Media attention is a good way to create more awareness about diabetes in the general public. So when I learned that RTE 1 was airing a programme dedicated to the disease I thought “great!”
I quickly changed my mind when I read the programme synopsis in advance of viewing it. We were going to hear the stories of 3 people, one of whom had passed away since filming from diabetes complications, the second was visually impaired and had limb amputations and the third was only a couple of years diagnosed.
I thought to myself “it’s going to be grim and depressing” and decided I was going to be disappointed with the programme. I really didn’t want to watch other peoples’ misery and think that it could one day be me.
Now that I have watched it and heard all of the stories, I heard the message. To me it was loud and clear, “take care of your diabetes or else you will end up like those in the programme”.
I asked myself would I have heard that message from someone who seems to have good management of their diabetes, who didn’t have any of the long term complications, or was young, fit and vibrant?
I think the answer is no.
So, yes we would like to see more inspirational people with diabetes who have good stories to tell us but we also need reminders of what can happen if we choose to ignore our diabetes.