19 November 2010

Now That World Diabetes Day is Over

Now that the day is over, what was accomplished? I have thought about this the last few days and wonder how many people were better off for it? Have the goals been met? Yes, I know that this is Diabetes Month and that there are days left in the month, but that still leaves me less than enthusiastic about one day. I would like to think more of what could be accomplished if the energy of one day could be channeled into 365 days.

I started to think about the money spent in advertising world diabetes day and diabetes month, the money spent for lighting buildings, monuments, and all the promotions that were done. How many people were truly educated by this. The one great idea was originated by a few people and with Roche donating money for those in developing countries to get insulin to those that otherwise would not have it. That is a positive and money wisely contributed!

The biggest goal I thought was to educate people about diabetes. If all the money spent on advertising and lighting buildings, was used for articles on diabetes and advertising with a personal story in newspapers, magazines, and in other media, a lot more people would probably have better, if not greater, knowledge of diabetes.

Another thought would be wearing the blue circle every day. This would always give you something to talk about and educate others about diabetes. Some of us will need an extra dose of patience to deal with some people, but it could be worth the extra patience. This would help put all types of diabetes in front of the public on a year-round basis and should reach more people than a one day event.

While the ADA has finally recognized World Diabetes Day, they still are hung up on the color red and have not recognized the blue circle that the JDRF and IDF have adopted for diabetes. We also need to encourage ADA to adopt a more realistic approach to the different types of diabetes. They could publish small pamphlets for the medical profession and pharmacies to hand out explaining the different types of diabetes. And I mean all types – polygenic and monogenic.

I am a little tired of having to explain that Type 2 does not progress into Type 1, or that diabetes is a disease. Just because we appear normal to people around us, does not mean that daily, we do not have to carefully manage our diabetes to prevent the complications from developing. This is what our neighbors and acquaintances do not see, the testing, taking medications, and the worry of getting it right.

There was really nothing locally to celebrate World Diabetes Day, so I just had to do my thing and be happy.

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