Sometimes we treat our insurance card as though it is a free credit card of some sort. Our insurance cards can have limitations, and or exceptions on the kinds of procedures covered. We have to be more pro-active in terms of finding out what specifically we are entitled too. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Diabetes invokes many different feelings in some people. There are those that go ballistic @ even the mere thought of having diabetes; some make an automatic assumption that their life is doomed; some make a conscious effort to ignore it, as though “mind-over-matter” will cure them; others really want to learn how to take care of themselves immediately after diagnosis; and the rest of us either don’t know where to get answers, or are just simply not motivated to get them.
I truly believe there exist a Ying & Yang to just about everything in life. While diabetes has the potential to devastate any one’s life, there were many unexpected life lessons I received as a result of having this disease.
- Having a deeper appreciation for this complex machine called the human body.
- The consistent need for updated diabetic education.
- Who are your friends, and who are not.
- Who is out for your best interest, and who just want to hear themselves talk.
- Having diabetes is a perfect opportunity for our friends, and loved one’s to feel needed.
- How much effort it takes to not only live healthier, but think healthier, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
- The enormous amount of discipline that is required. The average person would not be able to handle testing their blood 3-4 times daily. Yet there’s an insatiable need for people to give us advice ALL THE TIME…
- Watching people’s face get contorted, once they’ve witnessed me take out a needle. They often look in disgust, yet they can’t turn their head’s away, cause they’re still intrigued to watch someone inject.
- Feeling entitled to a burn out every now and then.
- Drama exist everywhere, even in the diabetic communities. Who’s got it worse, type 1 or 2? Arrrghh.
- At times, it seams as though diabetes has become more like politics & religion; too often we can’t always talk about it in a group setting, without having at least one non-diabetic, pissing off an actual diabetic by the end of the discussion . This is usually due to various levels of diabetic understanding & comprehension. So much gets lost in the translation, and personal interpretation.
- Its amazing how people feel they know your whole life history, simply by saying diabetes!
- People will learn diabetes when they are ready, but usually it’s after a diabetic complication.
- And the list goes on, and on, and on…..
I think in addition to what I’ve mentioned above, the top lesson I’ve learned is, not to be ashamed, and to not allow people to try and make me ashamed because I have diabetes!! Or any other part of me for that matter. There are so many people we come in contact in our daily lives, that for whatever reason, that organ that sits between their ears never clicks; and or the light-bulb in their head simply stays unplugged all the time.
When it comes to insulin, I have made a choice not to hide in any bathroom, closet, hallway, stairwell, alleyway, street corner, boondocks, under a car, phone booth, gate, behind a fire-hydrant, back of a sofa, behind a bush, a forest, or whatever, just so that I don’t “offend”people when I inject. I am not a freak, drug addict, or a hideous mutant!! I am a human being that happens to have diabetes. Insulin is what keeps my body healthier, it keeps my sugars @ safe levels, and will help keep me alive longer with the least amount (if any) of long-term or short-term complications. I am perfectly capable of handling my own D life myself, in MY OWN WAY!! if I need your opinion, I will ask for it.
You know, now that I look back at my whole ordeal, I have learned a LOT about diabetes, how my body works, etc; and together with new computer technologies, diabetes is so much more easier to manage. I’d think it’s safe to say that, for most diabetics, the biggest challenge is not so much the diabetes itself, but the kinds of support systems he have. In addition to living our daily lives with diabetes in mind, we also have the “diabetes police” (our friends, families, care takers, co-workers, and sometimes even strangers) that consistently police our diabetic activities.
The problem with the diabetic police (also sometimes called type 3, because they experience diabetes indirectly through us), is that they often don’t seek diabetic information, other than the little tidbits they’ve picked up over the years. The diabetic police often try to help us using emotional intelligence, instead of factual intelligence. You can’t really use emotional intelligence, until you know the facts about a disease your trying to help with.
There is such a fine line. Sometimes I still find it very difficult to deal with pushy loved ones, and pushy friends who really care for me, (and at some point) not feel forced to be rude in order to keep my “personal diabetic space”. Diabetes is a personal journey that THAT individual diabetic must walk alone. It is a wonderful feeling to know people care; however, when you impose your non-medically trained opinions, to a person who actually lives their lives with diabetes 24/day, you actually can make it harder for us. If you want to help us, ask what we’d like you to do, instead of preach that which you may not fully understand.
