After I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I felt angry, lost, alone and ashamed. As my diabetes journey progressed, my diagnosis only created more confusion for healthcare professionals and other people with diabetes. Eventually, the type of diabetes I was labelled with stopped being important to me. Getting access to diabetes technology, services and support that was relevant to me became a priority. It frustrated and infuriated me that access to such things were assessed due to my medical classification and not to my needs.
Facebook back then was no help in terms of support. Groups I requested to join required me to have type 1 diabetes. Other groups I joined were either flooded with scammy posts or were dead space. Volunteering with Diabetes Camp Victoria to meet more people with diabetes changed me. From camps, I learned more about type 1 diabetes than I ever could from a textbook. More importantly, I learned that everyone who is connected to diabetes in someway or another has a story the needs to be heard. No matter what type of diabetes people live with, there are times where they vent and celebrate about similar diabetes-related events. At times, even their loved ones join in.
Support comes in all forms and you don’t need to have a certain type of diabetes to offer encouragement or be empathetic to someone. It’s this unconditional support and encouragement from other people living with diabetes from the Diabetes Online Community that won my heart over. When it comes to raising awareness or funds for diabetes, they don’t discriminate between type of diabetes. If your life has been affected by diabetes and you reach out for help they will take you under their wing.
From the 12th to 18th of July it’s National Diabetes Week here in Australia. We have a whole week dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes. Let’s bring together the diabetes community to raise awareness with our stories. The Diabetes Online Community has a fantastic campaign called Walk With D, which is about getting people to share their experiences and stories around diabetes. Our stories help break down the walls of misinformation. They provide context around numbers that are constantly thrown around. Let’s show people that diabetes is more than just living in fear of complications.
We are fighters.
We are survivors.
We are achievers.
We won’t let diabetes defeat us.