Today is #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes … Day. It was created by Kelly Kunik, who came up with it after a third grade teacher, Kyle Schwartz, from Denver, Colorado started sending quotes from her students under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew.
Kelly thought about what she wished the general public understood about diabetes. She came up with the hashtag and sent it out to the #DOC, which is the Diabetes Online Community. At about 7 PM Central time today, she tweeted that the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes had passed over 9 million impressions! That’s pretty cool.
It got me thinking. I tend to not say things like “Diabetes Sucks” or feel particularly bad about having diabetes. It’s just a part of who I am. I’ve incorporated it into what I do everyday. It doesn’t define me, yet it is an integral part of how I show up in the world. After all, I did create the Red Riders and I did run TeamWILD Athletics for six years. Both of those came out of my heart of hearts, from my desire to help empower people who have diabetes to get physically active, with guidance and support.
What do I wish people knew or understood about diabetes? The post I put on my Facebook page was this:
“#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes is a 24/7 thing to live with. There are no vacations, no rest periods, no time outs. Every moment of every day some element of diabetes is in my near vicinity. Grateful I have #BeginnersMind!”
That’s the thing that I most wish people understood. For the past 33 years and 10 months, diabetes has been on my mind every single day. I have had zero breaks from it. There have been moments when I figure things out. And my blood sugars stay in normal range for hours and hours on end. Those are awesome hours.
Then there are hours, sometimes days, that due to stress, hormones, lack of exercise, too much exercise, fighting a cold, miscalculating the amount of carbohydrates I am eating and the insulin needed to cover those carbohydrates, a bottle of insulin going bad, an insulin pump infusion site clogging or falling out, and so forth, my blood sugars are anything but normal. I might go low. I might go high.
So, I breathe into it. I think about my feet, which helps me get grounded. I think about the Buddhist monks who value the Beginner’s Mind. Beginner’s Mind refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
Even though I have dealt with the ups and downs of diabetes for almost 34 years, and have studied diabetes with incredible experts, I imagine EACH TIME that I am approaching my diabetes for the first time. With openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions. This helps me to not judge myself. To offer forgiveness to myself for not being perfect with diabetes, for not always staying between the lines on my Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor.
This is what I wish people knew about diabetes. I wish more people would say, “Good job for staying with this challenge.”
On that note, here’s my Dexcom cgm for today:
If you get a chance to go on Twitter, check out the hashtag! You can see it on Facebook too! People are saying some beautiful, heartfelt things.
Thank you for stopping by. I love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment please!