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If I Had No Limits
We’re already to Day 5 for Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. This prompt challenged me to think big (no limits on money, time, etc) on what I would accomplish as a health activist if I could do anything. Honestly, I find this difficult to say. There is so much that we’re all already doing to advocate for our health conditions, yet there is still so much more that needs to happen. Priorities for those things change as our emotions, blood sugars, and experiences change.
This week, my emotions are on edge because of the false information that I’ve encountered about type 1 diabetes (and really diabetes in general). So immediately with this prompt, my mind wants to say that training should be required of every person to learn the truth about living with diabetes. Obviously, that’s not feasible, but if it were, I’d love to see everyone on the same page with how diabetes is managed, the different types, and just the truth about living with this disease.
My main frustration is with those who are in the health and wellness industry. For instance, those who work in gyms or studios, nurses and doctors, and anyone who is involved with the health industry need to know the different types of diabetes and how that affects fitness/activity level/overall health as well as the nutrition aspect of diabetes. Many people still believe that diabetics cannot eat sugar or have limited sugar allowances.
For type 1 diabetes, this is not true at all and can create a major emergency if people around us don’t understand. So I wish that I could train those around me to know that there are several types of diabetes and each one varies, that we can eat whatever we want as long as we cover it with enough insulin and the overall basics of how we manage. I would love to stop explaining this and finding frustration at every curve.
The other thing that I would love to do, if money were no object, is find a way to overcome the FDA and Big Pharma aspect of finding a cure and advanced treatments. It’s too often that we hear of advancements being made in the research field, but they somehow get held up in the FDA clearance process and never make it to market. When Big Pharma is making millions of dollars on diabetic treatments (strips, insulin, meters, etc), why would they want to cure the disease and stop their source of income? From a business standpoint, I completely get it. From the human aspect, it makes me beyond angry to see treatments and cures that would ease our burdens stopped because of their bottom line.
I also understand how the FDA wants to “protect” us from medications or treatments that might harm us more than hurt us. Proper research and clinical trials are important. I don’t want to take a medication that might cause lasting side effects or worse, death. However, I can’t help but wonder how they can approve medications that do cause these issues yet not approve others. Except that many of these approved medications are funded by Big Pharma and lobbyists that potentially pad the pockets of those working on the approval committees.
To me, that’s a whole other issue, but if I had the money, I would fund just as much to get advanced treatments approved and ultimately, a cure. Because for all of us, a cure is our answer. It’s the only answer.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)