Thursday, April 14, 2016
Since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008 after five runs with gestational diabetes, I've be involved with advocacy in varying degrees. I've raised money through the American Diabetes Association's walks (Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes). I've attended MasterLab for the last two years. I've been actively seeking out issues that need my action in contacting legislators though the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC). However, this weekend I'll be doing something different. I'll be working on advocacy with people that may not be dealing with diabetes.
There are patient and caregiver advocates for probably every medical and mental health issue. Some are just starting out, but many have been very successful in their advocacy efforts. The pharmaceutical company, Janssen, is bringing together online advocates from various causes to share and collaborate this weekend at a conference called HealtheVoices. This is happening in Chicago with the forecast of nice weather and new friendships. I'm excited to learn more about what advocates from different areas have accomplished and get tips to make my own advocacy efforts stronger while still keeping balance in my life. Advocacy doesn't have to be a full-time job.
As a prequel of sorts, Janssen is also bringing a group of people with Type 2 diabetes together a day early for an event they're calling 2ruth In Numbers. I have the honor of being included in both groups. This is the first time I've been at this type of event. I was invited last year but was not able to make it due to other obligations. I will be blogging more about this event, so keep an eye out.
I am thankful for this opportunity and thankful to Janssen for inviting me. As my disclaimer below states, they are paying for my expenses related to this trip. However all thoughts and feelings I share about this event are purely my own. (Oh and I also want to thank Amtrak for the free WiFi!)
Disclaimer: Janssen Global Services paid for my travel expenses for the conference. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Last month I passed a milestone that I overlooked. It wasn't huge. Not worth major fanfare or a birthday cake. (Oh how I love birthday cake!) However it is a time of celebration. A time for me to think of what I've accomplished. Last month marked eight years with Type 2 diabetes.
I was diagnosed in March 2008 which wasn't much of a surprise. I had gestational diabetes with all five of my pregnancies. I have a family history of Type 2. I assumed I'd get it. Unfortunately I got it a couple decades sooner than I was expecting. Getting Type 2 in your 30s isn't something that many people expect.
There have been ups and downs on my journey with diabetes. There are days of denial. Days of frustration. Days I want to give up. However there are days I feel victorious. Days I embrace my condition. Days I'm thankful for the friends I've made. Friends that were introduced to me by diabetes.
Yes, having diabetes stinks. Ok, honestly it sucks. However I'm thankful to be a part of the diabetes online community (DOC). They are my family and I love them all.
So to anyone celebrating their diaversary in the near future.... CONGRATULATIONS!!!