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This is a great post. I'm really glad you described and reflected on Hockenberry and Mullins's talk.

It sent me back about 15 years, shortly after I was first diagnosed with Type 1 and still trying to integrate that into my sense of self, and I heard an interview with Hockenberry on our local NPR radio station. Perhaps his book had just come out. Anyway, if my memory serves me, he was talking about the two kinds of disabled people that Americans feel comfortable dealing with. One kind he called the Super Crip, and this is the kind that defies all expectations, takes on superhuman physical challenges, is a "hero." The other kind he called the Poster Child (forgive me, I'm doing this from memory and might get this wrong...), and this is the kind of disabled person who seems most helpless, most deserving of our sympathy and benevolence.

Most disabled people, Hockenberry pointed out, are neither extreme. They are people living a life that feels daily and normal to them, not heroic and not pathetic. And Americans don't know how to deal with that person.

I think about his observation a lot; it captures for me the tension between who I am to myself ("just Jane") and who/what others expect me to be who discover or know I have diabetes and wear a pump (either "amazing" or "poor thing").

What would it be like to just be the everyday me I think I am? It's an everyday me with a particular perspective, for sure, as your reflection reminds me.

Profound post Birdie. This really touched me. I was nodding and saying out loud, "Yes", "Uh huh", "Oh yeah" throughout.

I know this exact feeling. I go through this about once a month and ironically it began this past Friday this time. And here I am on Sunday, reading your post, nodding my head and still going through it. This post helped me Birdie, Thank You. You are such an insightful and wonderful person, it comes through in your writing loud and clear. It is just so beautiful to me.

And to Jane, I totally agree. I am neither. I am me, I just want to be me. But the "things I have accomplished" as reminded by friends and family always stir up in me the "disabled" part of my life. While I have always accepted my limitations and learned to find a way around, through, over them . . . the inability of the "public" to see me, the lack of understanding and knowledge is a weight in which I struggle to be free off.

To that I advocate for diabetes. I advocate for those who do not have a voice, for those that cannot speak up. I want to educate and help people to be aware that after 23 years I am still me and I will continue on my own journey, I just happen to wear a pump.

Thank you both. I am not a Mother but in the spirit of the day, I am woman, as you both are and here we roar, love it. ;-)

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