October 29, 2011

What are you doing for Diabetes Awareness Month?


November is Diabetes Awareness month and there are festivities all over the internet.   I enjoy seeing all the displays of diabetic pride!  There are (#) hash tags already dedicated to #ndam (National Diabetes Awareness Month), and lets not forget that World Diabetes Day is on Monday, November 14.

Sadly, there are very few events happening outside the virtual world especially in the USA .   America is uncharacteristically silent on the subject of diabetes awareness support and awareness in comparison to other chronic diseases. In the bricks and mortar world, people with diabetes are content on being silent about our disease as if to suggest it is a private shame.  There is no shame in being diabetic!  There isn’t any dishonor in letting the world know!

I would encourage all people touched by diabetes (ie. caretakers, medical professionals, family members, friends & diabetics ) to try and do something in your cities and neighborhoods to bring awareness to at least one other person.  We the people living with diabetes need to be unapologetic and proud of ourselves.  We should be happy to display how positive we are about our diabetes and our future!

I have several suggestions on how to bring awareness:
1. Discuss nutrition with your family and have them give up junk food for a week.  To be successful preparation is the key! Offer a list of foods that are good to eat as alternatives.
2. Encourage coworkers to eat healthy foods at work.  (Good Luck!)
3. Put nutrition or diabetic facts in the bulletins at your place of worship.  People tend to gorge themselves after Sunday church. There are several articles about this habit and its growing link to diabetes.
4. Encourage family or neighborhood walks where nutrition and exercise topics are discussed.
5. Write a quickie article and send it to the Health section of a local magazine or newspaper. Do this especially if you are a diabetic young adult or a kid.
6. Put food factoids on small post it notes and slip them in to newspapers and books or post them where people can see them.  I am not suggesting vandalism—be careful.
7. Offer to talk to a youth group or social group about diabetes and your experience.
8. My personal favorite…. Make a sign(s) and stand on a street corner or on the interstate over pass with your diabetes awareness sign.  I personally did this in several neighborhoods with a 10 ft banner.  It was well received.  You don’t have to say anything.  People came up to me and shared their stories. Let the police know where you are and how long you will be there. Make sure you do it on public property. Get permission if it is private property.
9. Go to your kids schools and ask about the lunches and what could be done to make them healthier.
10. Have a booth at a local fair or art show and pass out Diabetic information.
11. For World Diabetes Day—have a gathering at a park with a few speakers and simultaneously check the BS levels and Tweet them.

If you are doing anything special or want to add to the list of ideas please let me know!  Send pictures!

Chrystal Leary is a contributing writer. Find her at the sexydiabetic.com