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.
I think I’ve found my calling as a patient advocate in the form of storytelling. Specifically, helping others share their story. I believe that every patient (or in this specific case, person impacted with diabetes) deserves to have their voice heard, and their story told. I’m just one person, but I figure if I can build an audience and a following around the idea of story-sharing, that’s something I can hang my hat on at the end of the day.
Story-sharing is the basis of my podcast, Just Talking. While my platform isn’t tremendous, I see my podcast as a means to promote stories from new and sometimes familiar faces. It’s an opportunity to hear about the impact of the diabetes community in their own words.
Story-sharing is why I continue to experiment with Tumblr to connect with people living with diabetes and help share new stories from that community. I’m not sure what comes after My Diabetes Secret, but I’ll let you know if I figure something out.
The thing I have to keep in mind with all of these attempts at story-sharing is knowing when to take a break. There’s always another blog post worth sharing, or another project worth starting, but I need to remember to be comfortable with the personal boundaries I’ve set to ensure I don’t overexert myself. For all the advocating I do for everyone else, I can’t forget to advocate for my own health, too.
// As prompted by Karen Graffeo, creator of Diabetes Blog Week