It’s Diabetes Blog Week 2014! While I’m not exactly a prolific blogger — my last post was months ago — the structured topic list of this week seemed like a good way to stretch my writing skills (and social media presence). The deadlines of the daily posts also seemed like a good incentive to actually sit down and crank out a few words. So I’ll be doing my best this week to post every day, and hopefully share a little glimpse of what life with diabetes means to our family.
Starting off the week, today’s topic is “Change the World”:
Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.
Unlike many of the other bloggers participating in this week, I don’t consider myself to be a “diabetes advocate.” I don’t have a particular diabetes-related cause that I want to promote, or a pet peeve that I want to correct. For me, diabetes came along relatively late in life, in my mid-30’s, so unlike many Type-1 diabetics (and my own son), I didn’t grow up with it. I am who I am, and diabetes is just one of those things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I’m no world-class athlete either, but I can relate to Olympic cross-country skier Kris Freeman’s quote in an interview he gave for Arden’s Day: “I don’t identify myself first and foremost as diabetic person. It’s part of who I am, I’ve never been ashamed of it. I’m very open with it and I like educating people about the disease, but it is not my primary identifier.”
And yet, every one of us with diabetes, whatever the type, is an advocate. We are the face of this disease to the people we come in contact with every day. Most of the general public isn’t going to read a diabetes blog, or attend a Friends for Life conference. But they do see me and my son, and they see that we live a pretty normal life (or at least as normal as a family of 11 can get 🙂 ). We have the opportunity to correct misconceptions and educate people on a one-on-one basis as we go through our daily lives. And this is how we’ll change the world. Each person with diabetes helping someone else understand this disease, one person at a time.