
I’ve heard this from many people with disabilities, not just those of us living with Type One Diabetes. The worst thing about having a disability is being ignored by those who pass you by. I truly think that most people don’t mean to be unkind. It’s just when they are confronting something “different”, they try not to offend or say the wrong thing.
But, and this comes from someone who lives everyday with a disability, they actually drive us into a world where things are moving all around us but we are not perceived to be a part of it…
Learning to HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR WEAKNESS
Everyone has different weaknesses, and some are much more serious than others. I’ve learned that when you have CONFIDENCE IN YOUR WEAKNESS, people respond differently. I would even go so far as to say they respond in very positive ways. And in that moment, those affected will sometimes see the possible “positive seeds” of their issue get just enough sunlight to sprout and start to grow. This has been the case in my life.
Honestly, on the scale of “bad” things that can happen to you in life, Type One Diabetes doesn’t even make the top 5.
Don’t get me wrong, T1D is still a bummer!
Most people slow down the conversation when they find out I’m a T1D. You can literally see their minds spinning. I get it; they are hoping to find a quick topic to talk about that won’t offend me. My best friends are different though. They talk about it, laugh about it, and even mock the disease at times. Living with diabetes and the seriousness of it, I find their lighthearted approach actually very comforting. It reminds me I’m just one of the guys! They make me feel that there is nothing about “this disability” that keeps me “outside the circle” of my friends.
Instead, good friends let me live my life just like a “normal” person (Imagine!?).
The truth is everyone has “something”…
The truth is everyone has something that they think takes them out of the “normal” category. How we approach the challenge decides whether or not the “positive” aspects can surface.
Do we have to like our ailments? NO!
Do we have to be glad we have them? Of course not!
But with diseases like diabetes that don’t have a cure (for now), why not embrace them as being part of who you are? Put a little spice (or in my case, humor) on it and grill it up.
“Confidence” is not easily offended
First, I find it helps you cope with the problem. Even better, it opens the door for friends and family to share in the experience with you. They can ask questions because “confidence” is not easily offended. They can laugh at the funny situations and ironies, because “confidence” can easily see the lighter side of life. And you know that you are not battling the issue alone. No longer living in a world where things are moving all around us that we are not a part of.
Instead, you are part of a community of love and support…and I believe this is how life is supposed to be lived.
Do I love diabetes? No…but I’m not going to stop loving life because of it!
Written by Brandon Green
Published on www.type1togo.com
Brandon Green was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 10. He has played a multitude of sports throughout High School. He has a degree in Kinesiology from Rice University where he played football throughout college. Brandon played in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams and ended his career with the Seattle Seahawks. In addition to playing sports at all levels, Brandon has coached Middle School and High School sports. For athletics and diabetes, he brings a complete perspective from player to coach.
An avid spokesman for Type 1 Diabetes, Brandon Green is a motivational speaker encouraging children and families living with diabetes. In addition to his professional career with Sundance Memory Care, he blogs and provides support for www.Type1ToGo.com. For more information on Brandon Green, please visit his page here.
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