I’ve been thinking a lot about interpretive dance lately. And how, if a dance company wanted to create and choreograph a routine about diabetes what it would look like.

There would be lots of silk scarves, head holding angst and flying. And maybe some Kate Bush-style running through a forest.* And somewhere, Stevie Nicks.

And if someone wanted to compose a concerto about diabetes, Richard Tognetti could perform it on his antique Guarneri. What a terrific opportunity to test out the strength and depth of the low notes (representing middle of the night lows) and the soaring ability of the high register (which would be the musical version of a person with diabetes screeching ‘Where did that freaking 31.5mmol/l come from’).

Getting the message out about diabetes can happen in many ways. In the olden days, it was health professionals who held all the information. We were told what they felt they wanted to tell us or what they thought we needed to hear and they could scare us with tales of what would happen if we didn’t listen to them. And so we made up numbers in logbooks and told them that we ate nothing but seeds and celery.

Then, someone brilliant and clever and shiny and bright got the good idea that people living with diabetes could share stories and we could learn from each other. In the early days, this was in the way of a support group, which, contrary to my initial phobias about diabetes support groups, is not about sitting around, holding hands and singing ‘how do you solve a problem like a dud pancreas?’ Actually, it was about dynamic people getting together and talking and listening and sharing. And about realising that we are not alone. I love that!

And then, another clever moppet invented the World Wide Webosphere and it was at that point we all met the most sharing health professional of all, Doctor Google. Dr G has no filter (even though he pretends to) and if you say to Dr Google, ‘Tell me about diabetes’, you will receive information about EVERYTHING EVER WRITTEN, including how cinnamon will cure your diabetes. (Which, incidentally, causes me great concern when I make one of my favourite late-night snacks – cinnamon toast. Do I bolus for the carbs in the bread and sugar, or not bother, because the cinnamon cancels it out?**)

Suddenly, we could all read things on this Webosphere and connect with each other. People started sharing their stories on blogs (like this little one you’re reading here) and on Mark Zuckerberg’s magic planet Facebook. And then came Twitter where we could share and tweet and connect and have chats where five billion people answer questions to ‘what would you like to say to your pancreas?’ (My favourite response to that was ‘get a job!’)

And there’s so much more! There are plays that tell stories about people with diabetes and there is even a musical. I kid you not! It’s called Diabetes – the Musical. There are songs and You Tube clips galore. Cartoons add humour, describe the frustration and provide insight to real-life situations.

Hearing about diabetes in a different format is refreshing. It gives you a different perspective and frequently, you’ll learn something new. Have a look out there and see what you can find. And let me know – especially if you find anything to do with interpretive dance.

*OK, now I have Wuthering Heights going through my head constantly. Don’t blame me if you do, too!

**Kidding! I know that cinnamon doesn’t cure diabetes. That’s what chromium supplements are for!

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