Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Does America really know Diabetes?


Even though the President has declared November 2007 as National Diabetes Month, I really wonder how aware of Diabetes he really is. I'm sure he's heard about diabetes and probably heard about the statistics of how greatly it affects Americans... but does he KNOW diabetes?

I just have the gut feeling that, just like most Americans, our president isn't quite aware of the personal realities that surround such a disease. I, like most, didn't know jack about diabetes until I had a reason to learn about it. Despite my grandfather having Type 2 diabetes longer than I've been alive, I never really thought much of it. All I knew was that he had to prick his finger every once in a while, and that he was probably taking meds for it.

Well now I know that he's been insulin-dependent for the past 10 years! Actively seeking out information about what living with diabetes is like has helped me understand the daily struggles he goes through. My parents worry about him often, and my mom tells me his blood sugar levels are all over the place (from 60 to 400). I wish there was some way to motivate him to care more about his diabetes management. But seeing the tiredness in his eyes from all the different medical issues he's lived through, it's understandable how fed up with everything he can be.

It's tough when you don't have people to share your struggles with. But fortunately, my parents are always there for him. Always encouraging him. Always loving him. Always sacrificing themselves for him.

This week in Diabetes Month is focused on Caregivers. I've been blessed to be able to witness the unconditional love my parents have shown for their parents. It's love that I see when my mom and dad used to carry my grandma everywhere during her last years. It's love that I see when my dad puts up with his father-in-law's stubbornness to exercise. It's love that I see when my mom sacrificed her every morning to care for the basic needs of her mother-in-law.

This is the kind of genuine love and care I'd want to have for my parents and loved ones as I continue on in life. This is the kind of sacrifice and love I see in the parents of children with diabetes. This is the kind of love and care I see in the wives of non-compliant spouses.

This is what it really means to support a loved one with diabetes. It's something that most of America will never understand. It's something we all can only hope the future leaders of America (our world) would truly understand...

Here are some links provided by the ADA:
Here are a few of my own links for those who are looking for support:
Here are some blogs by parents of children with diabetes:
For spouses of diabetes:
(not sure why I don't know any blogs of spouses of compliant diabetics off the top of my head.)

7 comments:

Lily-M said...

I lost my grandfather due to diabetes complications. He died a slow death in his home on dialysis. He was a type 2 and so is my mother. I'm a type 1 and have been diagnosed for 3yrs now. I agree that not too many people are informed about this disease. Can you believe some people think its not a disease?! If they only new what we went through everday and what the parents go through everyday.

Shannon said...

Thanks for adding me, Albert. And for your comment about the article :)

Bernard said...

Albert

Nice post and a great set of resources.

You might also like the diabetes365 project. It's really all about raising awareness about life with diabetes.

Amylia said...

nice post, albert.
and i agree with bernard, the 365 project rocks!

p.s. i see taipei 101 lit up in blue for World Diabetes Day as I type!

Chris said...

Dude..this is a great blog here. I am embarassed that i have never been here before.
You are definately a good person to have on our side. Good post, good job.

Albert said...

Thanks Chris, your comments mean a lot to me.

Kate said...

Albert!

I am so chuffed that my name and three month young blog re the journey of Diabetes,my 6 year old and me was mentioned on your acclaimed blog!! Thank you so much!!

Your words have certainly become some of my favourites when I am looking for some inspiration out of sheer frustration and anger towards this condition.

I must thank you again for that. Just like most Diabetes bloggers, all I wanted was for one parent to stumble across me and know that they are not alone. Adding me to your list of contacts has helped that possibilty increase tenfold!!!
Kudos on a fantastic read, Albert!

Peace and Jellybabies

Kate