Advocates: You are making a difference.

I was riding down on the elevator after another day at work, when I heard something I’ve never heard there before. I saw him looking over at me, as I was leafing through the latest Baseball Hall of Fame publication, when he said…

“Is that… an insulin pump?”

There are roughly a thousand people who come and go from the building I work in each day. I’ve had the same insulin pump attached to me for over four years now. But no one has ever mentioned it or asked me about it before. In fact, none of my co-workers noticed it at all unless I mentioned it to them, even though it’s clipped to my belt and the tubing hangs out everywhere.

Anyway, I said yes, and he mentioned how he’s dealing with elevated glucose recently. He didn’t say Type 2, but as we spoke I surmised (maybe I shouldn’t have) that Type 2 is what he’s dealing with. I should mention that he’s very fit… way fitter than me… and he’s trying to find out everything he can about how to control his BG, and he wanted to ask me about my pump. We talked about our experiences a little while longer, and then both of us, without any prompting, practically blurt out the same things: Diabetes is weird, and it doesn’t act the same every day. A lot of people think that kids are the only ones with Type 1, and only overweight, unfit people have Type 2.

This struck me not so much because it’s true (which, sadly, it is), but because of the realization that times have changed if a near stranger understands this early in his (possibly) diabetic life.

Hey, there are still plenty of uninformed individuals out there, and we seem to remember who they are. Or what they say. But what about this guy? He hasn’t let anyone sell him a bill of goods. The information he’s getting is right, and he’s comfortable sharing.

Don’t get me wrong. I still saw the look in his eyes. The look that says he’s unsure how this is all going to turn out. Even when we’re riding high on the cusp of a sub-seven A1c or a Dexcom no-hitter, we’re still terrified of the possibility of complications and an early death.

But I was quite encouraged by the fact that someone took the initiative to find out more about what was happening to his body, and the information he gathered seemed to be pretty good so far.

We’re far from a perfect world where all People With Diabetes are accepted and treated with empathy and support, rather than derided and given misinformation. But every once in a while, it’s really nice to see that the message is getting through. So to all of you Diabetes Advocates out there working hard to bring a positive and true message to the diabetes landscape: Know that the word is getting through. Keep up the good great and amazing work.
 
 
”So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(paraphrasing William Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice)
 
 
Diabetes Hands Foundation is offering a one day advocacy MasterLab on July 2nd at the Orlando World Center Marriott in collaboration with Children with Diabetes.

Registered participants in CWD’s Friends for Life conference are welcome to join the MasterLab as part of their FFL experience at no additional cost. Separate registration for the MasterLab is required.

Stand alone registration for the MasterLab is $50 per person.

Registration is free if you’re already registered for Friends For Life.
 
 
 

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