November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day, the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting who discovered insulin in 1922 and won the nobel prize for his discovery the following year.
It’s important to educate about Type 1 Diabetes (as well as Type 2). It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of T1d. We did not know them and Ryan was a very, VERY sick little boy before we took him to the doctor. We do NOT want any child or adult to be uninformed and unaware.
We also want people to understand Type 1 diabetes more. The stereotypes and myths and the misleading of the media all serve as negative factors for Ryan in how he is perceived and his care. The education for school, church, babysitting, etc is exhausting at times and people just need more of a general knowledge of the disease.
And we must educate so people quit saying rather harsh and ignorant things about diabetes in front of Ryan that not only are often wrong, but just flat rude to say in front of a child.
I have to take the time to plug about some of the myths of Type 1 Diabetes:
- Neither Ryan, nor Jason & I, did ANYTHING wrong for Ryan to get diabetes. We could not prevent it, nor can we cure it.
- EVERYTHING Ryan eats, if it has carbohydrates at all, has to have insulin to match the carbs in order to stay healthy and well.
- If Ryan never had sugar again and exercised like a maniac, he could NOT get off insulin or be cured of his diabetes.
- Ryan can have candy, sweets, cake, ice cream, pizza, etc just like any other child/person.
- Ryan will NEVER outgrow his diabetes.
- Insulin keeps him alive . . . IT IS NOT A CURE.
- With Type 1 Diabetes, you canNOT ween yourself off insulin, your body produces no insulin, your body needs insulin to live; therefore, insulin is a MUST.
These are my top 7 biggest pet peeves about the PERCEPTION of Ryan’s disease. And since it is November is awareness month, I thought I would take the opportunity to throw that out there.
Off my soapbox and happily moving on . . .
I still am amazed at how many people turned their pictures “Diabetes Blue” on facebook in honor of Ryan for the month of November last year. You will never know how much it encouraged me, but to see Ryan’s face light up like it did when I would show him friend’s pictures was priceless.
I will again be turning my profile pictures blue the whole month of November. But this year, if you would like to get involved, I’m asking that you participate this way:
1) Wear blue on Fridays. Now some of you have different themes at your job and I get that. But if you can, any or all Fridays in November, wear blue. Take a pic and post it!
2) Wear blue on November 14th, National Diabetes Day. Take a pic and post it!
3) Change your profile picture to blue on November 14th.
4) Of course, if you like, keep your profile pic blue all month!! 😉
Last year, I made a notebook full of encouragements for Ryan when we celebrated how fare we’d come on December 17, 2010.
This year, I’d like to make a collage for him of those who participate in blue for Diabetes Awareness Month and frame it for him on December 17, which will be his 2nd “dia-versary” (two years since diagnosis and we will celebrate how far we have come again). If you change your profile pic to blue, I will probably “rip” it off facebook and print it to add to the collage.
But with all the November Blue-ness, I am asking that you always pray for Ryan and the family. Diabetes is definitely a blessing in that it is a maintenance disease, it is not terminal, it is not physically crippling IF it is managed properly. But with that said, it, again, is MAINTENANCE, constant and forever. Sometimes it’s exhausting. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Sometimes it just breaks your heart. And prayers, I believe, are the key to the day in, day out regiment to it all. And we so appreciate your prayers.
Remember: November Blue for Ryan and diabetics all over the world!!