Click for the Message Monday - Monday 5/16 Link List.
Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?
Oh I am a slacker! I forgot to sign up and of course this week is chaotic with work, PRSA and everything else. I'm going to do my best to fully participate though.
What is the most important diabetes awareness message to me? I think to me is it pushing the message I am a human first and i just happen to have diabetes. Maybe that is why I blog about all sorts of things such as Stitch Fix, cooking and random musings. (Yes, I'm fully aware my blog has been lacking since I started my new job this past September).
If I wanted to be primarily known as a person with diabetes, I'd push diabetes 24/7. But I'm a human. With at least a million other facets to who I am than just my diabetes. As a kid, I always felt everyone viewed me as a person with diabetes first who happened to be someone's daughter, sister, student, classmate, teammate, etc. Even my endocrinologists seemed to view me as just another person with diabetes.
Perhaps being viewed this way led to a lot of my rebellion and lack of ambition/motivation to actually care about myself and my health. I was defined as a youngster my the number of my glucose monitor. If I was high (because emotions, sunshine/heat or who knows why), I'd face the third degree about what candy I must have secretly eaten. Why bother trying if my numbers could be impacted by things I couldn't control.
But then I found my previous doctor (she left the field so I have a new one who is just as amazing), who treated me like a human. She asked about my life. She bragged to others in the office when I bought my house, she bragged about me earning my APR. She gave me hugs. She cared about me and saw me as a human who happened to have this pesky disease rather than a diabetic who also happens to be a human with who knows how many interests.
JDRF has started their "Type 1 diabetes looks like me" campaign and is shares a similar message as what I am unintentionally pushing out -- diabetes does not define me. I refuse to let it. If I let it define me, it wins. I'm competitive. I refuse to win.
Just because I don't let it define me doesn't mean I don't care and I don't advocate for better situations for those of us with diabetes. I do care. I do my best to advocate but I don't want diabetes to be the first word people use to describe me. I much prefer mischievous or witty or adrenaline junkie or ambitious or heck, even "ethnicity unknown" (ha! inside joke!)
So, that is my message with my blog and social media. It isn't a common/traditional message and at times it seems others may view me not so favorably but I'm okay with this. I have no issue with those who let a disease define them but it isn't the path I choose for me. Which is wonderful. I truly love how everyone in the DOC is so different.