Excuse my while I step up on my soap box for a moment
Maybe it's just me but I think the way we word things is so important. I think with out realizing it we can dishonor people simply by the way we word certain things. I have always had this passion, not just since Bekah was diagnosed with T1D. I grew up with a mom who happens to have Cerebral Palsy. I don't call her Cerebral Palsy mom. She is just my mom. I love her and don't even think about the fact that she has a disability most of the time. On the rare occasion that some one asks me about her condition does that thought even cross my mind that there is something different about her. She is a great mom. The way she has handled her disability (I don't really even like to call it that) has helped me in how I have handled Bekah and her diagnosis of T1D. My mom has always been independent and never felt sorry for herself at least in my presence. It is a part of who she is and has been since birth but Cerebral Palsy does not define my mom.
I have an uncle who has mental retardation. I certainly don't refer to him as my R (I can't even type the word it is so offensive to me) Uncle. He is my uncle and his name is Tom and he loves to help my dad every chance he gets with yard work. He loves to take his wife (yes he is married and she has developmental delays as well) on long walks. My uncle's wife loves to buy little gifts for people and loves stuffed animals of any sort. She especially loves the animals that sing and dance. That is who she is.
I worked in a class room for children with special needs for a couple of years. I loved the children I was privileged to work with and none of them did I see as being special needs children they are children first and foremost. In my opinion we need to always put the children before the special need because if it's autism or diabetes their special need doesn't tell me who they are. I want to know their name and the things they are passionate about. I still think of a little guy that was in my class and his love for numbers and balls. I don't look at a ball with out thinking of him.
My daughter Bekah has T1D. I'm sure there will be times when I refer to Bekah as being diabetic. She wears bracelets that have the word DIABETIC printed on them. Bekah is my child who happens to have diabetes. She loves to draw and create, she loves to dance and especially loves being a big sister. I don't want T1D to ever define her. It is a huge part of who she is though. T1D never sleeps or goes on vacation no matter how bad I want it to. (I would really like to tell it where to go ;) ) Unless a cure is found it will be a part of her life forever.
On the other hand I have to say I am proud to wear the title d-mom. It means that I am a part of a group that I have a ton of respect for. It means that I have something in common with some very special ladies out there. I don't like the common thread we carry but I am humbled that I am a part of this group. It is this group of ladies (men too) that "get it" when I say I can't get Bekah's BS under control (yes that was written with humor in mind) and understand how stressful it can be to eat at an unknown restaurant. They get the fear and the worry and the sleepless nights that go along with having a child with T1.
My main point is that we (my self included) tend to be careless in how we say things and it does make a difference. I want to make sure that I honor the person, the child, the parent in the way I refer to them. I want to make sure that in all cases that I see the person first and not just their situation or circumstance.
Stepping down from soap box, I thank-you for allowing me to voice my opinion (this post is sort of a piggy back on my little vent (http://htimm.blogspot.com/2010/05/little-vent.html) from last week. I was so riled up I puked out two blogs. I had this saved in my drafts and decided to post it today. It's really mostly directed to Miss School Nurse at Bekah's school.)