I Wish People Knew about Diabetes

Melinda Seed writes for Twice Diabetes
Melinda Seed writes for Twice Diabetes

Diabetes advocate Kelly Kunik has come up with the inspired notion of Iwishpeopleknewaboutdiabetes  It is a great concept and lots of people with diabetes have jumped on board with posts and tweets about what they wish people knew about diabetes. They range from the comical to the poignant with every emotion in between.  The power of the messages is in how real they are, people with diabetes, telling it like it is and through that we share a camaraderie. I nod knowingly at each of these, it’s nice to know that others feel the way I do.

To give you a flavour, here are just a few of my favourites:

Cherise/LADA ‏@SweeterCherise  

#iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes if someone has a diabetes complication doesn’t mean they didn’t take care of themselves

Peg Abernathy ‏@DiabetesMedia  

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is random and unpredictable. Like herding cats most days. For me, that is my biggest challenge.

Kim | #OzDOC #dlove ‏@HenshawKim  

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes has the power to make me fall apart at the seams if I let it. Every time.

The Grumpy Pumper ‏@grumpy_pumper  

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes isn’t so bad if you are a mouse!

Founder of the initiative Kelly expresses her hope for the project as follows

“It’s my hope (OK, my dream,) that the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes initiative and website will become a place where people living with diabetes — regardless of the type — have the opportunity to express themselves   …”

So it’s pretty clear what this day is about. It was great to see some of the diabetes national bodies come on board in the spirit of the event. Canadian Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association  showed that they interacted as part of the D community and that they understood what the day was about,

Canadian Diabetes ‏@DiabetesAssoc  Apr 20
#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes isn’t the fault of the person who’s living with it.

we look forward to celebrating with you! #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes

I thought Diabetes Australia did a great job  of supporting the initiative:
Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.49.12 AM
In a typically tin-eared response, however, my State diabetes organisation, Diabetes New South Wales hijacks the day misusing the hashtag to tell everyone what an economic burden people with diabetes are.
There may be a time & place for these messages but #iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes
day is NOT it. How poor is Diabetes NSW’s research and environment scanning that they don’t understand what this day is about? How lacking in awareness of the community they’re supposed to be a part of? I wish I was nitpicking a one-off trivial example but this blind and deaf approach to the diabetes community  has been going on for decades.
Way to miss the point!
Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 9.57.10 AM
Those who do get the point and are interested in living with diabetes, meanwhile continue to get on with spreading awareness of life with diabetes and building a supportive community . Do check out Kelly’s webpage http://iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes.org and the hashtag for more great sharing and insights.

2 thoughts on “I Wish People Knew about Diabetes

  1. What else would u expect from DANSW? They actively work AGAINST the interests of people with diabetes. That’s why groups like JDRF, Donna Meads-Barlow have to act.

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