Shamu's corporate master, Anheuser Busch, took a big beating from a group of fired up type 1 parents online this week at CWD. One family posted their story of particularly poor treatment by Sea World and it rapidly became one of the most viewed threads on the Parent's of Kids with diabetes forum.
A dose of corporate speak by the park's PR person only added fuel to the flames. Regardless of her intent, she was received as the equivalent of a stranger walking into the family living room and saying her pets lives are more important than those of the family's kids and all their friends ' kids too. To no great surprise there were flames enough to roast marshmallows across the nation.
Talk about hitting a nerve.
Not that it is hard, its a big nerve, that is just under the surface. The nerve of no matter how good things are there is the possibility of what we carry all that juice and glocagon for.
With diabetes the good is that it isn't bad. Right now the big good, a cure is a long way off. Before it get here we'll all have sets fall off, miss boluses and the combination of activity, excitement or some other variables will cause lows.
All experienced diabetic parents know this. We know our diabetes will vary. The reality that something can go wrong is always right there. It sucks. To use Hunter S. Thompson's term we have "The Fear."
The Fear is the realization that we couldn't protect our kids from getting type 1.
Worse The Fear is that someone, who has no clue, won't let us control what we can control. (At times it feels like there is precious little we can control.)
Sea World tapped right into The Fear. Everyone, who knows The Fear, reacted with all the parental protection possible. Shamu you swam into a storm but what did you know? Certainly not The Fear, your not a T1 Parent.If you read any diabetes parent's forums it there. The Fear is the monsters under the bed. It is behind the the family fights and marital stress. We know T1 kids are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. we deal with idiot in-laws, the school and The Fear is there. We all know it. It's made worse by people who think cinnamon is a cure, food Nazi's and those think if we would just follow the doctors simple rules everything would be OK. As if diabetes didn't vary.
So how do we beat The Fear?
I am not sure I know. I know I don't always succeed.
I know I try to laugh at it. Sign me up for another literary reference, Professor Moody's class on boggarts at Hogwarts. I try to laugh at what I fear most - complications I am unprepared to deal with.
- I try to see lizard whisperers, congressional road kill and good natured abuse of GAP.
- I want to celebrate the first forgotten shot because that is the first step towards making diabetes care second to having a life.
- I will drive to the midnight show of the next big movie because the kids think that is fun.
- I'll go to he California Grill and have sushi with one son and buffalo with the other.
- I can laugh at The Fear, point and say Riddikulus.