Tag Archives: world diabetes day

World Diabetes Day 2017.

Welcome to another World Diabetes Day! Just in case you were wondering, there will be 18 hours of diabetes chat on Twitter using the #WDDCHAT17 hashtag. Join the conversation anytime from 6:00 a.m. eastern time (US) until 12:00 midnight. I’ll be moderating the 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. hour, talking about Using Your Voice. Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to do anything too strenuous at that time of the morning…

This World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation has focused its attention on women living with and affected by diabetes worldwide. To find out how I feel about that, CLICK HERE. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Probably because I’m not a woman.

So, we’ve made it another year, and just like every year, some things have changed. Likewise, some things have stayed the same. Let’s talk about that.

What has changed in diabetes in the last year? Two things immediately come to mind: two more insulin pump makers went away in the United States. And we have an additional choice in continuous glucose monitors. I’ll miss you, Animas. I hardly knew you, Roche. Welcome to the U.S., Freestyle Libre.

But there’s more. In the advocacy space, DPAC has been the driving force behind the Affordable Insulin Project, helping to keep the conversation going when it comes to access to the most important hormone in the entire world to those of us living with this condition. The continuing #BeyondA1c, conversations have been helped us move toward more meaningful benchmarks in managing our diabetes. So, advocacy-wise, there is some really next level stuff going on.

Also, I love being able to write “next level stuff”.

What has stayed the same in the last year? Well, I still have diabetes. That’s the same. Also, insulin is still expensive. I wish that wasn’t true. But it is.

What else is the same? I’m sorry to report that divisions within the diabetes community still exist. And that’s shameful. Look, we all have crappy pancreases. Every single person, every single soul, is important. I don’t care about types or what you think of them. Just like we want to take care of our entire bodies, let’s work on taking care of the entire body of everyone living with diabetes.

I long for the time when I can write that the things that have stayed the same in diabetes are wonderful things.

There’s a lot more to talk about. What has changed for you? What has stayed the same? We all have the same disease, but we all have different perspectives. I hope this edition of World Diabetes Day brings you more health, more hope, and most of all, more happiness.

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This one looks different.

It’s November 14 again… World Diabetes Day.

To many of us, the thought of that seems to be a mixture of “meh”, and “sorry… too overwhelming”. Blame it on a disease that produces more than its fair share of burnout, therefore burning us out before Diabetes Awareness Month is even halfway over.

I understand that. Regardless, I was kind of excited about where our cause was. Before our recent election, I had written a quite different blog post from what you see below. Now… well, this World Diabetes Day looks different.

Sure, in the last year, we’ve seen FDA approval of Medtronic’s Minimed 670g. I’ve already spoken with a parent that was so excited about her son’s clinical trial experience on the device she’s already looking forward to the sleep she won’t be doing without soon.

In addition to Medtronic, there are several groups working feverishly on true closed-loop artificial pancreas solutions. Bigfoot Biomedical, Type Zero, Beta Bionics, and several others had us all comparing possibilities and looking forward to our own restful hours spending less time managing our numbers, more time enjoying life (or getting shuteye).

Pause for a moment and consider how far we’ve come in just the past five years. I actually let myself imagine the kind of advances we might see in another two or three.

I was equally excited about the increased scrutiny being given to insulin pricing nationwide. The crescendo of outrage hadn’t bubbled up from nowhere. Diabetes advocates have been sounding the alarm on drug pricing for some time. It was great to see that other voices were finally taking notice.

(image courtesy of Twitter)

(image courtesy of Twitter)


Many of you are viewing this because you consider yourselves part of a larger online diabetes community that supports, coalesces around important issues, and encourages others living with our condition to stand up for themselves and help others to do the same. That didn’t come from nowhere.

In person events like the Diabetes UnConference, online happenings like the weekly DSMA Twitter chats, webinars from countless diabetes advocacy groups, a plethora of diabetes podcasts, and much more underscore the fact that ours is a community that has face-to-face gatherings and every social media channel churning away for the better good of all people living with diabetes.

And people are taking notice, like the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and countless device and drug makers that reach out to us for our input. Five years ago, would you have imagined patients having a real presence at both the ADA and AADE conferences? We, as patients and advocates, were making our mark.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had taken the time to convene multiple online and in person gatherings to help make patient concerns (and sometimes, patient and corporate concerns together) a part of their research on drug and device efficacy. That’s not where we were a few years back, is it?

