Today is D-Blog Day. Members of the online diabetes community are all supposed to post about the same topic.
Choose a form of Media Outlet to write an open letter to, such as NY Times, CNN, Local/National Newspapers, TV and why it is so important for them to let the world know that diabetes is more than just being overweight and having too much sugar. It is about reporting stories about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Let them know what kind of things you would like them to write about. If there are specific articles or reports they got wrong, let them know about it! Let’s get it right!
The only problem is that I don’t really agree with the tone of this topic. And you know what they say – my blog, my rules (well, maybe they don’t say it but I’m saying it now). So instead, I’m going to say what I want to say about this topic.
Dear Unnamed Media Outlet,
I am writing to tell you one thing – it’s okay. I know you get a lot of angry comments and letters and I want to assure you that this is not one of them.
Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month or that November 14th is World Diabetes Day? If you don’t, it’s okay. World Diabetes Day only started officially in 2007 and it is growing each year. If you didn’t know about it this year, it’s okay, you will probably know about it next year. And once you do, could you help us increase advocacy by doing a story on it?
Did you know that there is more than one type of diabetes? If you didn’t, it’s okay. You may think there are only two types. That’s actually wrong too. It’s okay. I didn’t know that either before I was diagnosed with diabetes myself. I knew my grandma had type 2 diabetes and I knew there was another type from a movie called Steel Magnolias and the Babysitter’s Club book series. What I didn’t know was that there are also other types of diabetes like MODY, LADA, and gestational.
Do you think that you are born with type 1 diabetes and that you get type 2 diabetes from being overweight and/or eating too much sugar? If you did, you’re wrong. But it’s okay, I was wrong too for a very long time. The more research done on type 2 diabetes, the more they realize that there is some sort of autoimmune process going on causing the inflammation leading to the insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Technically you are born with the potential for any type of diabetes and an environmental trigger of some sort actually pushes you over the edge into being diagnosed with any type of diabetes.
Did you know that there is no cure for any type of diabetes? You thought you could cure diabetes by just eating better? It’s okay. There are a lot of people out there selling diets and miracle cures and that makes it difficult to hear the actual truth amongst the chatter.
If current trends hold, 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes by 2050. If you don’t know anyone with diabetes now, it’s okay. You will know someone with diabetes soon.
There are a lot of things you don’t know about diabetes until it becomes a part of your life. I understand. I was there once too. But once you know the truth, it is no longer okay to live in ignorance. If you plan to do a story on diabetes or make a joke about diabetes on your TV show (Bones, I’m look at you), take a few moments to do a little research just to make sure you are speaking truth. Words are important.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.