Courtney Slater joins me this week to talk about her life as a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian, how career has impacted her life with diabetes, and just as importantly how her career has not impacted her life with diabetes. We also talk about her dog’s Facebook profile and why Des Moines is more than a fly-over city. Enjoy.
I received a submission to ‘My Diabetes Secret’ that said, in part, that I was doing a “disservice to the diabetes community” by creating a platform for these anonymous secrets to live.
I have since spoken directly with the person who wrote that after they posted the same thing on the MDS Facebook page. I think we have largely agreed to disagree on what this Tumblr is and isn’t.
But because I have seen a handful of comments that suggest that that blog isn’t necessary or that this content isn’t being handled appropriately, I feel the need to respond.
I think rather than attack the blog, we should be attacking the cause of the blog. The emotional burden of managing diabetes, the solitude that can come from living with this disease, the shame that arises from public misconceptions and ill-formed stereotypes, the pressure to be a “perfect diabetic”…these are the reasons this blog exists.
Ginger profiled My Diabetes Secret over on Diabetes Daily. Here’s a snippet.
Ginger: Are you noticing any common feelings or do the submissions tend to vary significantly?
Me: There’s a lot of shame associated with diabetes, be it type 1 or type 2. There have been some submissions (that are still in the queue) that talk about hiding their diabetes from friends, family, and other people with diabetes because of how they have been treated or how they fear they will be treated. It’s tough because these stories aren’t the ones that are often shared in blogs and other online spaces. We all know there’s a huge mental burden that comes with diabetes, but I think we’re afraid to face that burden individually or as a group and try to get past it.
Today, November 14th, marks the birthday of Dr. Fredrick Banting. In recognition of Fred’s work on the discovery of insulin (he doesn’t mind if I call him Fred), diabetes conversations are particularly amplified in an effort to spread diabetes awareness.
If you’re looking for a way to mark the occasion, you can…
I don’t know why, but I found myself thinking about a post I read on Kerri’s blog a while back that opened up the idea of anonymously sharing diabetes secrets. I don’t know how many comments Kerri normally gets, but this post had nearly 120 anonymous comments – nearly 120 anonymous people sharing intimate diabetes secrets. As powerful as rereading all of those comments was, I think there’s potential for something more evergreen to support this notion of secret sharing.
Whenever I talk about the importance of the diabetes community I tend to default back to this idea of the power of “me too”. Realizing that I’m not the only person dealing with these emotions eases the burden of mentally managing diabetes. There’s a strange comfort knowing that the simple act of sharing a picture of my Dexcom receiver with all its imperfections might offer some solace to another person with diabetes riding a similar glucoaster.