Just getting this in under the wire… This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival talked about Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day, and asked the question:
What is the one thing (advocacy, grassroots) you will do different this year? How will you accomplish your task?
I saw this question after I had written the post below on November 2nd, so I’m going to show it again here and give my responses in red. Here we go…
Well, T1D Day has passed, and unfortunately, I can’t say that I have a lot to show for it. Sometimes these milestone days pass before I can make any kind of serious impact.
The good news is that it’s just the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month. That means there are a lot of things I can still do to increase awareness and help champion our cause. So what am I doing? How do you advocate for something you feel strongly about?
First, I hate the phrase “lead by example”. Only because whenever that’s used, it seems like someone is saying that leading by example is enough. Well, it is for some. Just not me, not right now. So I want to start to lead by example. That means managing the BGs well, staying as healthy as I can, and not judging others based on their success or failure of the same. This has been an uncharacteristically difficult month in terms of keeping the BG within range. Feels like a fail, but I’ve kept after it and I’m doing better now, so it’s not a total fail.
I’m also trying to keep people informed, as much as I can. There are several D-Awareness Month initiatives out there, and I’ll be letting readers of this forum know about them as much as I can. I’ve posted and tweeted about the Big Blue Test and World Diabetes Day and other things, so I can check that off of the list.
On top of that? I got my Blue Circle merchandise from the IDF/World Diabetes Day merchandise page, and I’ll be handing out blue circle pins and bracelets to practically everyone I know this month. Almost all so far are completely unaware of Diabetes Awareness Month, World Diabetes Day, or the Blue Circle. So they get a quick info session on top of the swag. I’ve already had one person ask me about the blue circle pin I’m wearing, and that’s a good thing too. This has actually worked out pretty well. People have actually asked me about both the blue bracelet and the Blue Circle pin, and I’ve been able to take my message to people that I otherwise would not have talked to about diabetes at all. Win.
Stealing an idea from someone else in the DSMA Twitter chat this past week, I’ve started to inconspicuously place D-related reading material around the workplace. This kind of thing is generally frowned upon where I work, so I have to be careful with this strategy to avoid running afowl of the people in charge. This whole idea sounds like it has an element of danger to it, which must be why I find it so appealing. Thanks to Bea at Cranky Pancreas for this idea. Don’t know if it’s helped, but people who have no connection at all with this disease are being reminded that diabetes is a real thing and it exists. Win.
Finally, you might have noticed that I’ve updated this site, at least for November. I kinda like the blue, even though red is my favorite color. I also added the photo, showing my blue circle pin and bracelet, which I’m going to try to wear all month long. I’ve worn the pin almost every day, and the bracelet has been on my wrist the entire month. And as much as I like the color red, I’m probably going to keep the blue banner at the top for a while.
Wow, when I look back and read all of that, I realize it’s probably not that much in the way of increasing awareness. But it’s a heck of a lot more than I was doing last year, which was nothing. November has just begun, and I’m still looking for more impact. Small steps have helped me do more this year, and I feel more connected with my fellow People With Diabetes than ever before. Hope your Diabetes Awareness Month has been great.
Is there anything special that you’re doing this month? If so, feel free to let me know. I’d love for everyone to hear about it.
This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/november-dsma-blog-carnival-2