Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so todaylet’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? (Thanks to Briley ofinDpendence for this topic suggestion.)
When I read today's topic, I thought it had me stumped. I thought I couldn't do this. Obviously, I have an interest in the politics surrounding my disease, like access to new technologies (CGMS, the pod pump), laws that affect what we can and can't do (driving, certain jobs), how the health insurance and other companies treat us. But I don't want to, I'm sure they will get covered by other people who have spent longer looking at those issues and actually know what they are talking about.
So I would petition diabetics. To gain that knowledge about diabetes to be able to change diabetes in Australia.
I read an article recently in one of medical journals at work, where a study suggested only 4% of diabetics had more than a basic knowledge of their disease. How can we properly educate the people making policies regarding our disease if we don't know our own disease. It seems now like an 'every man for himself' situation when it comes to standing up for what we want, and I believe its because we don't have enough knowledge to understand the full impact across the whole diabetic community. If we all took the time to learn as much as we could about our lifelong disease things like Type 2 Bashing wouldn't happen (yep, I'm calling it. I've seen it done in the past few weeks and it's horrible. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that from people who have the same disease with a different number as me. We're all in this together). The number of T2 diabetics with a genetic cause far outnumber the amount of type 1 diabetics hanging around. The difference between us? The way our pancreas handled it. For a type 1 it packs in straight away, for a type 2 it might show up as less insulin production than needed for what is consumed, or insulin resistance. How much more could we change if we recognized the facts of both major types of diabetes (and even those lesser ones, likeCFRD, which I discovered the other day and then hounded my boss for information on) and helped each other face the world?
If we are educated, other people will be educated. We might not get so many dumb questions or things said to us. Perhaps those hapless members of the fully-functioning pancreas club have gotten their information from what they consider a reliable source - another diabetic? Yes, it happens. Just after I was diagnosed, I had a fellow diabetic rag on Type 1's, thinking that we had diabetes 'so bad' that it required insulin. Then a few months later got a similar story from an elderly T2 gentleman that I had met. He apparantley had another T2 friend who got sick, went into hospital and his diagnosis was magically changed from Type 2 to Type 1 because they had started him on insulin in addition to his oral hypoglycaemic agents. These silly comments burst from the mouths of diabetics more than you think.
So, I the undersigned, petition everyone to pick up a book, or your endo's brains and gobble up information on our disease faster than we would a massive piece of chocolate cake on a newly filled reservoir. It can only help your health.