Get mad about blue, and I’m not referring to credit cards or college athletics. This month, there will be a barrage of attention showered on diabetes. There will be information on the strides in research, drug therapies and prevention of Type 2 and promotion of the universal color of the diabetes community, blue. Think blue circles, blue ribbons and blue drops. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as a Type 1 diabetic living with the disease for more than 40 years, getting caught up in the promotional hype and being lumped into the same sugar-coated box of diabetes sprinkled with how close we are to a cure makes me mad. Moreover, I am not alone.
There are more than 1.2 million American adults and children living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). In case you are wondering, no we cannot prevent type one and no we do not develop type one by eating sweets or not exercising. The promise of a cure for diabetes is just that, a promise until it happens. The question for many of us is what about today?
What about the importance of testing for T1D in children as early as possible? In far too many cases, children with Type 1 Diabetes are not diagnosed until they are seriously ill. A delayed diagnosis can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), the leading cause of mortality in children with type one diabetes.
What about the medical communities, especially emergency room personnel, who know less about T1D than I do? If you find this hard to believe, read about my experience at a major Los Angeles area medical center.
What about the two bills languishing in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives that would ensure that people over 65, and who are Medicare-eligible, have access to life-saving CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors)? Please visit this link and follow the instructions to urge your House Representatives to support H.R. 1427 (Medicare CGM Access Act of 2015) and your Senators to support S. 804 (Medicare CGM Access Act of 2015). Ask your social media communities to spread the word using the hashtag #MedicareCoverCGM.
So forgive me if I don’t want to “celebrate” Diabetes Awareness Month. I am mad about being blue and you should be angry, too.
Title photo credit: The qspeaks under Creative Commons License.