Tag Archives: #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes

It’s back: #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes


Welcome to the second annual #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day, brought to you by Kelly Kunik, who would be pleased as punch (made with 100 percent juice) if you would share your thoughts on the subject, using the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag. Write, share, and join us for the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes and #DSMA Twitter chat tonight at 9:00 eastern time here in the USA.

It’s an interesting paradigm: Diabetes is invisible to many, though it certainly is not to those of us living with it. At some point nearly every Person With Diabetes is reluctant or fearful to open up and reveal the challenges that come with managing blood sugar every single minute of every single day for the rest of our lives. Yet, it can be cathartic, rewarding, and yes, overwhelming to actually do that and tell our story to the world.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is not easy. It’s not “set it and forget it”. It’s not a series of rules or directives that will move us instantly to BG nirvana if we follow them all to the letter.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is a lot more involved than that. It’s dealing with insurance and doctor visits. It’s dealing with keeping our insulin warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer so it doesn’t go bad. It’s dealing with bad infusion sites, and continuous glucose monitors that can’t work in lockstep with our meters. It’s dealing with the thirst and sluggishness of high glucose, and the hangover feeling of low blood glucose.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes means also living with the possibility and the fear of complications. A number of co-morbidities can result from living with this disease, and if we do experience one or more of those, it doesn’t mean that “this happened because we weren’t taking care of ourselves”. And you never have the right to suggest such a thing. Ever.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes costs one heckofalotta money. Remember, we have to not only live with diabetes every day the rest of our lives; we have to also pay for the privilege. Prescriptions, durable medical supplies, insulin pumps, CGMs, and enough supplies for unexpected lows. In my country, it amounts to thousands of dollars out of our pocket every single year, for as long as we live.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes gets even tougher as you get older. Here in the USA, people who have come to rely on CGM technology to help them avoid dangerous lows must give up their CGM once they reach age 65, or engage in a long appeal process to keep it, because our Medicare program won’t cover it.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes needs more voices, and more support for those voices. In the past four years that I’ve been writing in this space, I’ve come across so many brilliant and helpful people that continuously raise the level of discussion and advocacy for those living with and affected by diabetes. But no one person can connect with every person via the information superhighway. So we need more voices, from more perspectives, in more places, to bring diabetes awareness and support to match the need for awareness and support among every segment of our health care systems, economies, and governments.

Your story is important. Share liberally. Thank you for being such an important part of this community.

Please share your thoughts: #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes

Denver teacher Kyle Schwartz started this wonderful #IWishMyTeacherKnew initiative, in which she asks her students to write down on a post-it note what it is that they wish their teacher knew. The story is inspirational and uplifting, and reading about it brings tears to your eyes sometimes, and it’s been all over the news lately. HERE is an example, courtesy of CNN.

Kelly Kunik and I both saw this story at around the same time, both of us had similar ideas, but she beat me to the punch in designating today as #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes day. Because she’s just awesome that way.

Look for my takes on this below. Look for additional brain spewing and general thoughts on this meme throughout the day on all social media. And tonight’s DSMA chat is all about #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes… the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Join us at 9:00 ET in the USA by following @DiabetesSocMed and the #DSMA and #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtags.

Here we go:

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes sometimes causes high BGs in the mornings that are a pain in the ass to deal with. But… #gameface

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is not equatable or equitable to anything else. Even to yesterday. It’s day-to-day, monitor it all the time, never gonna get a vacation from it.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes looks normal, and even manageable, from behind the face of this blog; but in reality, I deal with the same problems, the same headaches, the same highs and lows, that everyone else living with this disease deals with. You are not alone, dear reader.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes makes me work harder than my co-workers will ever know.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes has caused me to experience near-death hypoglycemic low blood sugar battles at work, at home, in the grocery store, during workouts at the gym, on vacation in multiple countries, and just about anywhere else in my 24 years with diabetes. It has sapped my energy and killed brain cells and while I try, I can’t be guaranteed to not experience another one today. Or tomorrow.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes makes me want to simultaneously invest large (to me) sums of money in and kick the teeth out of insurance companies that make life and death decisions for me and my friends based on nothing other than “delivering increasing returns to shareholders this quarter”.

While we’re at it, #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is making people who already can buy or sell anything they ever wanted increasingly richer, while making other people increasingly have to choose between food for their families, keeping the lights on at home, and paying the mortgage; or buying the drugs and devices that will keep themselves or their loved ones alive on the other. On a monthly basis.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes made me one of those people who once had to choose between food, keeping the lights on at home, and paying the rent; or buying drugs, DME, or going to the doctor when I needed it. On a weekly basis.

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes has blessed me with not only a faulty pancreas, but also the kind of daily resilience that some can only dream of. And empathy that, unfortunately, some others will never understand. That will not keep me from trying to help them understand and empathize with the daily resilience that me and all of my brothers and sisters with faulty pancreases possess.


#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes has connected me with so many people living with and affected by diabetes through daily interactions, Twitter exchanges, blogs, Facebook, healthcare professionals, the scientific community, and as yet unknown additional outlets that inspire, empower, and I know, will eventually overwhelm the bejesus out of this stupid, effing, disease.

If you’d like to add more, join us tonight… and by all means, leave a couple of things #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes below.

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