#diabetesawarenessmonth #doc #diabetesawareness (Looking back a few days later)

I really do wish that I had time for consistent blogging- My schedule is just as full as ever- and I enjoy the majority of it (except for classes). I am getting ready to lead two teen breakout sessions for TypeOne Nation; Atlanta in February and the South Summit in January. I am BEYOND excited for these opportunities. Dawgs for Diabetes is also going amazingly! I’ll be organizing and planning during the break.

Everyone tells me to stay in college forever, but there is so much I want to do, so many things I enjoy, so much I want to see and experience, and finally- I am not one of those who is okay with “C’s get degrees.” So of course, I spend my time making sure I do the work to my standards. I am also burned out on school, and I seriously need a break. I am excited for the days when blogging can be on a regular basis- along with writing, crafting, and reading (eventually I’ll be able to do more self-care what?). and I know there is even MORE out there for me to enjoy in the world. I want to go out there and DO something not just sit behind a text book or in a classroom. Do not get me wrong- I acknowledge the importance and how much I have learned.

As I take a break from my paper for International Social Work (which I’ll be posting about when I have a chance- writing about insulin access and diabetes education is getting me worked up). I wanted to take a bit to reflect on Diabetes Awareness Month.

November is over, which means my birthday has passed and I am 22. World Diabetes Day has passed, and Diabetes awareness month is over. It was a CRAZY and exciting month. Not including school and my internship. So much was going on. D4D, was filmed by CNN for CDN during this time. We spoke at two dorms about Diabetes, and we tabled for WDD. I was seriously so proud of us. I am so proud of how far this chapter has come, and it warms my heart. As of right now, when I graduate, I’ll miss the friends I have made here (but most want to move around the world like myself), and Dawgs for Diabetes.

I have been actively participating in Diabetes Awareness Month since I was about 14 when I learned about the blue circle- my how things have changed. I never saw it on any calendars. Organizations that I am a part of didn’t do a whole lot with it- but now things have changed so much already. I cannot wait to see where we go.

I saw more people living with Diabetes participating than I have before. I saw more campaigns and unity. I saw a lot of posts and action being taken. This all fills my heart with joy. Go us! Go Diabetes Community! Go DOC! Go Diabetes organizations! Go those impacted by Diabetes! Go Supporters!

my views on the following-

  • In the future, I hope to continue seeing more growth surrounding Diabetes Awareness Month.
  • I hope more people who are not living with or are directly impacted by Diabetes participate.
  • I hope that when people see the blue circle, they automatically think Diabetes.
  • I hope that the Diabetes community becomes more bonded.
  • I hope that I see more voices of those with Diabetes speaking out loud and participating.

I want to focus on the last two-

The Diabetes community is so scattered. Many people are fighting with one another. There are SO many different campaigns, that it is hard to find it all/be united/not be confused. How are we supposed to ask the rest of the world to listen and to respect us and to stand by our sides- when we don’t stand with one another? When we do not listen to one another. When we do not respect each other. When we are not united. Before we can expect everyone to change/listen, I honestly think within the Diabetes community we need to as well.

Do not get me wrong- I appreciate the caregivers, doctors, and diabetes organizations who stand up for us, and who raise awareness for us. They have seriously done so much and continue to do so much- BUT- those who are living with Diabetes are usually not as active. They are usually more silent. This has GREATLY improved this year. But don’t we want the world to hear our side of the story? Don’t we want to create the change? Don’t we want the change to help us?

I can see where this starts- I can see where children with Diabetes or others living with Diabetes start to fade into the background. They start leaving the Diabetes communities they are a part of- and very rarely do they stick it out or come back. Doesn’t that mean there’s a problem? Doesn’t that mean something needs to be fixed? I watch as kids and my friends grow up and stop attending walks. I watch as there are fewer older campers than there were younger campers (I know life happens and people have things going on and camp isn’t for everything). DKA and higher a1c’s increases as the teen years approach (which there are a lot of factors). I watch as mental health and Diabetes meet up and lead to Diabetes burnout. I have watched as more organizations acknowledge this is a problem. I have watched new organizations pop up for adults with Diabetes- but if the teens leave the the Diabetes Community- the likelihood of them finding their way back to become a part of these organizations is slim (in my opinion). I hope more continues to change. There is a gap here.

As I close out, Diabetes Awareness Month has ended for the rest of the world, but this month never truly ends for everyone impacted by Diabetes. I am truly thankful for all the people in my life who participated and stood up with me and the rest of the Diabetes community- those are the posts I love to see- from those who do not have to because that means a whole new group of people might be learning about Diabetes.

Again- Go US! Till Next Year? Psh. You know me better than that.

 

Hey you! Yes, you! 

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We’ll both be glad you did! -Mindy

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