For a number of years, each November, I’ve been sharing some of my life with diabetes to raise awareness of how serious this condition is but also some of the aspects that make living with it difficult.
Why do I want you to know how serious diabetes is?
There are two reasons:
No. 1 - Managing Diabetes is A Lot of Work
I share my life with diabetes with you because I really do need people to know that living with it is not as simple as taking medication and avoiding cake: those things are just the tip of the massive iceberg. It it so much work. So, so much!
No 2. - Better Awareness Effects Change
I share because the diabetes health service is failing me and I need your help to effect change to make it better for us. A LOT better!
I know that my health service is failing me because of the high numbers of people who are diagnosed with complications of diabetes but also by how hard I have to fight for all the things I that help me to take care of myself and live well.
Diabetes is a serious, life altering and even fatal condition and needs attention urgently. How serious is diabetes is in these numbers.
The seriousness of Diabetes in Numbers
As a person with diabetes, I live my life in numbers: glucose or sugar numbers, units of insulin, grams of carbohydrates, etc. These numbers are just everyday numbers for me and I used temps to calculate my insulin or my next diabetes move. But there are some other numbers that are really really scary for me. So scary that I try not to think about them.
NB these numbers are guesstimates but educated guesstimates
200,000 people in Ireland have diabetes. More people have diabetes than have cancer (there are more than 165,000 people living with and beyond cancer today in Ireland).
If we put all of the people living with diabetes in one place we would fill Croke Park 2 and a half times.
2,750 people with diabetes living with blindness or a serious vision impairment in Ireland
2,628 people with diabetes hospitalised for foot ulcer treatment or limb loss in 2017
1,000 people with diabetes are being treated for kidney disease
130,000 people with diabetes will die from heart disease. According to the British Heart Foundation 65% of people with diabetes will die from heart disease. I’m having a serious freak out here!!!
These numbers are not talked about because of how scary they are for people with diabetes. But, we NEED to start talking about them in this country!!! We also need to talk about how much of our health service, the HSE’s budget is spent on treating the complications of diabetes (60%) and how little is invested in preventing them, how little is spent on diabetes education and support people with diabetes.
I need your help to encourage the HSE to stop being penny wise and pound/euro foolish.
Help me effect change!
Please share this post outside of the diabetes community to bring about change.
BTW just in case you didn’t know, November 14th is World Diabetes Day and November is Diabetes Awareness Month in America but the rest of the world tends to piggyback on the ride because social media make the world smaller and more global. It’s nice to be part of something bigger and global. If you do use social media search for the hashtags #DiabetesAwareness and #MakeDiabetesVisible for follow along.