November is Diabetes Awareness Month. For some, this month is a time to help spread awareness.
For me, others living with the disease, or caregivers of those with diabetes, every day is considered Diabetes Awareness Month.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 3.
I was either embarrassed or too shy throughout much of my childhood to tell my friends about my disease. I would go to the bathroom for my fingersticks and give my insulin injections secretly underneath the table.
My parents always provided support and never made me feel “different” from my siblings.
Although my insecurities around my diagnosis did not originate at home, they were real.
This November, in honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, I encourage you to reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague with diabetes and let them know you see them and that you care.
Below are a few examples of what to say:
- “I know that you are living with diabetes and that it is a full-time job. If you ever want to vent, I’m here for you.”
- “I don’t know much about diabetes, can you educate me on it?”
- “I would love to hear more about your diagnosis story.”
- “What signs should I look for when you are experiencing a low or high blood sugar?”
- “What should I do in case of an emergency, and where do you keep your emergency supplies?”
Things NOT to say:
- “You can’t eat that!”
- “You don’t look like you have diabetes.”
- “I feel so bad for you.”
- “Can’t you just exercise more or eat healthier?”
- “Wow, I hope I never get that.”
Help spread awareness and educate yourself this November (or during the other 11 months) on diabetes.
Your genuine interest means the world to that person. I promise!
About Mandi Franklin
Mandi Franklin is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Towson University in Towson, Maryland before getting a Master of Science degree for Advanced Practice Nursing from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. Mandi started her nursing career in 2010 and has been a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner since 2014. Since her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 1990, Mandi knew she wanted to help and serve others. She uses her experience to provide top-notch care to her own patients. Mandi’s special health interests include nutrition, exercise, diabetes, and childhood obesity. When Mandi is not working or blogging, she likes to spend her time outside, at the beach, and enjoying family time.
To see more, view all posts by Mandi Franklin here.