Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes . . . .

Last week while I was sick I missed out on #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day, an initiative organized by Kelly.  So in “better late than never” style I wanted to jump in now.

My perspective on this is due in part to my participation in the Health E Voices conference a couple of weekends ago.  The conference brought together people from a variety of different health communities, including rheumatoid arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, lupus, HIV, mental health,  different types of cancer and more.  How much do you know about any of these conditions?  Are you sure that what you know is actually correct?  I realized that weekend how much I don’t know about other health conditions - even ones that have affected my own family members.  For example, my grandmother had rheumatoid arthritis but I know very little about it other than it made it very hard for her to grip things with her hands and that knitting helped her.

I sat with these people, who are my peers but who live with conditions I know very little about.  And as it turns out, many knew little about diabetes.  So we talked.  We connected.  We respectfully, and somewhat apologetically, admitted to not knowing about each other’s conditions.  And it was okay.  And we shared.  And we learned a lot from each other.  And we realized that although we lived with different health concerns, we had so much in common.  It was pretty magical.

Photo provided by Janssen conference photographer.

 So what do #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes?  I wish people knew that diabetes is not something I expect you to know everything about.  And that much of what you think you know may not be correct.  And that is absolutely okay, because unless you or someone very close to you lives with diabetes there is no reason for you to know the ins and outs.  And that you are more than welcome to ask me, in a respectful and honest manner.  Don’t be embarrassed for not knowing.  Just be open to learning and understand that I (mostly) know what I’m talking about because I’ve lived with diabetes for more than 35 years.  And I’m willing to share my perspective.

Disclosure:  Janssen Global Services paid for my travel expenses for the conference. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely love this. Your perspective on this is perfect. Thanks!


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