I was walking along, minding my business,
when out of an orange-colored sky,
FLASH, BAM, ALAKAZAM,
wonderful you walked by...
The ordinary thing that fuels my advocacy is when I run into you in my daily life.
You might be the guy who installs my dining room flooring. You might be my labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. You might be my dental assistant last Saturday. But you're out there in everyone I meet.
I would never know you have diabetes except for I can't shut up about mine and that prompts you to tell me about yours. It frustrates you. Your numbers suck. You don't know what to eat. You don't think your doctor is helping you. You live with it. You live through it. But you're just treading water.
I tell you about what we are out here doing via social media. I give you my card and I circle the url for TuDiabetes.org. I might scribble my endo's name and phone number at the top. I might tell you about a particular blog I think you'd relate to.
But the most important thing I do is tell you not to blame yourself for where you are in your diabetes management. As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
There I was at the dentist after a ten year absence. Ten years, seriously, since I'd been in. I'd been letting it slide. My teeth seemed fine. It was a medical thing I could shuffle to the back of my health closet and not think about. But it was time I got back on track. I'll go back in six months, too. I'm not going to chastise myself for the absence - it won't accomplish anything constructive. Instead, I'm going to congratulate myself for the return. Prodigal son, etc, etc.
It's what I urged my dental assistant to do. Don't beat yourself up because your numbers are high and your meds don't seem to work anymore. Start fresh. Find a new doctor. Get online. Share with others. Find out you're not in this alone. Then decide how far you want to take it.
As I said in a DHF board meeting last year, I believe what the online community offers is that there are opportunities here for each of us to Learn Something, Do Something, & Change Something. It's up to you how far you want to take it.
But meeting you always gives me a little punch. A jolt. A flash bam alakazam. This is why I do what I do.
And speaking of what I do, here's a little orangey jolt of fun.