Someone once joked about Diabetes Awareness Month saying they were very much aware of their own diabetes. As a result, I smile whenever I hear the phrase. On the serious side of things, though, there is more to diabetes awareness than being aware of our own diabetes. There are risk factors to share with those around us, making others more aware of their chances of having diabetes, as well as helping others become more educated about diabetes. Not only that, but within the diabetes community we need to remember that no two people live with diabetes the same way.
Each of us has our own "type" of diabetes. I'm not talking Type 1, Type, 2, LADA, gestational, etc. I'm talking Type Sue, Type Fred, Type Annabelle, etc. (Two of those names I made up, though I'm sure there are Freds and Annabelles out there living with diabetes.) My diabetes is just that - mine. My doctor and I are the ones that decide my treatment. Ultimately I make the day to day decisions when it comes to my diabetes management. This is the same for everyone. It is not my decision how my husband should manage his diabetes. Yes, I will admit that I've made some suggestions and would love for him to handle things differently. Maybe that's what it means to be aware.
Aware that we each need to be in control of our diabetes managment, whatever that means to each individual.
Aware that other factors influence how our body reacts to food and medication. That could be other illnesses, medication, stress, emotions, or just the phase of the moon.
Aware that each of us has a different level of need for support, be it educational, medical, or emotional.
Aware that we all deserve what we need to manage our diabetes to the best of our ability - medication, equipment, electronics, counseling, education, etc.
During the month of November as we celebrate Diabetes Awareness, let us also celebrate the wonderful diversity of experience that the diabetes community brings. Let's all be... AWARE!