Tag Archives: diabetes awareness

Sunday Diabetes Blog Week 2015 Check this Blogger Out

Click for the Continuing Connections – Sunday 5/17 Link List.
The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it’s held every year.  So let’s help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you’ve found or a new friend you’ve made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant’s List, check it out and share it with us.  Let’s take some time today to make new friends.

 

 

I discovered a blogger that has a sense of humor, a heavy technical slant, has had type 1 since age 4 so I think about 44 years now.  He writes in German and English and shared really interesting posts this week.  I think I’ll be reading more.  Check out Thomas here at: http://thomas-diabetes-blog.com/blog/

Thursday 2015 Diabetes Blog Week Magic Changes

Click for the Changes – Thursday 5/14 Link List.
Today let’s talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

 

Since blurting out “cure!” would make this post too short, I will say that I want management tools, devices, and medications to become accessible to everyone who needs them.  I’m tired of using insulin past it’s date, using expired strips for the past two years, and not affording a CGM.  More than that, I would love for anyone to have all they need to attempt to manage their diabetes well.  Imagine, having all those things still doesn’t guarantee managing diabetes well-that’s how tricky it is. But at least being able to not stress about acquiring tools (including basic ones like um, insulin) would be nice.  So we need better tools and we need better access to those tools.  (I wrote this post a few days ago, since then a similarly themed article popped up that I’d like to refer you to since it’s more articulate than my post: https://myglu.org/articles/a-view-from-the-other-side-of-the-tracks).

I could go the route of saying we mostly need people’s perceptions to change since that may lead us to the mass funding we need for a cure.  So there is that notable thing.

To be honest, I could go on all day about changes I’d like to see.  So I’ll stop there.  :)

Two Must Read Posts

2011-11-09-JDRF_1in20_Ad

On the subject of diabetes advocacy and the above ad, I’ve read two tremendous posts that encapsulate my feelings on the subject and many other people’s feelings.

Sometimes there is no use writing when others have said it best.

I highly recommend Jessica Apple’s post:

This Diabetes Awareness Month Tell the World You Aren’t Equal

And Riva Greenberg’s post:

Diabetes’ JDRF Tries Shock Ad to Push the FDA


What do you think?  Should we tell the world about our real vulnerabilities with diabetes?  Do you think it would help gather more support?

World Diabetes Day 2011

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This morning I woke up at 4am with a low blood sugar.  I treated it and went back to sleep until my husband woke me up at 5am.  This is when he gets up to go to work and when I get up to write before the kids are up.  My blood sugar was low again.  I treated it, again.  And then got to writing.  I pricked my finger a third time by 8am to find out I finally was up to 150.  I gave an insulin shot to correct that slight high.  Only 8am and I’ve already met with 4 needles.

After 17 years with type 1 diabetes, I’ve had thousands upon thousands of finger pricks and injections.  I’ve witnessed my loved ones worry over me.  I’ve developed bits of anxiety and depression that make living with diabetes harder than it already is.  I’ve watched people make not so good health choices and wondered if I’d still be worse off than them, while I often make better health choices.  Some days I ask myself if all the hard work is worth it.

Today, on Diabetes World Day, I want others to know that I have Type 1 Diabetes and while I’m not a victim, I am suffering.  I am not helpless, but I do deserve awareness, support, and a cure.  Every day, people with diabetes die because they didn’t get access to insulin or other diabetes supplies.  Every day, people with diabetes die because they didn’t get access to life saving information.  Even in the United States.  People with diabetes suffer because our society in general, is very ignorant about the disease.

Today, we ask for a little awareness.  We want people to know what diabetes is, the difference between type 1 and type 2, and how it affects all of us, globally.  We want people to know that we don’t want pity.  We want a chance.  A chance to live well with this disease and a chance to one day be cured.  A young child shouldn’t have to be held down as his teary mother injects his arm with life saving insulin.  A young woman shouldn’t have to worry that one day having children will not be possible.  A man shouldn’t feel that he is any less of a man because of diabetes.  And what all these people have in common is they don’t want others to judge them and think they don’t deserve help and understanding.

For those of us with diabetes, I think we should all walk the walk.  Do we listen to others and their concerns?  Their diseases?  Their challenges in life?  If we give empathy, we’ll get empathy.  And we should unite together, those of us with different types of diabetes, because our cause will only be strong enough if we unite, not if we take a separate road.  And lastly, we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves.  There are people with diabetes who don’t have insulin.  Those of us who do should cherish that fact and do our best to make decisions that will honor those who don’t even have a fighting chance.  Take care of yourself out of self love but also because it’s a way of loving others.  Others who can’t do what we can and others who are watching and learning by the examples we set.

We want those without diabetes to know it’s deadly.  I want those with diabetes to know that you can live well.  It’s definitely a balancing act.  We are empowered patients and yet, we are in urgent need of help.  It’s ok.  We can be both.  And we can spread the word.

To all my fellow people with diabetes, you can do this.  Don’t give up.  Never give up.

XOXO,

Diabetes Advocacy- A Call for Unity

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I’ve heard many times that people have concerns over type 1 diabetes support dwindling.  At first I thought, can this be?  After all, there is more awareness now and more type 1 cases are being diagnosed each year.  This train of thought lead me to recount to my husband about the JDRF Walks that my family and I participated in over a decade ago.  I remember the walks being huge.  There were tons of people, over 6 miles of walking, police aid to escort walkers around the downtown of the city, ambulances available for low blood sugar crashes, snack and drink stops along the way, press cameras all over the place-in other words, I got the feeling there was A LOT of support for Type 1 Diabetes.  There was even a stage with a podium and the press would make a statement about what they saw.  My little brother was once interviewed for the news for being one of the youngest walkers.

Each year after the first walk, I couldn’t help but notice how the miles of the walk decreased.  When the walk eventually came down to under 3 miles, I thought it was “wimpy” and longed for the days where the walk was so long, one would actually have the appetite for the loads of hamburgers and hot dogs and side dishes provided post walk.  I was a teenager and began feeling like the walks were no longer being taken seriously.  Or maybe people were losing hope with every year.  I didn’t know what it was.

Yesterday, the city where I live held it’s JDRF Walk for the Cure.  I couldn’t make it.  It hit me yesterday morning like a lightening bolt that all of my strange symptoms from the last several weeks all point to a kidney infection so I am taking it easy, trying to down about 4 liters of water a day, and already left a urine sample at the doctor’s this morning.  Yesterday, my husband took the kids to the park before their nap and curiosity lead him to drive past the walk just as it was about to start.  We have a few areas in our downtown where large banner announcements often hang to announce a festival or walk for a cause.  He was surprised to see no banner about the JDRF Walk .  There is always a banner for the Cancer walks, the Strawberry and Peach Festivals, even the Greek Festival.  Those huge banners, strung between buildings are up for weeks and let everyone know about the event.  I consider it very effective marketing because of how small our downtown area is-everyone goes down that street sometime each month.

For the past two years I’ve been participating with the Diabetes Online Community.  I’ve been exposed to the the opinions of many with diabetes.  One idea that many have become concerned about is that the type 2 diabetes epidemic and the negative associations involved with that disease has leaked into the type 1 diabetes awareness arena.  Type 1 diabetes gets confused with type 2 and a lack of support ensues.  I’m sure there are other reasons for the dwindling support but I have heard plenty of negative things about type 2 and can easily imagine the negativity hurting the type 1 as well as the type 2 diabetics.

I’ve heard type 1 and 2 may require different cures and if that’s the case, you can see why this entire subject is an extremely complicated and emotional one.  Those with type 1 want acknowledgement that their life balance is a delicate one and one only successfully managed by an extremely exhausting way of living.  Those with type 2 are saying, “hey! This is really hard, too!”  And everyone is right.  And diabetes is a global issue, affecting everyone whether they have diabetes or not.  It’s just not seen that way, yet.

I have noticed many people only support one type of diabetes.  My concern however, is not about if this is wrong or right but rather, is this effective?  Is this in all of our best interests?  It worries me that type 1 not supporting type 2 will make type 2 look like a disease that is easy to deal with and easy to get rid of (when that isn’t the case at all).  It also worries me that type 2 not supporting type 1 will decrease funding and support for a much less prevalent disease.  Both scenarios lead to the same outcome-inadequate support for both types of diabetes.

It has become clear to me that helping dissipate inaccurate information about type 2 diabetes is not only the just and friendly thing to do, but one that will positively impact type 1 diabetes as well.  The type 1 community needs the backing of the type 2 community and vice versa.

Unity, in this case, as in so many others, is our best hope.  So although the two writers on this site, my sister Ana and I have type 1 diabetes, we support all people with diabetes (all 11 kinds!) and the causes that help any of them.  It’s always been this way but now we’re officially on the record.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

If We Don’t, Who Will?

Thanks to Idea Go for the picture

If you don’t fight for your condition or plight in life, who will?

Everyone has their “something” going on and their own cause to fight for.

If you have diabetes, I encourage you to speak up.  We need your voice.  More importantly, YOU need your voice.

You may not find it today.  You may not use it tomorrow.  But, soon, when you’re ready, join us.  We’ll be here.

Because seriously, if we don’t, who will?

Diabetes in Art

This semester, I’m taking Intermediate Painting and I love it. It’s nice to have time already set aside to just paint whatever I want. Anyway, I usually paint with acrylics, but I decided to use oils this semester, which I have almost no experience with. I immediately fell in love with them and now I’m not sure if I can ever go back to acrylics! One of the reasons I love this class so much is because we’re free to paint whatever we want, as long as we have at least six paintings done by the end of the semester. However, our paintings need to have a theme that links them all together to some extent. I didn’t have to really think about what I wanted to do, because I already decided over the summer. Ever since Diabetes Art Day last year, I realized that I enjoy using diabetes as a subject for my art work. It’s really relieving and sometimes even empowering. Lately, I’ve been feeling really determined to make paintings that are reflections of my life with Type 1. I explained to my professor that over the past year, I’ve felt dissatisfied with a lot of my painting ideas because I didn’t think they were meaningful enough to create a painting around. I wanted my paintings to get a little deeper and be a little more thought-provoking, so I thought, hey, diabetes is a huge part of my life, and it’s definitely a deep topic because it’s so personal. I know it will be tough, but I decided to do it.

