Thursday, 26 January 2012

Big challenge, small steps.

Last month, I read a story called “500 Milesin the American Diabetes Association’s magazine, Diabetes Forecast. When I read the title I thought “aaahhh, another person doing something insane to create awareness about diabetes”. (I have nothing against people who do insane and wonderful things for charity but I feel I can’t be part of it because I’m just ordinary).

After reading it I was “wowed”. This chap came up with an extraordinary challenge but then developed a plan that turned this extraordinary challenge into a manageable everyday task. He also made it interesting for himself focusing on what happened on his walks.

Also, at this time I was reading a lot about New Year Resolutions, goal setting and the best way to achieve those goals. A lot of what I was reading about this was apparent in “500 Miles”. How it’s not enough to make the resolution to, for example, lose weight in 2012. You have to dissect that goal down to a daily task, like say, a 3- minute walk or to pick one fat-laden item from my daily diet and either replace it with a low-calorie alternative or just remove it altogether. Then pick a date; in one month or two months’ time to review how well you have progressed and if you need to add another task to achieve your goal.

“500 Miles” also made me realise that we all probably do extraordinary things in our ordinary lives!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

People say dumb stuff....but...

Yes, even the best of us says “dumb” stuff but what I’m referring to in this instance are the things that people who do not have diabetes (even loved ones) say to us when we talk about our diabetes. You know; the “should you be eating that” or the “I eat so much sugar that I know I’m going to get it”, etc.

What amazes me is the way people react to the “dumb stuff”! Sometimes we over-react to what the person says because they really don't know what to say and we don't do ourselves any favours by doing so. The way I see it, as a person with diabetes or affected by it, you have a couple of choices in this situation, you can;
  1. do the head tilt and nod,
  2. the calm informative response or
  3. the rant.

I think that as people with diabetes it is our responsibility to educate others, to a certain degree, about the diabetic basics as they relate to us.
Why? Firstly, we need to educate more people about Type 1 diabetes because we are such a minority that we are dependent on the extended diabetes community to help us in our fight for a better future and a better healthcare system. Secondly, we need people to realise that there is a lot more involved to diabetes management than taking medication and following a "diet". And lastly, we need to educate more people about type 2 diabetes because of their risk of developing it and maybe they can prevent it in their own lives.
Having said that it shouldn’t solely be up to the person with diabetes to provide all of the information; for instance, if you are a significant other to a person with diabetes it would be an ultimate act of support if you found your own source of information and then you both talk about your findings.

That's my 2cents:-)