Is there a New Way of representing diabetics as a group who are living and achieving, yet challenged?
For a long time the word "cancer" was associated primarily with "victim" or "patient." Now thanks to medicine and new treatments, we often hear "cancer" associated with "survivor." Granted, we are still losing too many to the scourge of cancer; and one is too many. I have lost too many great friends to that dreaded disease. Yet, we are often celebrating the "cancer survivor," while highlighting the need for a cure or cures.

I believe that this change has been largely a combination of changed perceptions, changed attitudes, and the media. While many battle this dreaded disease daily, there does seem to be a surge of hope.

My question is can the diabetic community learn something from this. We not only have many survivors, but many achievers. But I feel many times those achievers are singled out, and they rarely seem to unify as a group. Would that help us, if they did?

Views: 346

Comment by shoshana27 on May 29, 2014 at 7:23pm

YES IT GIVES OTHERS COURAGE & HOPE

Comment by Judith in Portland on May 29, 2014 at 8:29pm

Numbers. Statistics. Unity in the community of diabetics. Study the gay community as it grew out of its initial, silencing shock over AIDS. And the breast cancer community pretty much did the same. The diabetes community is fragmented and still battling over semantics.

Granted, we are a very complex community with many different approaches to self-management. Perhaps the fact that we are all about self-management is partly the difficulty. The media can't make sense of us unless they single out an "achiever". There is undoubtedly strength in our diversity if we can find it...Blessings...Judith in Portland

Comment by artwoman on May 29, 2014 at 9:04pm

While it is a source of pride for many of us with diabetes, we don't look different. E.g. using insulin therapy doesn't cause our hair to fall out. We usually don't look like we have anything to deal with, you know the old "...but you don't look sick". I think that's why the JDRF kept the "J" in their name. Children with diabetes pull at heartstrings better than adults. I also think it has to do with the fact that the causes of diabetes are not well known to the general public. People who have diabetes are seen as having caused the diabetes, it makes it easy for others to see themselves as "safe" since they don't misbehave like we obviously did (or do).
My hope is that someday I'll be successful, in my individual little way, of getting the right info out there, Not only to discourage the blame game, but also to let people know what to look for, what questions to ask, to look at their family tree. I try to start every October in preparation for Diabetes Awareness Month in November.

Comment by shoshana27 on May 30, 2014 at 1:28am

in my 77+ years with T1 no one ever blamed me for it
lucky me

Comment by shoshana27 on May 30, 2014 at 1:28am

Comment by Terrie on May 31, 2014 at 2:09am

Folks may not come out and say it artwoman although Drs. and Scientists sure do, but People have been told for many decades that the People who smoke are blamed for their own cancer and the cancer of others with their secondhand smoke. Alcohol causes cancer, being overweight(obese) causes cancer and so on.

DiabetesDad, although it's not totally what you are talking about but there are walks in North America and other countries for Diabetes. On November 14th lots of Families and Friends gather together or at activities for the day to acknowledge Diabetes. On that same day, most of the world light up a significant building, monument, bridge, etc. in blue for Diabetes. Houses are lighted with blue, People wear blue, they decorate anything and everything in blue. There are lots of Advocates who start get togethers and groups for Diabetics. Granted, more are for Type 2 but that's okay. It's a start. There's groups on Tud for achieving 20+, 30+, 50+ years(isn't there) and on other sites? Our Friend Richard Vaughn says there is a group on FB for Diabetics who have had Diabetes for more than 50 years(no one else allowed :) ). People over 50 years with D even get medals and other gifts which is Heartwarming and Special. Diabetics with 25 years with Diabetes get a Certificate of acknowledgement for their achievement which is pretty Cool too(I missed out on that one). There are magazines and newspapers that write about lots of People with Diabetes who have made the big 50, 75 and 80 years of achievement with Diabetes. And there's more, not all groups of course, but Special events all in themselves for being created making us proud that we have survived for as long as we have. Go out and create a Diabetes Group for how many years achievement that you want Diabetes Dad. :)

Comment by shoshana27 on May 31, 2014 at 1:18pm

77 + for me since i was not yet 3

Comment by shoshana27 on May 31, 2014 at 1:19pm

i have 2 75 year medals

Comment by Diabetic Dad on May 31, 2014 at 2:15pm

Congratulations shoshana27! You're an inspiration to me, and I'm sure to many others.

I feel a big part of the problem is a connection between the medical community, who knows we can achieve a lot under difficult burdens, and the general media that still seems to have attitudes from the 1950s. If this were about any other social issue people would be outraged, and rightly so.

Comment by Eucritta on June 1, 2014 at 7:45am

It's not just diabetes ... from what I've seen, popular media gets it wrong on all science, but most painfully for me and mine ... all illness. I've also got rheumatoid arthritis, have had since '89, and I couldn't tell you how many misconceptions I've seen about it in popular media. And the notion that we cause our own illness, whatever it might be, is pervasive.

I've come to think that it' not so much about a lack of activism, visibility, or readily available information, as it is out of a desire for simple, reassuring answers plus, I suspect, a certain level of venality - popular media is chock-a-block with advertising for alt med, quack med, and health fads.

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