Diabetes is not just a disease, it’s also a lifestyle, a way of life. Diabetes is with us for the rest of our lives. We can curse it, yell at it, ignore it, or deny it; but the fact remains, its with us for life. Don’t see diabetes as a chore, see it as a disease that has helped most of us to become, one of the most discipline group of people ever known; see it as a new way of life that allows you to truly gauge & control the future of your own health, regardless of what people “think”your doing wrong.
© 2011 Diabeticradio.com / Yogi
In the last couple of years, I’ve given the subject of diabetes a lot of thought. I just can’t get past one important question of mine. If we are currently in the age of “super technology” in regards to medicine, the Internet in regards to social networking, & communications in regards to television, news media, & phones), then why is it that so many people know less now about diabetes than ever before? Are organizations such as the ADA (American Diabetes Association), JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Dlife (Diabetes Life), etc., doing enough to educate the masses outside the World Wide Web? Is it because billions of homes still don’t have Internet access, or even a computer in order to get this valuable information? Or is it that people just don’t wanna know, until they are finally faced with diabetes in their own lives?
About 30 years ago, I remember an organization called RIF (Reading Is Fundamental), which still exist today. As a child in the late 70’s early 80’s, I remember they had huge campaigns to get children to read more, and encourage them to get library cards. They also had special tutoring programs for grown adults who could not read. We don’t hear from them anymore, and i’m sure it’s because of lack of funding (like so many important organizations have to deal with).
The reason why I bring up RIF, is because today in 2011, our society as a whole still does not read as much as we should. When we are reading, we are more likely to be reading part of a newspaper, or a thick novel from a favorite author; before we would read any book about our own health, or self-improvement. Diabetes is overwhelming, and it is a fact that, it is a lot easier to just listen to false cure remedies on television/radio, or a friend’s grandma’s ancient recipe for curing all disease, rather than pick-up an accredited book on diabetes and actually reading through it.
There are so many additional issues that contributes to the lack of diabetes awareness:
- Doctors practicing with out dated knowledge of diabetes.
- Few time available between doctor/patient visit.
- Professionals that feel they have the basics down packed already, and they don’t need to learn anymore.
- Patients don’t have a computer or Internet access.
- Patients fear of learning anything outside of what their doctors tell them.
- Cultural differences.
- Conflicts between cultural beliefs and modern medicine.
- Libraries that have almost no books on diabetes, and if it exist, they are often 1990 and older.
- Many diabetics not being able to afford books, because what little they have must go to their medication and supplies.
- Not wanting to deal with the often insane stigma that follows diabetes
- Straight-up in denial about what diabetes can do.
- No access to decent health insurance.
It is my personal opinion, that the above are at least part of what causes most of the diabetic deaths in our country. We must do a better job in terms of diabetic education. The subject of diabetes is way too important to keep solely to yourself; you may not realize it but, when you do, we all suffer indirectly. Having said that, we can’t leave everything up to the ADA to teach the world, because the ADA can’t get to everyone. Further, the ADA, JDRF, and so on, cannot represent each and every culture. That means, it’s up to us individuals to share our stories; it is only by sharing our personal stories do people learn. Each diabetic from all walks of life, should share their successes and failures; so that we can not only learn from each other, but still feel like we can control our diabetes, while staying connect to who we are as a people.
For the same reasons that lack of education (not just academically, but emotionally as well) causes all kinds of social conflicts, spiritual wars, hate, homophobia, labels, assumptions, misunderstandings, rudeness, and a plethora of other ridiculous behaviors; not going out of our way to learn about your diabetes, or to share your diabetes, is a disservice to both yourselves and the diabetic community. It is the very reason that stigmas thrive. This is what I feel to be the bulk of the woes that plague many people with diabetes today.
© 2011 DiabeticRadio.com
I Think this is my favorite video so far from Ginger. I think SHE is awesome for taking the time to do these very important videos.. Thanks Ginger!!