Last Wednesday, April 20th was the second annual #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes day. What is this day? Well it’s a day, where globally, the Diabetes Online Community shares what they wish people knew about diabetes over social media-Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, etc in order to spread awareness and educate. The day was started by Kelly Kunik (another K-K!) at Diabetesaliciousness.
Kelly actually started a page called the exact same thing, IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.org. The page was started last year in response to the hashtag #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes. You can read more about the beginning of the hashtag on the page of the same name. I actually found the webpage several months back and was planning on writing a blog post about it but never got around to it so I’m glad the social media day happened last week to give me more motivation to write about it. The webpage has many guest posts where you can read about what others wish people knew.
Because of my toddler and pregnancy and work and life, I didn’t get a chance to participate in last week’s #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes day social media event, but I did scroll through my newsfeed throughout the day and retweeted some of my favorites. I thought I’d share some of my favorites:
There were so many other great responses last week. If you check out the hashtag on Twitter you can find some more. Last Wednesday night, DSMA even did their weekly Wednesday night chat on the topic so you can look up the #DSMA to find more responses.
While it’s hard to come up with original content after reading so many good entries last week, I did have some thoughts on what I wish people knew about diabetes. I wish people knew that it was more than just having an illness. It’s the many, many doctors appointments throughout your life (including a ridiculous amount while pregnant). It means way more finger sticks than you can count in your lifetime and with that comes callouses on your fingertips. It means spending way too much money not only on those doctor appointments, but also on the medical supplies and prescriptions to keep you alive.
I wish people knew that having diabetes is hard. It’s not “you can’t eat that!”, it’s the fact that you can eat whatever, but your food choices have consequences. Sometimes food can save your life if your blood sugar is low and sometimes we get comments from people about how we shouldn’t eat something even if we are treating a low blood sugar to save our life. Having diabetes is hard. It comes with a lot of guilt. It comes with a lot of fear. The guilt and fear that decisions you make today could have dire consequences in the future. I wish people knew that there is a huge emotional burden that comes with diabetes but at the same time, having diabetes makes me realize how strong I am and how I can handle what’s thrown my way. It’s expensive, it’s frustrating, it’s relentless. It’s more than just a joke like people like to make about it. Having diabetes is hard but I can handle it. Some days are tougher than others, some weeks or months come with burnout but overall I’m handling it. I wish I knew that diabetes is hard and there needs to be a cure!
I couldn’t participate this year but I’m hoping to next year for the third annual #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes day!