November 14th is World Diabetes Day. Throughout the month, international projects and campaigns are happening to help raise awareness around diabetes. Last week, I wrote about several campaigns advocating for global access equality in diabetes medication, supplies, care and education. Personally, my favourite campaigns are about showing people what living with diabetes is like. (#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes)
Any time a diabetes awareness event comes up there are bound to be comments around how it’s directed at or neglecting a type of diabetes. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying into such arguments. Every type of diabetes is equally as important and no type is more serious than the other.
It’s time to stop focusing on the negative outcomes that comes with diabetes. Sure, that could be the reality of life with diabetes if you don’t look after yourself. In reality, the chances of complications are quite small if you look after yourself and go to your regular check ups. And it’s absolutely time to stop the blame and shame associated with diabetes. I mean when was that ever okay?
I wish people knew that even though type 1 and type 2 diabetes are physiologically different, we are all working towards lowering risk of complications and living our lives the best we can. We still have to cope with things that diabetes throws at us. Each person faces their own challenges and experience things differently. I identify with some stories, learn from others and cry after some.
Hearing stories of how people cope or struggle with diabetes humbles me, inspires me and keeps me grounded. Never underestimate the power of your story. So if you live with diabetes and are keen to raise awareness for diabetes but don’t know where to start, share your story. Show the world what it’s actually like to walk with diabetes.