National Diabetes Month
Does anyone else think it’s ironically funny that we launch National Diabetes Month the day after the largest candy free-for-all of the year?
Could you imagine a world in which no one shares collected knowledge about diabetes? A world where we keep our disease a secret, because of the fear that comes with being “different”? National Diabetes Month is our opportunity to shed some light and make our voices heard, in the hopes that we can raise money, awareness, and help prevent future generations (and even current ones!) from developing diabetes.
We make choices every day to live – and we do so with grace and fortitude. What can we do this month (and really, every month) to ensure that funding and knowledge is shared?
If you could shop and actually help raise money for diabetes research, awareness, and a cure, would you? Of course! For all-year round shopping, visit http://dlifefoundationemall.org/. This link will give you access to several brand-name online retailers. When you make a purchase through the dlife Foundation eMall website, the retailers will make a contribution to the dlife Foundation. Up to 3% of your purchase price goes to the dLife Foundation. The dLife Foundation helps all of us by funding programs, organizations, and education dedicated to diabetes.
You don’t pay anything more for the items that you purchase on the site than if you went directly to the retailer, so bookmark http://dlifefoundationemall.org/ and start shopping!
The American Diabetes Association publishes their 2007 Gift of Hope catalog and all profit from these purchases goes directly to research.
You can also order holiday cards to help fund research and education from the dLife Foundation.
If you’re a coupon clipper, watch the newspaper inserts this November – many companies will offer coupon specials to help raise money for diabetes research. Clip these coupons, buy the products from companies who support the fight for diabetes awareness, and everyone benefits!
A diabetes diagnosis can be (and often is) terrifying and heart-wrenching. Your entire life changes in a moment and you’re left reeling with questions and emotions. How did you cope?
Whether you join a discussion group on the Internet, attend a local diabetes support group, or talk with your medical team about day-to-day life with diabetes, sharing is a healthy way to deal with a chronic illness. My mother immediately joined a JDRF parents group after my diagnosis. She learned new recipes, tips and tricks about sick day rules, and was able to share feelings about our new life with other parents. These people knew exactly how my mother felt, and their support helped her persevere through the tough times.
With all the news articles and inevitable hype surrounding National Diabetes Month, this is your chance to share your story and answer questions that other diabetics (or those who are curious) may have about your treatment and daily life. I have discussions with my Type 2 friends about the latest research and what we do to keep our blood sugars stable.
Help spread the word by countering the misconceptions and misinformation about diabetes – how many times have you been asked: “Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes?” or “You can’t eat that, can you?” These are opportunities to educate – don’t miss out!
If you’re prone to hiding your diabetes from others, this may be the perfect time to step out into the light. I was once stopped by a colleague when he saw my insulin pump on my belt. He shyly pulled out his own insulin pump out of his pocket and voila! Instant camaraderie! Ironically, knowing I had diabetes (and the same pump) helped him out a few months later, when he frantically called me to borrow an infusion set.
We are survivors. You know the statistics; most likely, you are one of them. We are millions strong, from all walks of life, and even if you are not afflicted with the disease yourself, diabetes makes an impact on your life.
None of us chose this disease and would do anything to eradicate it from existence. Until that time occurs, we need to celebrate our victories – our stable blood sugar days, our “your eyes look good” days, and our ability to band together to make everyone aware that while we may have diabetes – it doesn’t have us.
So, celebrate, share, and shop this month – with 21 million of us with this disease (plus all of our friends and family), we are a powerful force. Let’s show the world what we’ve got!
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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