Day 4 of diabetes blog week and the topic we are on today is change. I’ve read and watched some amazing blogs in response to this topic and I’m not sure I do the topics I’m most passionate about eloquently into words. But I’ll try.Words are powerful and dangerous things. For me, they do more damage than a physical hit. Broken bones, cuts and bruises can heal, but the effect of words can cut deeper than any of those and last a lifetime.
Since my diagnosis, I’ve experienced and witnessed so much ignorance, malice, anger and pent-up anger from the diabetes community online. I don’t want to call them the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) because the DOC that I know and love would have no bar of such talk. This is more like the dark side of diabetes on social media.
I don’t or try not to engage too much in diabetes groups on Facebook anymore as there can be so much judgement and superiority within them. Sadly, this is also a sentiment I sometimes observe within the clinical environment amongst healthcare professionals.
So let’s get this cleared up. No one deserves to get diabetes. Making someone feel bad because of the type of diabetes they have isn’t going to help anyone. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different but they do share similarities. We are all people aside from these conditions. We go through the same “I hate diabetes” phase and frustrations with food and medications. No diabetes is better than the other and please don’t even start to compare type 1 to type 2.
Everyone deserves a supportive and safe community to share their worries, frustrations and triumphs. There are no stupid questions. Rather, it is the lack of information and understanding that creates these rifts within the diabetes community. Keep an open mind and treat others how you want to be treated.
Raising awareness and funds for diabetes is not a competition. Access for diabetes care and technology differs pending on the type of diabetes in Australia. How is this fair? No type of diabetes is more deserving of any treatment plan or technology to another. We advocate for individualised care and tailoring diabetes care to suit a person’s needs according to their lifestyle, culture or quality of life. We cannot achieve this if government subsidy only applies to a specific type of diabetes.
Any change we want to create has to come from the diabetes community, together as a collective voice. So on my wish list is to see positive changes within the community in my lifetime. I want to see a more inclusive, united and supportive community for anyone who is affected by diabetes. The DOC is capable of many amazing things and projects such as Spare A Rose and #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes. I want to see more of this and less of stigma and discrimination within diabetes communities.