“Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)”
The issue that has been consistently important to me across the years is emotional health. I continue to volunteer to pay it forward to the programs and people who I believe have helped me maintain exceptional emotional health while living with diabetes throughout my life stages. My current focus is managing and operating the Oz Diabetes Online Community. We chat once a week at the same time, (Tuesday 8:30pm AEST) and at the same place, (via Twitter from @OzDiabetesOC using #OzDOC as our hash tag). The topics vary from week to week but I aim to achieve the same thing each week, and that is a place where people can reduce the burden they feel diabetes can add to their lives. It’s an hour each week when you know people “just get it”… a concept I have summed up in a hash tag, #dlove. I was reminded of this very concept only four days ago when I found time to participate in the weekly Diabetes Social Media Advocates chat after a long period of absence. I remembered just how important it is to my emotional health to feel part of a community built on #dlove.
My husband and I went to a Boy and Bear gig on the weekend. They are at the top of our playlist not only because they are exceptional Australian musicians, but because the lead vocalist and guitarist is a lyrical genius. Dave Hoskings spoke about writing a song for his brother when he learnt of his hardships while away on tour. The song is called, “Back Down the Black” and the following lines illustrate why I do what I do for the diabetes community;
“Oh my legs don’t work and my limbs all hurt
As my body aches to take the weight that’s been thrown down on top of you
Like you would do too”
You can listen to this soul-stirring song here;
You hurt, I help. I hurt; you help.
I’ve toyed with a fairy tale idea of what life, and the world, would be like if you removed the emotional burden which resulted from living with a chronic condition. Imagine if we just didn’t feel anything associated with our diagnosis, our management requirements, or how our lives were simply different. Imagine if we remained purely objective. No emotion. Just doing what we were able to do to keep soldiering on. No feelings about which chronic condition deserves a cure first. No anger associated with the onset of complications. No fear about our offspring developing diabetes.
But until then, OzDOC will do the trick…