November is a big month in diabetes. For those of us living in Australia, the main event is World Diabetes Day on 14 November, but I’m certainly happy to be swept up in the USA’s Diabetes Awareness Month.
For the next four weeks, there will be a lot of diabetes awareness about and it’s a great opportunity to speak about real life with diabetes, dispel some myths and set the record straight when someone tells you to increase your cinnamon consumption to cure your diabetes.
Get your blue on…
Blue is the colour of diabetes and, this month, it’s my colour of choice! (Including this potentially misguided nail colour. My manicurist actually said ‘Are you sure?’ when I picked it our yesterday.)
I’m stuck with these nails for a couple of weeks now, but plan to accessorise with a lot more blue (including the blue mascara and eye liner I bring out just for November!)
Diabetes is not about numbers. Until it is.
JDRF has this nifty calculator on their website that (somewhat scarily) adds up the numbers to show just how many diabetes tasks we’ve undertaken in our diabetes lives. Here’s mine (as of yesterday).
I am the first to say that diabetes is not all about numbers, but I do love this because it shows the magnitude of this condition and its relentlessness. You can get yours here.
(And JDRF UK has their own here.)
What is diabetes awareness month all about anyway?
And this take from a Diabetes Dad…
And Tom Karla (AKA Diabetes Dad) has this to say about just who this whole month is for. (Spoiler: it’s not for those of us already living with diabetes!) As I said on Twitter yesterday – I spend a week every July (during National Diabetes Week in Australia) trying to explain this. Will be forwarding Tom’s post far and wide from now on!
7 day online peer support…
Did you know that there is a free online Peer Diabetes Mentoring Summit running right now (until 7 November). Diabetes Dominator, Daniele Hargenrader, has coordinated this fab event and you can claim your free ticket here. So many terrific sessions with great speakers to follow!
There’s a fun photo challenge for the month from Project Blue November. Using the prompts they’ve provided, post a photo each day to your SoMe feeds to share your life with diabetes, tagging the pic with #ProjectBlueNovember. Here are the prompts:
What I’d tell myself at diagnosis..
Lovely piece from the team at Diabetes Forecast where some PWD share the wisdom they would give their newly diagnosed self. Read it here.
And here’s the letter I wrote to my newly diagnosed self a few years ago. It still holds pretty true!
The International Diabetes Federation’s WDD selfie app (download for free at the app store) allows you to add a blue circle – the international symbol for diabetes – to any photo you’d like.
Big Blue Test
And of course, November means that it is time once again for the Big Blue Test, brought to us by Diabetes Hands Foundation. Over 125,000 BBTs have been logged since the program started in 2010. Easy peasy lemon squeezy instructions are:
Get logging for good karma. There’s even an app you can use to make it super easy. (And yes – I’ll be logging before and after I take the pups for a walk!)
Keep in perspective.
It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by everything diabetes that’s going on this month. If your SoMe feeds are anything like mine, they will be overtaken by diabetes and there really does seem to be no escape.
Which is why it’s important to remember that we are about so much more than diabetes and find time in the month to do things that remind us of that. We have a couple of birthdays to plan and an upcoming trip to New York to think about – all things that will hopefully keep the whole month in perspective. Plus there is always baking…maybe some cookies…