November 2020

And so concludes National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) in the midst of a pandemic…

Staying home as COVID-19 rages on has given me much time to ponder the juxtaposition of how I used to feel about November in the early days of my own diabetes advocacy journey (rah! rah!), versus the ambivalence I feel lately. Perhaps the pandemic and our general societal burnout plays a role. Perhaps I’m just not as into diabetes advocacy anymore because it is not as new, and after almost 30 years of diabetes, I am sick of hearing about diabetes. But, mostly, it boils down to the very fine line we straddle during November: how we want others to learn more about the seriousness of diabetes, but we shouldn’t want anyone speaking on behalf of anyone else- whether the speaker has diabetes or not. I appreciate well-intentioned friends who want the world to be better for me and all people with diabetes. However, I never want November to be a pity party on my behalf. So this year, I didn’t say much.

The best advocacy I encountered this month was from diabetes families and individuals who have endured more than anyone should ever have to: rationing due to insulin pricing, premature complications and deaths, major life choices affected by the cruel burdens- financially, physically, emotionally- which diabetes constantly brings to the forefront, and much more. I wish none of these factors hurt us, but the reality is that these stories from the source are the most telling from November, or any other day in the life with diabetes. So, thank you to those who bravely advocated this month. You said it all far better than I could have, and during a life-altering pandemic, nonetheless. May your words reach those who especially need to hear them, and may more good change come for people with diabetes because of you.

2 thoughts on “November 2020

  1. Sometimes I wonder if those of us who advocate less these days are doing so because we’ve been lucky enough to have reaped the benefits of the efforts of those who have advocated before us and with us. But I also know there will be plenty of opportunities to advocate in the future. Here’s hoping our reasons to advocate are eliminated soon.

    Hope you are well.

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  2. You know it is probably just me. Am i concerned about diabetes? well when someone dies because of DKA, you bet. But when my neighbor asserts my low should be treated with insulin? Not so much.

    (I mean assuming he does not have insulin and is running at me, OK never mind he never runs, but you get the point).

    I really do get that awareness month can be a bit over hyped. For sometime I participated some and then went home and watched TV for the rest. Nothing wrong with that, we often need to take what we need and disregard the rest. That is what I often think about most movements. I enjoy being enough of a individualist to judge what works for me and disregard the rest. I like that. 🙂

    Hey stay safe, I saw the numbers in your state. Wow if you need a place to come and hid out, we will offer our spare bedroom.

    rick–

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