I am NOT a doctor, dietician or expert. Do I know everything there is to know about diabetes? Heck no, but I do know what it’s like to live with it.
Monday, July 7, 2014
I’m out of my box
As I type this, I’m still
recuperating from this past week.I’m
not complaining.I was given an amazing
opportunity that will undoubtedly change my diabetes advocacy focus.I have always had a passion for helping
others to figure out how to live with their diabetes.I have always had ideas on how things could
be better in either diabetes education or healthcare policies.What I haven’t had is a clear vision for how
lil ol’ me could make a difference…until I attended Master Lab.
Master Lab is the brainchild of
the folks at Diabetes Hands Foundation.The
purpose was to bring diabetes advocates together to spend a day learning how to
be better, more effective advocates.Talking about “creating a formula for successful diabetes advocacy in
the future.”Realizing our potential,
and boy do we have it!
Paul Madden, senior director of
Wellness, diabetes/NCD, Project Hope, told us that as advocates we need to pay
attention to make sure things for people with diabetes continue to improve.Cases of diabetes are increasing and so will
the cost of treating those people.Insurance companies (including Medicaid and Medicare) are limiting test
strips for PWD.That is “insurers
telling ill informed doctors what to prescribe.” In the immortal words of Bennet Dunlap, "How effin' stupid is that?"
We heard from many great
speakers throughout the day who gave us their view of what it means to be a
good advocate; how we can get through to our congressmen and the FDA; ideas on
what our next steps should be.Here’s
the thing: we are currently a lot of small voices crying out to be heard and
what we need to be is a loud, strong, united voice.We need to be focused.We need more voices!
Why do I care?Why should YOU care?
Because we’re 30 million
strong and we aren’t a movement.
Because PWD don’t have access to
the medicine and tools they need to lead healthy, productive lives.
Because no one should have to
decide between food and medicine in this country.
Because many type 2s are too
ashamed of their condition to speak up.
Because young children don’t
know what it’s like to just eat an ice cream cone without first calculating the
carbs and injecting insulin.
Because type 2s may be given 1
test strip a day by their insurance company and are expected to improve their
Because diabetics who have been
using a CGM for years, and that one thing has helped them to control their
diabetes and has probably saved their lives, and yet when they hit 65 and go on
Medicare it will no longer be covered.
Because our test strips aren’t
Because I can’t sit idly by
while these things are the norm in our country.I must speak up.I will join my
voice with others to make a difference, because I can.
What can you do about this?The first thing is to add your voice.Go to the Diabetes Hands Foundation Action Hub and take this survey. This quick action will connect
you and you will receive emails that will keep you up to date on ways you can
make your voice heard.
Other than the wonderful information I received about how
to become a more effective advocate, I also met so many people whom I admire
and respect.I’ve “known” these people online
for quite some time but have never met them.The name of this post came from Kerri. I introduced myself to her and
she hesitated for a second until she saw my name.“Kate! (big hug) it took me a minute because
you’re out of your box. (said as she framed her face with her hands.)Yes, I’m out of my box; no longer just a
small picture on the screen.
There are too many stories to
tell about my experiences at Master Lab.There is too much information to contain in one post so be prepared,
there’s more to come! For now, please take the survey and add your voice to help all people with diabetes.
(Disclaimer: The Diabetes Hands Foundation provided me with a scholarship
to attend Master Lab.They paid for my
airfare, registration and lodging.Without their help I would not have been able to attend.Oh, they also provided me with an amazing
amount of fire in my belly that will forever change my advocacy for people with diabetes.Thank you from the bottom of my heart!)