Welcome to November. If you have diabetes in your household, you should be fairly versed on what this month means. In particular, November 14, as the birthday of
Dr. Banting (of famed, Banting and Best) who discovered insulin; has also become THE Diabetes Day of Awareness.
I have no problem with the concept of a month for awareness for diabetes but I do have a question for all of us to think about, ‘why has it not caught on?” Don’t get me wrong, many buildings will be lit in blue and there will be many initiatives surrounding diabetes this month, but outside of our diabetes-circle, who knows about it?
Every year, when this month comes around, I observe and wonder what it will take for the world to stand up and notice. There was a woman on 60 Minutes last night who was talking about the disaster of what heroin addiction does to a family. She further stated that these kids with problems end up in jail, when they need help. She went on to say that people with diabetes do not get sent on jail, they get to sit on a couch at 300 pounds and eat bon-bons.
That’s it folks. That’s what people say about diabetes. What campaign worked? The ones where major industry pounds away that overweight people can get diabetes and THEY need to do something about it and the utilization of their product will help people avoid it.
Too bad isn’t it?
You see, there are too many messages out there about diabetes and for the life of me I never understood why there is not a meeting once a year where every diabetes organization has a representative and a discussion is had about an education initiative for the year, with one objective. A very simple message. Whatever is decided. We MUST GET AWAY from the ‘we-did-not-think-of-it-so-we-are-not-being/taking-part’-syndrome.
Doing the same thing every single year and expecting a different result is lunacy…..yet, it’s done every year. Those who live with diabetes do not need a 30 day refresher course each year…..believe me they know. Do we do things for own edification or do we do things to let the world know that diabetes exists? Do we do things so our own community thinks, ‘how cool is XYZ’, or do we take the steps to teach? DO we just light buildings in blue or do we let the media know WHY that building is blue during this month as a teachable moment?
Diabetes awareness means just that……awareness. We who live it, do not need an awareness reminder. I love all that is done during this month. I love the fund-raising, the avatars, the color blue, the buildings in blue; I love it all. Love it-love it-love it. But this month should also be used to get the word out……not the word in. So do something about educating others this month, no matter how small you think it is. You will feel better about your efforts and you will not feel……well……so blue.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.