Diabetes Self-Management Blog

“My father went to war on an Italian cruise ship,” I said when my husband answered his phone.

“Ummm… the monkey sings at midnight?” he responded, hesitantly.

“No, no. He really did! He went to war on an Italian cruise ship!” I repeated.

OK, OK. It began life as an Italian cruise ship, but was purchased in 1942 by the US Navy for use as a troop transport. Dad joined in 1944 and was transported to the South Pacific on the ship.

Which has nothing to do with diabetes, of course. Maybe. (Hey, I can stretch things.)

Dad was supposed to take an Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC, with other WWII veterans to see the World War II monument and other sites. Sadly, he was unwell the day of the trip and was unable to go. (Honor Flight is a program that takes veterans to DC for the day, free of charge. It’s focusing on WWII vets now because of their old age. Dad is 87.)

It’s a shame. Not only was he looking forward to the trip, it would have put him with other people in the same situation: They all fought in World War II. Dad’s never talked about his war experiences. Perhaps being in that milieu would have allowed him to open up, share with others, and learn that his experiences weren’t unique; that he wasn’t alone. In other words, a support group. (We lived in a very small town, or else there might have been a VFW post for him to frequent.)

Do you belong to any support groups? Like a diabetes support group, for example? (Was that obvious or what?) If not, I highly recommend it. If you’re not near a group that meets in person, find one online that meets your needs. I know you have access to a computer. I finally had to find an online support group because I’d moved beyond the knowledge level of many of those in my local group. (I still attend some functions, such as the Kabab-a-Rama conducted by a chef.)

Even Diabetes Self-Management’s blogs can serve as a support group. Much to my surprise, a blog entry I wrote about Victoza moved from having comments on a blog to becoming more of a support group, with 198 comments and counting. Why, I don’t know, but I guess there’s a need out there for people dealing with one specific thing — in this case an anti-diabetes medicine — to share their experiences, check to see if anybody else has noticed the same things they have, and so on.

I’m always delighted when I get a comment from somebody saying, in effect, “That happens to you, too? I thought I was the only one!”

A support group gives you a chance to find out that you’re not alone. It lets you ask “stupid” questions you may be hesitant to discuss with your diabetes team. Depending on the size of the group, you may even get multiple answers — with several different suggestions — to your questions. One suggestion might fit; others may not. But it’s good to be able to choose what’s best for you.

Make sure that people are not giving medical advice. The general “rule” is that they can only tell you what works for them. Only your health-care professional can give you medical advice.

Where are the online groups? Key “diabetes support groups online” into your search engine and go from there. An in-person group can be found by asking your diabetes educator or other health-care people involved in caring for people with diabetes.

It may take you a while to find just the right one, but somewhere out there is a group for you.

I wish Dad had been able to get together with his.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. Jan:

    Thasnk you for sharing your Dad’s experiences
    and that he served in the South Pacific.

    That he did not share his experiences, I have heard this from veterans who served in Tinian, Quadacanal, Iwo Jima who shared similar response that they never shared their experiences with their family members back at home when war over.

    I got to see a huge set of 2nd world war photopgraphs taken by this Vet who was 18 years old when he was sent out to the south pacific. What I saw in his pictures and book of experiences he wrote were absolutley bone chilling, horrific, frightful and far more graphic than any thing today released in documentary’s on this war.

    One picture in his book stood out of a Japanese Child sitting on his Dad’s lap - a 6 foot Japanese marine in Osaka. The caption in this book by the American Marine of the picture was ” When we cleaned out this pill bunker; I found this picture in a hat.”

    This is not to subtract from your excellent comments and thoughts on support groups and their benefit.

    On the other breath, I send my deepest thanks for your Dad’s service to our nation.

    Posted by jim snell |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Nutrition & Meal Planning
Google Nutrition Comparison Tool (04/01/14)
Six Fish Facts to Know Now (03/11/14)
Eating Disorders and Diabetes: What's the Connection? (02/24/14)
Soy and Diabetes: Good, Bad, or What? (02/12/14)

Living With Diabetes
Spring Is Here (04/10/14)
In Sick Mode (04/03/14)
"Gone Calling" Can Be Disrupted by Complications (03/25/14)
What's In the Future? (03/20/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.


Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions