Tag Archives: Rights of diabetics

For the Love of Advocacy

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I have always been very nervous about public speaking.  In elementary school I was evaluated for mental retardation because I found it so hard to speak in front of teachers and classmates.  In middle school I used my diabetes as an excuse to not have to give my speech in class “My blood sugar is high, I just can’t do it today.”  In high school, I got really goofy with my public speaking as a way to curb my fear.  I used humor and I always began by saying how nervous I was so people wouldn’t whisper to each other “she seems nervous right?”  It seemed best if they just knew and then rooted for me to not bomb my presentation.

I did several public talks about my diabetes and other topics as a teenager at camps and church youth groups.  I have done presentations for work, twice presenting in Spanish to dozens of male contractors, an intimidating crowd for me.  Each time I was sick to my stomach, trembling, and 100% in love with the idea of speaking in public.  I really enjoy it but it has made me wonder why I like torturing myself.

I think I love it because I am SO moved by public speakers.  So incredibly moved and inspired.  And if there is the slightest chance that I could do a little of that for someone else by sharing my story or struggle or anything, then the nervousness is more than worth it.

I’m hoping to participate in the A1c Champion’s program.  I’m also going to be presenting in public this year in various local workshops about nutrition and other wellness topics to people who want to hear what I have to say.  I hope to be relaxed through it all but maybe also accept that perhaps part of my nervousness is just extreme excitement over doing something I really, really want to do that just might possibly help someone.

So mostly, I think I want to do it for the love of advocacy.  Since I was little, speaking up to help someone has always been one of my favorite things.

International Diabetes Federation Charter

 

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The international Diabetes Federation has put out a Charter which outlines the fundamental rights of all the world’s people with diabetes.  The IDF’s mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention, and a cure, worldwide.

The press release states:

“The landmark document places the rights of people with diabetes, their parents and carers into three focus areas; the rights to care; information and education and social justice, whilst at the same time acknowledging the responsibilities held by people with diabetes.”

This is a pretty uniting document if you think about it.  There are over 300 million people living with diabetes worldwide and this Charter seeks to represent them all by stating what their basic rights are with this disease.  No matter where you live, you do deserve all of the things stated in this document.

Such as the right to:

“early diagnosis and affordable and equitable access to care and treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and age, including access to psychosocial care and support.”

“advocate, individually and collectively, to health providers and decision makers for improvements in diabetes care and services.”

information and education about diabetes, including how it can be prevented, how early detection in high risk individuals is an advantage, how the disease can be managed effectively and how to access education and clinical resources.”

“be a fully engaged member of society, treated with respect and dignity by all, without feeling the need to conceal the fact they have diabetes.”

They also outline a number of responsibilities held by people with diabetes, such as the responsibility to:

“manage their agreed care and treatment plan”

“show consideration and respect for the rights of other people with diabetes and their healthcare providers.”

The only problem I see is one of the responsibilities is this guideline.  It states that people with diabetes have the responsibility to:

“inform family, school, work and social colleagues they have diabetes so that they can be supportive to the person with diabetes, if and when needed”

That’s only going to happen when people feel safe to do so.  And we will never get to the point where absolutely everyone feels safe to do so.  Not to mention there are strong personal preferences with this sort of thing.  I do believe in being open about diabetes however, I do believe in a person being able to conceal it if it’s what they want. 

These guidelines are considered a “gold standard” meaning, I think, that they are guidelines to aspire to and although we may not reach them, we might get close.  The closer we are to all people being treated properly with diabetes, the healthier we’ll all be.

Those are just a few of the guidelines stated in the Charter and the IDF is asking for all governments worldwide to sign up for and aspire to these guidelines.  According to the IDF, you and I- and anyone else can encourage politicians, educational organizations, employers, and health care professionals to sign it. 

If you are interested in reading the Charter, which by the way is very easy and fast to read, go here and then scroll to the bottom of the page where you can download the pdf of the Charter or read more info.

Overall I thought it concisely covered just about everything.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

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