Living with diabetes can be pretty damn isolating. One thing I would have to concur with, after almost a decade at the helm of this ship, is that it often feels as though I am talking to myself.
I write this blog mostly for myself, and as a way to connect with the diabetes community. It’s mostly read by, I’m assuming, people with diabetes or those with a connection to diabetes. A lot of the conversations about diabetes that happen online or in person are primarily among people with diabetes. I am, mostly, preaching to the converted.
Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it is a big part of me. Outside of this blog, I would like to think that my real contribution to awareness of diabetes comes from simply sharing the diabetes bits alongside the other stuff.
Many people around me, who see me everyday, know that I have diabetes. I’ve explained the mechanics of how I live with my condition to a lot of these people. Many times. So when you’re continually asked the same questions, by the same people who’ve asked them already, it’s pretty easy to feel somewhat like I am talking to myself. That my efforts to raise awareness of diabetes, among the people who really need to hear those messages, are for nothing.
That was, up until a good couple of weeks ago.
After catching up with a group of people whom I went to high school with, I was absolutely blown away by how many people told me that they had taken notice of some of the things that I had been involved in around diabetes (Perhaps aided by my star studded appearance in the newspaper last year…)
The absolute highlight of this night was when a friend was asking me how I knew that I had diabetes. As I started to recall the ‘four Ts’ of type 1 diabetes (which is actually super easy to explain – thanks Diabetes Australia!), she actually stopped me and said that she knew all about them! No doubt thanks to my sharing of the National Diabetes Week campaign.
I haven’t really ‘done’ diabetes awareness month this year, partly due to being consumed with exam revision, but also because every month of the year is diabetes awareness month.
However, I guess on the final day of November I thought it would be fitting to say that your impact is bigger than you think. Even if you don’t have many followers, even if only one person reads your post, even if don’t receive any reactions or feedback from the people around you, never underestimate your impact.
On the final day of diabetes awareness month, I couldn’t think of a better reason to continue raising awareness of diabetes.