Today is Type 1 Diabetes Day. Today also kicks of Diabetes Awareness month. November 14th is World Diabetes Day.
For me, today is a normal day since Type 1 Diabetes invades every moment of my life. But for those of you without diabetes, please take today to educate yourself about this condition and break down myths about diabetes around you.
I don’t look sick, because I’m not sick. I have an uncle who said it fairly well after I was diagnosed, “You’ve had an organ failure.” I’m living basically without an organ that some people don’t even know they have one or what it does.
If you want to try to image what diabetes management is like in one day, you an attempt with this text message challenge from the JDRF. The messages attempt to simulate blood sugar checks, insulin injections, etc. Inspired by that challenge, I’m recording my day today the best that I can when it comes to what I do to… well live. Or live well in general. But even that won’t give you a sense of the emotional, physical and mental components of diabetes.
In your attempts to be more aware and actually help people with diabetes, take 15 minutes to exercise and do the Big Blue Test. Exercise is good for everyone, for people with diabetes it positively impacts blood sugar levels, and by doing this challenge, the sponsor donates to send diabetes supplies to those who can’t afford them. And diabetes is expensive. You can do the test as many times as you’d like, and since I know that a lot of my readers are going to exercise, or did exercise today, I hope that each of them will do it.
Also, I make a point to wear blue every Friday in November at least. You wore pink all last month, you might not be shaving this month, so do some blue once a week maybe?
For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has had type 2 diabetes. It freaked me out every time she gave herself an insulin injection. I hate needles and it made me hurt to see her give herself a shot in the stomach. I was also hesitant to kiss her goodnight because I thought I might be able to catch diabetes. After hearing someone say something positive about a blood sugar number of 75, I believed that to be the target level.
Then the commercials with Wilford Brimley came out and he called it “diabetus” and I got confused, wondering if maybe my whole family had been pronouncing it wrong all along.
As I got older, I learned that diabetes is in fact, not contagious (in the manner of the flu). That reduced my concerns and I learned some things about diabetes as I learned how to handle diabetic emergencies when I was a lifeguard.
Now that I have diabetes, I have a much different perspective. I know the differences between type 1 and type 2 as well as gestational and I’ve just recently learned about the existence of type 1.5. I’ve also learned that there’s a range for blood glucose readings, and that sometimes I won’t be within range and I can’t beat myself up for that.
I’ve also learned that the majority of people don’t know nearly as much about diabetes as I did before I was diagnosed. There are almost 19 million people with diagnosed diabetes, it’s probably important to at least know a little about it.
Oh yeah and it’s pronounced: dye-uh-BEE-teez