One of the things I’m a little worried about is that I won’t effectively get the message across. I’d really like viewers to have a good idea of what I was feeling when I painted a certain piece. Because it’s so intimate and personal, it’s kind of hard to lay out my thoughts and fears on canvas so openly, knowing that people are going to look at it and critique it. I’ve already been mentally preparing to detach myself from my work, otherwise I know I’ll be offended on the inside if someone doesn’t get it or like it. At the beginning of the semester, I had a discussion with my professor about how direct the paintings should be. We agreed that they should be pretty subtle. I don’t want someone to look at one of the paintings and be like oh, it’s about diabetes. I want them to spend time thinking about what it could mean, and then once they figure out or learn what it’s about, they can reflect on the subject and see what a seemingly simple thing can mean to a diabetic. Individually, it will probably be hard to tell that the painting is about diabetes, but as a whole series, it will be a little clearer once some connections can be made between all the pieces.

Another reason I decided to do this series is that I knew it would help increase diabetes awareness. While I’m working in class, my classmates ask me about what I’m working on, and I explain to them how I want to create reflections of my life with diabetes. Two days ago, one student told me about how his dad also has diabetes and he could see how my painting worked with the theme. Once I finish all the paintings, I really hope to have them displayed in a show somewhere so more people can see them. I will also share them with all of you on here :] So far I’ve finished one piece and have started a second and you can see parts of them here:

If you have any ideas or suggestions for my future paintings, please share!! I would love to hear what you guys think :]

Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

Courtesy of Danilo Rizutti
Courtesy of Danilo Rizutti

 

I’m participating in WEGO’s Health Activist Writer’s Month blog every day for 30 days challenge.  So for today the prompt is to write an acrostic for your condition.  Here goes!

To me Diabetes

Is hard to explain

Perhaps I’ll just try to

Entertain.

1 of you may

Deal with your health

In the most relaxed way,

And hurt your body

Because you’ve forgotten it

Each and every day

To me life is an

Excellent chance to try my very best

So that I will always be here to remind you to do the same.

 

Ouch, that hurt pretty bad.  Acrostics were easier in elementary school!

National Diabetes Alert Day 2011

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Today, March 22nd is National Diabetes Alert Day.  The CDC says one in four Americans has diabetes and doesn’t know it.  This is the diabetes worse case scenario.  Education and awareness are the only tools to begin helping someone who has diabetes but doesn’t know it.  Here is a link to the National Diabetes Education Program’s diabetes risk test which anyone can take.  It’s available in Spanish there as well.

We need to help spread the word about diabetes symptoms and risk factors because undiagnosed diabetes is the worst kind to have.  Once diagnosed, lifestyle changes and appropriate treatment can begin and not only can a person start feeling better, they can prevent all sorts of complications or at least slow down their progression. 

This is also a wake up call for those who have diabetes.  We don’t want people to lose hope.  We want  people to know that they can live a great life with diabetes.  This involves taking diabetes seriously and working closely with your doctor.  The first step in managing your diabetes is to acknowledge it, not ignore it.  If you’ve been told you have diabetes, don’t ignore it.  Learn about it and take control of your health.  You can do it.  You can feel better and you can greatly improve your future.  Make the decision today, to meet your diabetes head on.  Check out online diabetes blogs to find out how people with all types of diabetes are living wonderful lives with diabetes, one day at a time.

Spread the word to your friends and family.  Diabetes is increasing it’s prevalence and we all need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms.

If you don’t have any symptoms but have a family history of diabetes, you also cannot lose hope.  Your genes do not typically have control over 100% of your outcome.  Your actions carry a lot of weight, too.  Learn about lifestyle changes you can make to delay or prevent diabetes.  It’s very much worth a try :)

Learn more here:

National Diabetes Education Program Website

American Diabetes Association Website

The best diabetes advocate

 

The best diabetes advocate is educated about their diabetes

The best diabetes advocate is honest

The best diabetes advocate is willing to share with others

The best diabetes advocate is open and does not hide

The best diabetes advocate is aware of the thoughts and feelings of those around them

The best diabetes advocate is forthcoming with what they don’t do well

The best diabetes advocate fails

The best diabetes advocate teaches others by example

The best diabetes advocate uses a pump

The best diabetes advocate doesn’t use a pump

The best diabetes advocate has great diabetes control

The best diabetes advocate doesn’t have great diabetes control

The best diabetes advocate gets up again after falling

The best diabetes advocate is a type 1 diabetic

The best diabetes advocate is a type 1.5 diabetic

The best diabetes advocate is a type 2 diabetic

The best diabetes advocate has gestational diabetes

The best diabetes advocate has pre-diabetes

The best diabetes advocate loves someone with diabetes

The best diabetes advocate seeks continuous improvement

The best diabetes advocate keeps learning

The best diabetes advocate tests when needed

The best diabetes advocate wants to help others understand diabetes

The best diabetes advocate lends support

The best diabetes advocate seeks to end diabetes

The best diabetes advocate is YOU

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