Last night, after my picture for Diabetes Art Day – Strip Safely Edition was tweeted out on Twitter, and also retweeted by another follower, I received a reply that set me back a bit. Okay, not a bit.. a lot. I was hurt. I was angered. I had already had a bad day, and this person was the tip of the iceberg. Not just because they were rude… but because they didn’t care to see that what we are and were doing is fighting for awareness for all of us, including them. While I get that not everyone cares to be as vocal as some of us are, those who choose not to be should understand that, as the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease… and we as the diabetes advocates are being the squeaky wheels for not only ourselves, but those who choose to remain silent. So, for this person who chose to be so rude for whatever reason, I want to clarify a few things for you.
1. “Don’t you have nothing to do, but just talk about f***ing diabetes? Come on! Life is greater than this sh**!” Well, yes, yes it is. As a matter of fact, outside of this that I talk about online under my most obvious diabetes-related profile, I have a great husband who is also a great father to our two year old son. I relish in the moments when I can sit and have my son sit next to me and I can feel is still-baby-soft skin of his face and hands. I have a family -though at times we fight like cats and dogs- who loves each other with all of our being. I love to sit on the front porch and laugh and joke with my in-laws when we go over for Sunday dinner. I love singing, mostly hymns and Southern Gospel music and feeling as if in the presence of the Lord Himself. I’m also a student in college and I work full-time as well. Yes, Life is greater than diabetes.
2. “I’m also diabetic, but to me, looks like you’re a kind of losers that have pity on yourselves. Blah bla bla diabetes.” I do not have pity on myself or feel as if I scream a “why me” attitude. If anything, I’m blunt and to the point about the trials and victories of living with diabetes, because it’s not a cake walk, as I’m sure you know yourself. If you are doing just great living with your diabetes, then that’s great! I’m glad you’re as secure as you are, but some people aren’t, and we have built a network of support to uplift and be uplifted.
3. ”You’re keen to talk about diabetes all the time! Don’t you ave anything else to talk about? You’re not scientists!” Again.. my profile is in no way misleading that I would not be talking about diabetes. My handle on twitter is @Sugabeticme and my name is listed as “Sarah Kaye/Diabetes”. I’m also -as it is no question- a part of the DOC – a group of people who whether they are official members of the Diabetes Advocates group or not, are in their own way diabetes advocates because we are and choose to be the squeaky wheels for both ourselves and you… sooo… yeah, that’s what I’m going to talk about. If it weren’t for us talking about diabetes and all things surrounding it, we wouldn’t get the listening ears of those from people like the FDA and others who make and regulate the products we use… products that we rely on to give us the information we need in order to stay as healthy as humanly possible. How do you think so many people have access to things like CGM (continuous glucose monitor) technology and why we have intuitive insulin pumps that fit not only what scientists think we need, but that also fit each of our personalities and wants/wishes. It’s because we raised our voices as advocates. And no, I’m not a scientist. I never said that I was. I talk about diabetes to both raise awareness to those who don’t understand what diabetes really is and to reach out to others who live with this day in and day out that may need a place to feel safe and to know they aren’t alone. I will continue to raise my voice about the products we use day in and day out in order to possibly catch the ear of a scientist or medical device maker so that improvements can constantly be made for those of us whose lives depend on it.
So, if you don’t like all the talk about diabetes, feel free to unfollow me and any of my other diabetes-advocating friends (some of whom also made themselves known to you last night), because I can promise you… we’re going to talk about and raise awareness for diabetes of all types, rolling along with loud, squeaky wheels until a cure is found. I am, and until there is a cure, will always be a Diabetes Advocate.