I posted this on Facebook (on both my personal and professional pages) today. What do you think?
I don’t normally post on Facebook. I’m not an in-your-face-tell-all-my-thoughts kind of person. I prefer to say what I need to say through my fictional characters…(I’m a writer, by the way.) But I thought I would make an exception today.
#dayofdiabetes is taking place on Twitter today. It was started by @iam_spartacus Chris Snider over at A Consequence of Hypoglycemia. The idea is for people with diabetes to Tweet every time they do something diabetes related.
As a type 2 diabetic who happens to wear an insulin pump, anything that spreads awareness and pokes holes in society’s perception of what diabetes is, and isn’t, is very personal. There is a lot of false information out there, most of it perpetrated by the media and research that is anything but scientific. This false information has led to biases against people with diabetes. It has also spread within the diabetes online community (DOC) creating a war between people with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that is caused by the malfunction or death of the beta cells in the pancreas. It is not about obesity or how many carbs someone might eat or even about eating sugar. Believe it or not, even thin people get diabetes.
Some people can control it with diet and exercise. They might even appear to have ‘reversed’ it with good control, but diabetes does not just disappear. Some people control it with oral medications. Others with long-lasting, or basal, insulin. And then there are those of us who need constant daily injections to keep blood sugar levels where they belong.
We all face the same lifestyle changes. We all have to control what we eat, increase our level of exercise, and manage our blood sugars with multiple daily checks. And most of us use some kind of medication.
And all of us face the possibility of complications.
Living with diabetes is not easy. It should not be made harder by stereotypes and a lack of knowledge.
So, if you happen to be on Twitter and see #dayofdiabetes retweet it or whatever it is you do.
Spread the word. Break the stereotypes.