Diabetes Blog Week 2016: Message Monday
Today kicks off the seventh annual Diabetes Blog Week. Thanks as always to the lovely Karen at bittersweetdiabetes.com for hosting this event. I’ll be doing the 5-day post schedule rather than 7 this year.
Day One 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?”
Interesting topic. My blog is sometimes a laugh, sometimes educational, and sometimes a massive rant-fest. But I think there’s still a common theme through all of it.
No one deserves a chronic illness. No one deserves to be told they brought it on themselves. No one deserves to have such an enormous part of their life judged, minimised, or made into a joke.
Like so many others I’ve heard everything you can think of about Type 1. It’s like people have no filter.
“Guess you should have eaten less sugar”
“Don’t eat that”
“Why are you eating that?”
“Good diet and exercise cures that, why don’t you just do that?”
“My relative had that, *insert horror story here*”
Plus the ultimate kicker
“At least it’s not cancer”
So the aim of my blog was to address these things. Yes, I talk about my diabetes a lot, here and in person. I know a few people back in high school thought I talked about it too much, especially when I was diagnosed.
You know what? I don’t give a crap
Yep, I talk about it. It comes up pretty often!
You know why?
Because odds are if you spend time with me I’ll be checking my blood sugar. Have a meal with me and I’ll do it. Ask me if I want to go for a walk and I’ll check it first. If I drive you somewhere I’ll be checking it first. Want to see a movie? I’ll check it before! Going out for drinks? I’ll be doing (usually dodgy) calculations to work out insulin settings. Sleeping over? I’ll usually be up at 3am to check because my routine has changed.
Do I inform everyone of my level? No, my parents don’t even hear that. I’m the only person who knows what my levels have been like that day. Do I tell my friends what it is when they ask? Sure. Do I let myself react to my sugars? Um yes. I’m allowed to sigh, I’m allowed to have a whispered whine to myself about it. I’m allowed to be tired and say why.
I refuse to pretend it doesn’t exist and say nothing about it. Now I’m a bit older, I also refuse to feel guilty for talking about such a big part of my life.
So I talk about it. I answer every question I get about it in the hope that should that person encounter someone else with type 1, they’ll know enough to avoid saying those stupid things. How can we expect someone to know about type 1 if no one has ever openly talked about it? That's what awareness is to me, talking about it.