Another diabetes awareness month has come and gone. Like many people, pages, and blogs, I made a “post a day” for November. And if you were following my posts, you may have noticed that there was no post on the 30th.
November is over, but diabetes isn’t.
The worry isn’t over
People are still being misdiagnosed. People are still going into DKA. People are still dying from unexpected low blood sugars in the night, or during a shower, or while they’re driving.
Parents still worry about how their child will care for themselves as a teen, and as an adult.
People are worrying about how they’re going to choose between life-sustaining insulin, and their mortgage payment.
Worries about diabulimia and depression and burnout are not gone.
The exhaustion isn’t over
From getting up several times a night, every night, to check blood sugar levels.
From having to explain the same things over and over, sometimes to complete strangers, about what T1D is and how serious it is.
The exhaustion of having to fight for rights in school and work. Fighting to get legislation put in place, only to have it ignored and not enforced by anyone.
Being exhausted from battling high or low blood sugars, sometimes for hours, and then having to explain why you “look fine” but feel like crap.
The stigma isn’t over
People still assume you caused your disease when you tell them you have diabetes.
People are told not to inject at a table. In a restaurant. At a family dinner. They’re told to go to the bathroom to do that, so that they don’t bother anyone.
They’re treated as liars, helicopter parents, and people who complain too much when they just need to get over it.
If you tell a stranger that you have diabetes, you’ll get a very different reaction than if you say you have an autoimmune disease that requires multiple injections every day to live. Yet, those are the same disease.
So, the need to spread awareness isn’t over
To tell people who are years or decades into their own journey that they’re not alone.
To help people who are newly diagnosed figure out how to navigate this complex disease.
To teach people the signs and symptoms, so that they can get a diagnosis instead of a death sentence.
To tell the world how complicated and frustrating and scary diabetes really is. And maybe they’ll start to care. And maybe they’ll want to help.
To fund a cure. To find a cure.
So that we won’t have to share “30 days of T1D facts” in November anymore.
And one day, November can just go back to being November instead of diabetes awareness month.
So, here is my “day 30” post. I suppose it’s symbolic to do it in December rather than November.
Because while November is over, T1D and the need to spread awareness is not.
What do you do to raise awareness during Diabetes Awareness Month? Do you continue after November is over? Let’s talk about it. Comment below!
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