Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Diabetes American Awareness November (Turkey) Month

Last November I was pretty fresh to the DOC and I was just starting to dive into blogging.  I was just discovering how many awesome things there are going on in November among the D-crowd.  And I wanted to do them all.  I jumped on the photo a day express, plastered Facebook with diabetes facts, and pushed some major advocacy.  It was a great experience and it really helped to get me involved in advocacy and some of the online diabetes stuff.  But this year feels different.  As the end of October drew closer I geared up to participate in some of the usual stuff.  I was looking for a photo challenge I wanted to take part in and trying to think of some common thread to carry through the blog for the month.  And then I realized how forced it was feeling.  I couldn't really get into it.  There are some things coming up in November that I'm excited about.  I'm going to take part in the postcard exchange.  I'm taking part in not one, but two, WDD photo scavenger hunts.  One that I am helping to organize and another that is part of the local diabetes camp program.  I am also gearing up to help coordinate the DTreat in my area and the Treasure Valley JDRF Walk for 2015.  I plan on making the most of my National Diabetes American Awareness Month.  I just don't get the urge to do by shouting from the mountain tops how badly we need a cure.  The last few months have been rough for me from an emotional standpoint.  And the one thing that I keep coming back to is that I really wish I had some sort of established system in my area for T1D adults to connect with one another.  I've tossed around the idea of starting up some sort of local monthly meet up and I certainly think that's a start, but I am looking for more.  Kids with Type 1 are cute.  It's sad to see them suffer through high and low blood sugar, countless pokes and pricks, and dietary restrictions.  But those cute kids grow up and guess what...they still have diabetes.  It seems like they disappear as they get older.  But they still need support.  I know when I was diagnosed at the ripe old age of 26 I could have used someone my age to help me navigate what was happening.  And to clue me in on what lay ahead.  And most of all let me know that, although it feels isolating, I'm not alone.  It took me a while to find the DOC and discover all that for myself.  And even with the DOC it still feels that way sometimes because it just can't always stand in for a face to face conversation with someone who gets it.  So my mission for November is to focus on finding out what I can do to move this goal forward.  As well as probably trying to draw some attention to the importance of the emotional side of diabetes, because it matters, and it's a big deal for me.  So you won't see a new picture of my diabetes life on Instagram this year and you won't see a daily fact on my Facebook wall.  Because I think everyone who cares about what is going on in my life sees those things enough and those who don't will continue to scroll past them regardless of what month it is.  You will probably still see a picture of a beautiful 100 on my meter shall I catch one or mention of some new research that has come along, and definitely some angry tweets about how much diabetes sucks.  I'm not being negative or saying that there is anything wrong with doing those things.  Advocacy is important and being passionate and comfortable with the way you advocate is just as important.  I think it's great to see all these things.  I enjoy to see others interpretations of their life with diabetes and it's very important to spread knowledge and correct information about what diabetes really is.  But this year, it just isn't for me.  Whatever way you phrase it or choose to celebrate it, Happy Diabetes Month my fellow pincushions.

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