Kelly Kunik, who blogs at Diabetesaliciousness, created the hashtag #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, and the idea is that on April 20th of every year people share what they’d like others to know about living with diabetes so that no one feels alone on the T1D journey and that others are educated about a life with type 1.
It’s very similar to the project #IWishMyTeacherKnew, and last year over 17 millionTwitter impressions were created with #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes. Sharing fears, hopes, and struggles as they relate to a life with type 1 is certainly raw, but also cathartic. It’s been two years since type one entered our home, and the longer it’s around, I realize that T1D will touch almost every aspect of our lives, but the real challenge is to learn that it will touch every aspect of our lives, and to move on despite it.
When our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I knew that we didn’t do anything to cause it, that he would need to use insulin for the rest of his life, and lows and highs were dangerous. Now, I know more about diabetes, and in the spirit of advocacy, I’m sharing, in no particular order, ten things I wish people knew that diabetes…
- I wish people knew that diabetes makes me sad/upset/frustrated/exasperated when I’m at the grocery store.
- I wish people knew that diabetes is often why I’m looking at my phone. I’m checking my son’s blood sugar remotely so that I can check back in on the task at hand.
- I wish people knew that diabetes occupies about an hour and half of my time per day, about $200 a month, and we’re lucky to have time and good insurance.
- I wish people knew that diabetes means I fear that one day my son will attempt to take his own life by purposefully administering too much insluin.
- I wish people knew that diabetes makes me monitor my other child’s water intake, weight, bathroom habits, and moods because I’m afraid that she too will develop type one diabetes.
- I wish people knew that diabetes forces me to sometimes trust people I don’t know very well with my son’s literal life, then after he learns to care for his own diabetes, I will have to trust a teenager to make mostly good and responsible life and death decisions multiple times a day, more or less consistently.
- I wish people knew that diabetes makes me afraid I might outlive my son.
- I wish people knew that diabetes is why I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in more than two years.
- I wish people knew that diabetes means almost every week I read about someone who died because they had the same disease as my son.
- I wish people knew that diabetes means I have to choose to believe that living with a chronic disease makes people stronger and not weaker, because that’s the way forward.
Please consider sharing your thoughts using the hashtag #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes on social media on April 20th.