Welcome to the first day of the seventh Diabetes Blog Week.
Today’s topic is Message Monday. Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.)
So it's the start of Diabetes Blig Week and to be honest when I first read the suggestion I was a little confused - message Monday? Am I telling people what diabetes is? Am I explaining how it impacts on my life? Am I talking about the different types of diabetes? Do I try and educate people? But then I read it again, Message Monday - what's my message about my condition.
That seems an odd thing to write 'my condition' because I think a common assumption is that everyone with diabetes is the same. I get fed up of hearing people comment on conditions they don't understand or even know much about. I'd never ever dream of advising someone who had type two diabetes as I know very little about it. Gestational diabetes? What the heck?! I have had type one for mist of my life and to be honest don't remember not having it. I can think of ten other type ones that I know off the top of my head, we all take insulin, yes, we all are entitled to the same check ups, yes, our conditions are the same, erm NO!
Maybe that's harsh but it's true, what causes me to hypo might not have any impact on someone else. Stress - makes me fly high for about half an hour normally, then I crash. Some diabetics I know would be high until the following day. Hospital visits, guaranteed I'll have a hypo that night. Why? No idea but it happens. So as you probably guessed I HATE when people roll their eyes and sigh when something happens out of the blue. I hate when people expect you to conform to something that pretty much could be described as having its own identity.
I also find it infuriating when people make the common assumptions;
- Oh did you get it because you ate too much sugar?
> No my pancreas packed up and went on vacation!
- You can't eat that!
> Watch me
- If you do some exercise and eat better you'll be cured.
> Do you promise? I think I'll probably still need insulin
- So you inject every day? And prick your finger?
> Nope only on the days I don't want to go to hospital
- Are you allowed to do that?
> Are you?
- Are you going to test here?
> No I got my blood kit out as I thought it would make an interesting centre piece!!
- I hate blood/needles
> Don't look
* there are many more but I'm sure you get the picture
So my first blog appears as a rant but it's not. My message is this - To those non diabetics out there, think before you speak. Some of us are connected to our lovely pumps all day whilst others inject (sometimes several times a day) we don't need loads of unnecessary questions and looks of contempt. If you don't like it don't look! To all of my diabetic friends and bloggers you are all amazing people who inspire me with your confidence, passion and stories. Let's do this.