But… we’re living in a different world this World Diabetes Day. In a little over two months, it’s quite possible that millions of Americans will lose their right to healthcare coverage. Millions of voters made a clear statement to say that they’re okay with that. For the record, I am not, and will never be, okay with that. My friends and I have been betrayed by half of America, and it hurts me to my core.

I will take solace today by joining the World Diabetes Day chat for a few hours on Twitter. But…

If you’re burned out on all the Diabetes Awareness Month / Must Do Something Because it’s November, I get it.

If you feel like you and your condition have been given the middle finger by half the electorate, I get it.

The truth is, we have a lot to be proud of this World Diabetes Day. But this one feels different. I don’t have answers or ideas for you yet. I’m still trying to blow air back into my balloon. But know this: I will never turn my back on you.

And: I support you… no conditions.

Join us for #WDDChat16!

So, it’s November and all. You know what that means:

24 hour #WDDChat16 Twitter Chat November 14!
wddchat16
Let me be the first to remind you that Monday marks another World Diabetes Day, and among all the other happenings around the world, much of the world will be checking in to the diabetes talk on Twitter. Some people, like me, multiple times.

If you’re a seasoned veteran of the #DSMA chats, terrific. Consider this your friendly reminder. Just remember to use the #WDDChat16 hashtag for this special event. We’ll see you Monday.

If you’re not familiar with the Twitter discussion, or if it’s been a while and you don’t remember, here’s the deal: each hour of the chat will have a different topic, and will be moderated by a different host. I will be your moderator from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (EST in the USA). The topic: My Diabetes House. My Twitter handle: @StephenSType1

Each hour’s chat will include several questions asked by the moderator, and participants are encouraged to reply. And chat with other participants while they’re at it. For a list of the WDD hosts and topics, CLICK HERE.

If you’re new, don’t be discouraged. The #WDDChat16 chat will be a fun atmosphere that welcomes everyone living with and affected by diabetes, regardless of your type of diabetes, regardless of how long diabetes has been a part of your life. It really is the fastest hour of the week when the chat happens at its regular time on Wednesday nights from 9:00-10:00 (EST). On World Diabetes Day, the lively conversation will continue for 24 straight hours.

The moderators on Monday include some of my favorite People With Diabetes. If you don’t already, I encourage you to get to know them too. People like Christel Marchand Aprigliano, Anna Norton, Chelcie Rice, Kerri Morrone Sparling, Kelly Kunik, Chris Clement, and others. Over the years, I’ve seen participants from every continent except Antarctica.

Don’t have a Twitter account? No problem. Go to twitter.com and create yours in about 15 seconds.

To join the chats, follow the #WDDChat16 hashtag on Twitter, or use one of the several hashtag feed web sites that will link with your Twitter account. That way, everything in the chat just keeps flowing, and you also have a space on the same page to Tweet away yourself. I like to use this one: http://tchat.io/rooms/WDDChat16

Then just jump in and enjoy the conversation!

If you’re still not sure how this all works, CLICK HERE and send me an e-mail. I will help you get going or answer your questions.

This is truly one of my favorite things about November each year, and like other years (this is my 5th!), I hope you will join me during the 24 hour (including 8:00-9:00 a.m.) World Diabetes Day Twitter Chat sponsored by Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation.

Special thanks to Cherise Shockley for coordinating the chat every year, and for her tireless efforts to bring our community together, one conversation at a time.

Happy World Diabetes Day, Advocates. I’m looking at you.

So here we are. World Diabetes Day, 2014. And everyone’s burned out.

Sorry to throw cold water on a day when we should all be showing our true diabetes selves to the world. But hey, the burned-out part is part of our diabetes selves, isn’t it?

It is. There are also soooo-oo-ooooo many initiatives out there right now that even energetic-little-old-me is feeling overwhelmed. And that’s what I want to talk about.

Because I think there’s a difference between feeling burned out and feeling overwhelmed. Burned out is “I’ve done all these things and I’m so tired and I just can’t muster the energy for one more task”. Plus “I’m tired of doing all these things and seeing no outward result”. Completely understandable, and believe me, I’ve been there.

On the other hand, overwhelmed, to me, is “Big Blue Test”, and “Dexcom Share has been approved”, “#Vote4DM”, and “#MedicareCGM”, “Blue Circles” and “Diabetes Awareness Month” and “National Diabetes Awareness Month” and “National Diabetes Month” and “Where do I start?”. Again, I totally get it. It’s hard to keep up with everything and give 100 percent effort to all the things.

