I’m sitting here, meant to be writing a five-page paper for class that’s due Thursday, and all that comes to mind is the fact that I should be writing this blog post sharing what’s been on my heart for some time now. So with a disclaimer that when you start reading this and think you automatically know about what I'm talking about, please continuing reading...you might be somewhat surprised....you might not.
I find it interesting that so many people know October to be Breast Cancer Awareness month; however, many don't know that November is National Diabetes Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. I know that cancer affects many people’s lives, but diabetes equally affects lives all over the world. It has really been on my heart lately to share this information and bring what awareness I can to diabetes. The fact is, I was blind to how much diabetes can affect a person’s life (especially Type 1) and that person’s family’s life until a little over a year ago. It wasn’t until I had a loved one dealing with diabetes that I realized it is a 24/7 job. You get no days off, no holiday breaks, no sick-leave…..diabetes is there to be dealt with every day. The crazy part is, I know there are people out there that are reading this that think they know what diabetes is. There are some that think it’s curable (and hopefully one day it will be), there are some that think you only get it from eating a ton of sweets, and there are some that think you just can’t eat sweets or you have “the kind” that you get to eat sweets. The list of misunderstandings goes on. Diabetes is a balancing act. In plain words: if someone is Type 1, they constantly have to calculate where their sugar level is and where it is going. That means, if their sugar level is high they must inject a calculated measure of insulin and if it’s low they determine if it’s low enough to eat something with sugar and what they should eat that has the approximate about of sugar that will level it off. Of course it can be much more complex than that, but that’s a general idea of how dealing with Type 1 works.
I’ll conclude by saying this: Diabetes is a big deal and I don’t think many people are aware of the effect it can have on a person’s life or that person’s family. I also believe many don’t truly understand what diabetes is and how it works. Again, I can say this because I too didn’t realize the impact it had on people until faced with someone I love having it. I also know I watched Celebrity Apprentice one season and Lil Jon was playing for his charity (American Diabetes Association) because his mom had diabetes. At one point he mentioned thinking his mom’s diabetes was cured. It wasn’t until his mom passed with diabetes while the show was being filmed that he admitted to not fully understanding diabetes and that he did not realize diabetes is currently incurable.
My note to you is to become aware. I’m so happy there are insulin products on the market to help regulate people with Type 1 diabetes, but I would also LOVE to raise enough awareness to find a cure. There are so many avenues you can use to raise awareness. Donate to one of the diabetes associations, join a walk, or even simply write a blog article like this one. It all helps.
Here are a couple links to get tons more information about symptoms, getting involved, donating, prevention, and other facts.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
x x Meredith
x x Meredith