It’s Diabetes Week 2018 (11th-17th June) and we want everyone to #TalkAboutDiabetes!
Having diabetes is not an easy ride, in fact it’s a very serious condition that needs to be monitored and assessed every moment of the day. It’s like taking on another full time job to be honest! Or, if you’re self employed like me, taking on yet another part time job to add to the list of all the other part time jobs you already have! If you click the link above you can find yourself at the official #TalkAboutDiabetes Diabetes UK page where you can upload content to get involved with Diabetes Week.
Why is it some people find it so hard to talk about having diabetes?
Unfortunately diabetes isn’t something that us diabetics have asked for. We are just the unfortunate individuals whose bodies have decided to attack themselves. For what reason? We don’t 100% know. However, you should never feel ashamed of your diabetic status and you should never feel like a burden to others. That is definitely not the right mindset. If you’re anything like me, I absolutely love talking about diabetes and I am ready to spread awareness and knowledge whenever I can! There is a huge difference in terms of pushing diabetes in people’s faces and actually educating them about it. You don’t want your diabetes to become to centre of all conversations and the only thing you talk about, because then people won’t take you seriously. There’s always a time and place to talk about it and you’ll know when those times are. You need to find the balance with what you need to tell people, what people want to hear and how often you talk about it.
It’s a very sad thought but quite a few people are embarrassed and ashamed of being diabetic. I don’t ever feel ashamed for a second, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about! I’m the same as everyone else, I just have to inject insulin into my body because my pancreas doesn’t work. I’m actually very proud of being a part of the huge diabetic community and consider myself as a warrior, not a victim.
I guess some people don’t want to come across as an “issue” to others by telling them that they have diabetes. Making sure you tell others that you have diabetes could potentially save your life if anything awful were to happen to you. By not telling people it might be too late if something happened to you and that could lead to serious consequences.
How do you approach telling new people about your diabetes?
Being a confident person, telling people I’m diabetic is never a problem. You just need approach it as if you’re telling them something as simple as your name. Don’t over complicate things. For example, whenever I work with new people I always just say; “Oh, by the way, I just need to let you know that I’m diabetic, so if I don’t feel very well I will just have to take myself off to sort myself out.” I have never (and hopefully won’t ever) had a negative response when telling people that. Usually they just respond with something along the lines of; “Oh ok, well you just do whatever you need to do!”
Sometimes people will ask questions about my diabetes – not because they are trying to see how much of a burden I will cause to them, but because they are generally intrigued about it, or know little about it. It’s honestly the best advice that I could give to any other type one: Tell people – it might just save your life.
What if people ask me too many questions?
Don’t panic! Usually people will ask questions because they don’t know much about diabetes. You don’t have to go into too much detail if talking about it that openly makes you feel uncomfortable. Just let them know the basics, like what to do if you have a hypo or if you collapse. You only need to let people know what you feel comfortable talking about, but make sure they know the basics. It’s so important!
It’s honestly as easy as that. You just need to talk to people. If you feel comfortable and people are asking questions then answer them and educate! Spreading knowledge and awareness is such a positive thing. You never know, teaching people could actually lead to them helping others in a time of need.
You must also remember that not only do you need to talk to new people and employers, but you should talk to your family, friends and healthcare professionals too. If you ever have any worries or doubts about your self care, your HBA1c, your general blood glucose control, your injections etc etc, it makes it much easier to deal with if you just talk. These people are all here to help you and speaking out makes so much of a difference. Don’t bottle it up, especially when bottling things up could lead to further complications and issues.
So this week let’s focus on talking. #TalkAboutDiabetes – it’s important.