Thursday, 19 May 2016

DBlog Week - Words

Our topic today is Language and Diabetes.  There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

One thing that came into my head when reading the prompt for day 3 was "If you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all" (Yes I'm quoting Thumper bunny). Words are incredibly important, especially when a lot of us communicate via the world wide web and things can be misinterpreted so easily.

I must admit until this year I didn't realise that some people had preferences on how they are know 'Person With Diabetes' 'Diabetic'. Me personally I don't really mind, however I fully respect those with opinions different to myself and tend to use PWD in my blogs and tweets. Whether my feelings will change over time I don't know, I'm growing with this condition so in a years time they may be the polar opposite.

Speak to others how you wish to be spoken to. With respect, even if their opinion is different to your own.

Ready to read more perspectives on Language and Diabetes?  Click here for a list of posts.

What is Diabetes Blog Week?  Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out the Participant’s List here.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

DBlog Week - My Other Half

Our topic today is The Other Half of Diabetes. We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

Given that today's prompt is talking about the other half of Diabetes, I asked my actual other half John to write this. He deals with this just as much as I do after all :)

When I first started dating Emma, her diabetes was obviously a big topic in conversation. But I soon found out how high and low sugars affect her both physically and emotionally, and how it affected me. The worst part was feeling so useless when I didn't know what to do. I didn't even know the difference between a hypo and a hyper.....

I made it my main priority to learn as much as I can so I could help, but there was nothing but improvisation when dealing with the emotional side of it. When Emma broke down one evening after a bad day with her blood sugars, I had nothing! She was sitting on the kitchen floor, crying her eyes out and I could just make out the words "I don't want this anymore...." I sat next to her and hoped I could find the right words. The sadness I felt, not just because she was upset, but the fact she was right, this is a life long condition and I can't do anything to fix it or sort it.

I told her how much I love her, I wasn't going to leave her and that I will love her diabetes too, if that's what it takes. I'm on the emotional diabetes roller coaster for good!

Now with her pump, which I know nearly as much as her about, it's very much a team effort. When her bloods are good, I celebrate with her with a little "yippie" or "hooray". And when not so good, we try work it out together whats gone wrong and what we can do to avoid it in the future. There's no magic technique to how to cope with the emotional side, but if you are in it together, you share the emotions good and bad. That makes it a little easier to know what to say, when to say it and how to say it.....or sometimes what not to say! Patience always helps too, things are sometimes said when things aren't going so well in any relationship. Just let it go, straighten it out when both your heads are clear later. A fuzzy head from hypos, hypers or just tiredness never make you think clearly! 

You can find more The Other Half of Diabetes posts over here.

What is Diabetes Blog Week?  Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out the Participant’s List here.

Monday, 16 May 2016

DBlog Week - Message Monday

Today is the first day of the seventh #DBlogWeek lovingly looked after by Karen every year to bring us nutty PWD together across the continents to share our emotions and experiences living with this condition.

"Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?"

I started my blog primarily because at the time there didn't seem to be that many UK bloggers that I knew of. I thought that if one person found my blog and it helped even in a teeny tiny way or put someone straight on a stupid diabetes myth, then I'd be pretty chuffed :)

Diabetes is such a big part of your life that for me personally I get worried I'm talking about it too much. When people ask how you are it's not normally a simple yes or no, so I just answer yes. It was lovely to have a blank page to write about my Diabetes, how I was feeling and how it was affecting me and the people around me. Granted I don't update it as much as I'd like to, at the moment I'm in the last stages of planning my wedding and am a few months into a very new and demanding job role. But my blog is always here for me when I need it, like a comfy pair of slippers.

I find writing therapeutic and when someone tweets or comments saying "Me too!" it just make you feel... normal? Less lonely? 

If you don't blog but you're considering then I'd recommend it. You don't have to publish them or share them with the online community, sometimes it's just good to let it all out. It's surprising sometimes how much you have to write! 

You can find more Message Monday posts listed here.

What is Diabetes Blog Week?  Click here for an explanation and to sign up.  You can also check out the Participant’s Lishere.