Monthly Archives: February 2014
“Statistically, just the rate at which diabetes is being diagnosed, you should be cautious of saying something like that [accusations of not knowing what life with diabetes is like]. Rashly assuming is a dangerous business.”
“That does not mean that it is our only defining characteristic or that we must live in a constant state of emergency. Were non-diabetics who know nothing about the disease to read some of the posted responses, they would conclude that diabetics live in a constant state of panic because the disease is unmanageable. That is not a good message for us to send to diabetics or non-diabetics.”
The first quote is from the elder Miss Manners; the second from the younger, the one with T1. (Excerpted from yesterday’s article on DiabetesMine, which had me captivated from start to finish.)
Now, you may not agree with everything Miss Manners says… heck, you may despise everything ever written in the column. But if you take some time to think about these two quotes and consider them in your own interactions with others, you just might be surprised on how well it works.
Wait a minute… the February blog carnival is about what it means to be an advocate. Didn’t I just write about that in January? Can I just submit that one? No? Darnit! Oh well, I suppose this will give me fodder for new blog material.
So here’s the deal. I still struggle with the whole advocacy concept. I’m still trying to break out of the constrictive definition of advocacy that I’ve formulated. A definition that includes words such as these:
Influential. Assertive. Vocal. Connected. Persistent.
What do these words all have in common? They imply a hierarchy. They suggest that we need to appeal to a higher authority (not THAT one) to influence change. That the targets of our efforts are limited to governments, suppliers, manufacturers, researchers, and insurers; and if they are to remain steadfast and inflexible, then all of our advocacy work will be for naught.
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Have you ever applied blood to the test strip, and then in haste, removed and thrown out the strip before the countdown reached zero and the result was displayed?
Have you ever pricked your finger, then forgotten which one you chose, leaving you to squeeze three or four different digits looking for the surprise appearance of blood?
Have you ever harpooned yourself with a CGM sensor, only to have it fall right out again because you forgot to first remove the adhesive covering?
Have you ever lost your place while counting to four? (One glucose tablet.. chomp-chomp; two glucose tablets… chomp-chomp; four…no… wait…two…seven…eleventeen…?)
Have you ever tested your blood sugar… thirty seconds after testing your blood sugar…because you’d forgotten that you’d done it already?
Have you ever fasted for a blood-draw which, as it turns out, didn’t require you to not eat beforehand?
Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night, groggy and hypoglycemic, to find that you only dreamed of testing and treating the low, but never actually did it?
Have you ever confessed – publicly to the world – some of the absolutely boneheaded things you’ve done that left you feeling dumber than dirt?
I have. And I’m quite sure I’ll do all of them again.
The d-blogosphere was all abuzz yesterday with anger. Anger towards one “Miss Manners”, who suggested that a gentle reader retreat to the airplane’s lavatory in order to test his blood sugar.
I, for one, am not angry. The author’s nom de plume is all about manners; about making others around you feel comfortable. And, in the name of comfort and serenity, I’m sure the person sitting next to me on a plane would prefer that I didn’t bleed all over the place. (With that said, I’m also sure this person wouldn’t want me pushing my way through from the window seat so often; but Miss Manners didn’t address this alternative, so neither shall I).
Miss Manners is a syndicated newspaper columnist who expresses opinions. She is neither legislator nor enforcer, and nobody is under any obligation or commitment to comply with her wishes. She doesn’t make rules. Let’s not forget that.
Most of the blogs I read are about diabetes, but there are a few others to which I regularly make the rounds. Among them is a blog written by the mother of a
boy man with Angelman Syndrome. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that my only brother has Angelman (or, to phrase it in a way I learned from that blog, “is an angel”).
And as a quick refresher on what this means, and I’ve blogged about it a few times before: my brother is 37 years old. He is unable to talk, read, or perform basic tasks (like getting dressed or using the bathroom) without assistance. He communicates by way of grunts, gestures, and facial expressions. He’s got the mind and behavior of a 2-year old but the strength of a grown man, and a hug can literally knock you to the ground. I watched my seven-year-old son pass him, intellectually, long ago, and my two-year-old is passing him in some ways now.
Anyway, this blog that I read ended with a link to a petition to the White House to increase funding for researching treatments and a cure for Angelman Syndrome. And that got me thinking. Not the treatment part (of which we could use all the help we can get, and hopefully put an end to the rotating cocktail of meds and side effects that he consistently uses), but the cure part. I asked myself, “do I want to see him cured?”