Thursday, January 19, 2012

Education Is Our Future


I’ve been having trouble writing this post for some reason.  It seems that I have an odd mixture of excitement/hope and sadness/dread about the coming year.  It’s almost like I have the angel and devil sitting on my shoulders, whispering in my ear.  The angel tells me that big things are going to happen this year with D and, just maybe, I’ll have a chance to make a difference in some way.  The little red guy tells another story.  He doesn’t exactly paint a picture of doom but, instead, infers that things won’t be rosy. (The jerk!)

I’ve only been blogging for 11 months now and I’ve spent this time trying to tell my story in a way that might be of some benefit to others with D, but the main focus has been to keep myself motivated and on track.  It has worked wonders, but now I have the desire to move on to the next step.  I’d like to up my advocacy and reach out further but I’m not sure how to do that….yet.

If I had to pick just one thing that I would like to see change about diabetes (other than it just disappearing) is that there needs to be better education; education about the different types of diabetes and how to make the necessary lifestyle changes once you’re diagnosed.  It completely frustrates me that there are untold numbers of people who walk out of the doctor’s office having just been diagnosed with diabetes and they have no clue what to do next!  How insane is that?  There is all this hype in the media about how type 2 diabetes is this huge epidemic and yet there is such a pathetic attempt to educate people.  I’m not just talking about educating people who have been diagnosed, but also a better education for the masses.  It is glaringly apparent that a lifestyle of eat-whatever-you-want-and-don’t-worry-about-exercise is a recipe for disaster.  Too many diseases and health conditions are linked to this way of living.  WAKE UP PEOPLE!

The way that this is being handled by the media has only made things worse.  Many people have the idea that diabetes, all types, is a disease that people bring on themselves. Every time I hear this “it just gets underneath my skin, and it makes me... completely... INSANE!” (to quote French Kiss). The media, and celebrity doctors, often spew half-truths or outright lies about diabetes making it more difficult to get out the correct information.  The circus surrounding Paula Deen’s announcement that she has type 2 diabetes hasn’t helped.  It’s just managed to bring out more and more myths and half-truths. (bless you Ms. Deen. Good luck with your diabetes.  I hope you kick ass!)

I’ve heard too many negative comments regarding Paula Deen’s announcement, many coming from PWD.  I’m saddened by it all.  I’ve even been a little pissed, especially when I read this Facebook comment: “only type 2!!! i wish!!!! type 1 here!!”  Really?  I’m SO relieved to know that I ONLY have type 2!  Phew, what a relief.  Great, just what we need is divisiveness amongst our community.

What do I look forward to regarding diabetes in 2012?  I look forward to less finger pointing and blame and more education and compassion.  I want to be a part of that education in some way.  I haven’t yet formed a plan, but I’m working on it.  In the meantime I’ll be here in my little corner of the DOC and educate the best I can through this blog.  Oh, and I’ll also be a remarkable role model; a person who lives with diabetes and does it very well.

 This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/january-dsma-blog-carnival/.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome, awesome post and I agree 100% with everything you've said!! And I know you are going to have no problem taking your advocacy to the next level in 2012. You are such a great asset to the community already, you are already educating and myth-busting. Here's to even more in 2012!!

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  2. You covered this in an excellent manner! Do continue to work for more education. The media will always be the media - looking for sensationalism and for the near-term we cannot expect help from them. Education about diabetes does not increase their ratings.

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