It’s even possible to feel burned out and overwhelmed at the same time. Plus, the magnitude of this month in addition to the big things people are doing has a certain way of making the rest of us (and what we’re doing) feel kind of small by comparison.
 
 
So let’s take a deep breath. Find some perspective.

Let’s acknowledge a few diabetes truths here:

– If you’re living with diabetes, or helping someone who lives with diabetes, You Are An Advocate. That’s true if you’re in your first year or your fiftieth. Or sixtieth. Or… you get the idea. Pat yourself on the back every day. You deserve it.

– If you’re telling your story by writing a blog, shooting a video, tweeting your #WalkWithD, participating in the 24 hour #WDDChat2014 today, or engaging with your diabetes brothers and sisters via Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or any other social media outlet, You Are An Advocate.

– If you’ve mentored another person living with or affected by diabetes, either online or offline, whether anyone was looking or not, guess what? You Are An Advocate. Extra points if you picked someone up who was feeling defeated by this disease.

– If you’ve ever set the record straight for someone who didn’t know better, dispelling myths and taking back your dignity, whether anyone was looking or not, guess what? You Too Are An Advocate.

If you’re living with diabetes and pursuing your athletic goals through adversity and despite the extra toll it takes on your psyche and your blood sugar, You Are An Advocate.

– If you’re a woman who has lived through both diabetes and pregnancy, You Are Most Definitely An Advocate. And Congratulations Jen and Kelley and Elizabeth.

– If you’re a Mom or a Dad who is raising a child at the same time you’re managing your diabetes, or you’re a Mom or Dad raising a child living with diabetes, gosh, I have such admiration for you, and by the way, You Are An Advocate.
 
 
There are many ways we show our advocacy, and it doesn’t always have something to do with the latest D-cause. Often, it has to do with the examples we set by living our lives with diabetes, rather than having our lives ruled by diabetes. There are no levels of deserving. You are just as worthy of my respect and admiration as anyone ever cursed by this chronic condition.

So while you rest up from your diabetes burnout and your diabetes-advocacy-event overload, remember to acknowledge the amazing ways you’re already making a difference. Write a list of your advocacy accomplishments. Look at it whenever you need a boost. If you want, you can leave a comment listing them here, either with your name or anonymously. I’ll bet when you do, you’ll find a lot to be proud of. Know that I and many others are proud of you. And grateful.

Thank You.

And please remember: I support you… no conditions.
 
 
 

Happy World Diabetes Day, 2013.

It’s World Diabetes Day 2013!

Thanks, and a Happy WDD to you too.

I’m very happy on a day like this, knowing that people all over the world—not just People With Diabetes, but people with all kinds of backgrounds, from every corner of the globe, are tuned into this one day designed to raise awareness and promote advocacy for our cause.

I am not happy about the reason for this day, and it is my fervent hope that we will one day look at November 14 as a day to celebrate a cure for diabetes.

Did you know that 382 million people are living with diabetes right now? The population of those living with the big D is growing in every country. Part of that is surely the fact that technology and drugs are better, so more of us are living longer, and that’s good.

But did you know that diabetes caused 5.1 million deaths this year alone? The long reach of this insidious disease is mind-blowing. Confession: When I was first diagnosed, one of the little factoids I found somewhere said that the life expectancy of the average male with diabetes in America was 59½. Ever since I read that, my goal has been to blast through that statistic and help skew it in the upward direction. More has to be done on a global scale… we must help those who don’t yet have access to the tools we have to manage diabetes.

Did you know that four out of five people diagnosed with diabetes live in what are considered low or middle income countries? Places where insulin is hard to come by, let alone refrigeration for it. For some, having a glucose meter and test strips is a pipe dream. Still others die simply from a lack of education about things like hyperglycemia, retinopathy, infections, heart problems, and other issues that are of particular concern to those of us living with this condition.

Those are the latest figures. They are taken from this year’s diabetes atlas, prepared by the International Diabetes Federation.

Take a look at how the numbers have changed in a year, and you’ll begin to see (if you haven’t already) why it is so important for us to:

1. Stay healthy – Live Well

2. Raise Awareness – Living well doesn’t mean it’s easy

3. Share our stories with others – By sharing our experiences, we become an example and help crowdsource ideas that will improve outcomes

Hey, we’re 382 million strong. Even if only a quarter of us do the three things above, we’ll know that nearly 100 million are making a difference—a positive difference—for people everywhere.

How are you telling your story today?
 
 
 

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