** Please note: This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking. If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source! Thanks :) **
Our assignment in class today was to write a letter to a senator or congressman about an issue that was personal to us. I decided that I would write my letter as though I was actually going to send it out, instead of just writing something kind of generic. I think I will actually take the time to spiff it up and send it off, too…
I am writing to you as a Michigan resident, blogger, student, and Medical Assistant living with Type 2 Diabetes. As I’m sure you’re aware, there is currently an epidemic of this disease across our nation, with more cases developing every day. There are stories, advertisements and campaigns being covered about this issue all the time, but many of them are misleading or inaccurate. People with Type 2 Diabetes are frequently portrayed as obese and lazy, and it is frequently inferred that they have brought the disease on themselves. While this may be true in some cases, it is more often a development brought on by genetics alone. Unfortunately, the stigmas being attached to this disease are preventing further research, better treatment plans, or even a cure, from being found.
In many cases, as it was with me, people who are diagnosed are given little instruction and even less education before being sent on their way. We are expected to control our condition and are chastised when we can’t, but we aren’t given the necessary tools to be able to control it. Unfortunately, Diabetes differs for everyone. A fellow blogger once coined the phrase “Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)” which is used frequently in the Diabetes Online Community. Everyone with Diabetes, no matter which type, reacts differently to medication and to food. We have to figure out what works and what doesn’t and go from there, often alone. Contrary to popular belief, simply losing weight does not cure this disease.
People living with Diabetes need more support, better nutritional labeling, and more effective education about our condition. We need more effective advertising about what it is like to live with Diabetes, and better information on how to control it, and to prevent it from developing in the first place. While a cure would be best, we need help for the more than 25 million people who are living with Diabetes today.
I am writing simply to ask you to take the time to educate yourself about what it’s like to live with Type 2 Diabetes, and to consider this when dealing with legislative decisions about health care, nutrition, and medical research. This is not a political issue, just an issue about people who need more effective help to be able to get by, and need more understanding from people who can make a difference, like yourself. There are so many ways that you can learn more about Diabetes. For starters, there are bloggers who talk about living with this disease every day. You can find my blog at https://ninjalimabean.wordpress.com/ which links to other blogs. There are also incredible website communities devoted to helping the many people with Diabetes, like Diabetes Daily (www.diabetesdaily.com) or TuDiabetes (www.tudiabetes.org).
Thank you for your time and consideration.