Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do Our Friends & Family Sans Diabetes Listen To What We Post About Diabetes?

So have you ever wondered the same thing & has anyone without diabetes ever told or showed you that what you do re: diabetes & D advocating matters? 

Sometimes I/WE wonder if our blogging, tweeting, facebooking, instagraming, etc., of all things diabetes makes a difference to people in our lives sans diabetes. 

I MEAN I know it makes a huge difference in PWDs (people with diabetes) lives and I know it makes a huge difference in my life as a person living with diabetes. 
I know it makes a huge a huge difference in people who have loved ones living with diabetes. 
And I also know that Diabetes Orgs and Pharma are paying attention - And rightly so.
I know that other empowered patients read what we write and we read what other empowered patients write - And we learn from one another. 

And ever so slowly (VERY SLOWLY,) the media is starting to pay attention to diabetes realities.

But what about people in our lives without diabetes/a loved one with diabetes or who aren't working in the diabetes world? 
Does what we do/say/write/tweet make a difference, or does it become white noise to friends and family members who don’t live with diabetes on a daily basis? 

Personally, I know we make a difference - SO KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING PEOPLE. 

How do I know? My friends and family tell me in passing that it does - Or they come right out and ask me questions about diabetes and tell me they want to help spread the D word. Sometimes they tell me that they never realized all the work diabetes took until they  started reading my posts and other d blogger posts I've linked to on Facebook. 
And every now and then I get a facebook message from someone I haven’t seen in years, but who follows me on facebook - And they flat out tell me it makes a difference. They tell me that they've learned something about diabetes from what I've posted or linked to. And sometimes they ask if they can pass my name on to a friend who either has diabetes, or loves someone with diabetes. 
Other times I run into non diabetes people from my local world in real life and occasionally they tell me the same things. 
And just last night a group of us were meeting up with our friend Kathy B at a local watering hole. Kath teaches in China and was home for the holidays  - We keep tabs on one another through facebook & IMing - And Kath reads my blog every now and then.  
But back to last night - Last night as our group sat there eating, drinking and catching up, Kath passed out Christmas gifts from China. 
She gave me my gift first and said: You first! You get the blue one - For Diabetes, World Diabetes Day, and... Blue Fridays - It’s Blue Fridays, right? And dude, you can put your diabetes stuff in it! 
And for a second I was like: WHAAAT? 
And then I said: WOW! Thanks & you made my day! I can’t believe you remembered all that D info!! 

And this is the gift Kathy gave me: 
5X7 Blue (for diabetes) Bag from my friend Kathy!

And then everyone else went back to talking and opening their gifts and I went back to eating my special occasion Cheeseburger.
But when I was driving home last night I kept thinking about how Kathy had retained all that D info about the DOC. Granted, she’s an English teacher and she’s one smart cookie - But I was impressed none the less! 
And I thought to myself: Tonight reinforced the fact that all of us in the DOC need to keep doing what we’re doing - And not just for people with diabetes - But for everyone else who needs to learn about diabetes - Because what we say isn't white noise.... And little ripples make big waves. 

One more thing: How cute is my bag! 


Katie said...

I know my blog is making a difference with my non-D family and friends. Last Saturday I was at brunch with a friend and she asked me a TON of diabetes questions. She said she had no idea what it was really all about until reading my blog. At the end she was like, "diabetes doesn't get enough support (i.e. funding, research dollars, etc.) because from the outside it looks like you're all just taking a shot and going on with your life. If they only knew that you think about it constantly and have to do so many calculations all day long." And I was like, "amen sister".

Bob P. said...

I don't believe, in my own case, that Blue Friday can make a difference. I can't believe that anyone that works with me would ever notice that I wear blue every Friday. And yet, I observe it. Partly this is because I love Cherise, and partly because I recognize that I may be wrong about nobody noticing.

Congratulations on making those ripples. You're one of the best ripple-makers I know. :)

Unknown said...

Awesome on so many levels, but mostly because she showed that she CARED enough to pay attention. LOVED this post and this friendship.

Jenn said...

My daughter was in a HS debate tournament over the weekend. The topic she was debating is irrelevant other than the other team said something to the extent that obesity causes Type 2 (yes, they did call it type 2) and that if there were better roads then exercise would be easier and obesity would be less and then there wouldn't be diabetes.. yadda yadda yadda... In rebuttal my daughter corrected her. She said that while obesity MAY be a contributing factor to Type 2, it doesn't cause it and that if they wanted to talk to some real people who live it every day to look up #DOC or #diabetes on Twitter. She even gave my Twitter handle and told her opponent that I would be more than happy to put her in touch with some T2s to answer questions to help with their case. I was not judging that round (but REALLY wish I had been sitting in there observing.. I was judging another room).

So.. do our friends and family listen? I say not only do they listen, they share.

p.s. My daughter won that round.

StephenS said...

Love the bag, and I love that your friends pay attention!

I'm not judging friends or family, but only a couple of friends read my blog. None of my family does. When a friend reads, they're supportive... of my writing, not of my diabetes-related efforts. Again, not judging... they have their own lives, their own concerns. I don't think it's clicked for any of them yet. But I love them anyway.

I'm glad that your friends & family dig your blog as much as I do.

Scott E said...

I'm going to have to side with Stephen on this one, and go even more extreme. None of my family or friends (other than friends I've made THROUGH the DOC) know that I have a blog or that I write publicly about diabetes. For some reason (and I can't explain why) I'd be a bit embarrassed if they found out. I make it a point to separate the two.

Occasionally I'll pass along D-related stuff on my personal Facebook page, but that's about it.

sky0138 said...

LOVE this! I completely agree and was overwhelmed with D-Mom pride when I received messages from friends i had about 20 yrs ago on World Diabetes Day sharing with me that they appreciated my posts because it helped them gain perspective. Good stuff. Super cute bag too!

Scully said...

This is so lovely!
I'm always so excited when someone outside of D says something to me about the online world. Its even more exciting when they know things about my online friends because they've followed links.
AWESOME little chinese blue case!

PancreasticMom said...

What a neat story..and great friend:). Super-cute bag, too!

shannon said...

love this so much! :)