Tomorrow (Thursday 14th November 2013) is World Diabetes Day (WDD for the sake of my typing). It's going to be the first time I've "celebrated" it and I've been thinking about what it really means to me.
The short answer is "I don't know". I've been diabetic for 12 years now and truth be told, I've only known about WDD for a couple of years despite it having been running since 1991. Those with curious minds can visit the International Diabetes Federation website to find out a bit more about it and the significance the date holds.
Obviously I'm all for anything that helps promote awareness of diabetes and the various difficulties it brings. There's without doubt a certain stigma that comes with it as many people are unaware of the different "types" of diabetes and the different causes/effects of each. Again, I'm not going to shove the information down your throat, but Diabetes UK have a pretty quick and effective guide to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes if you're interested.
I've done a fair amount of work over the last 12-18 months to help fundraise and awareness on behalf of Diabetes UK (thanks to everyone who's supported me in those ventures) but I'm still unsure of the best way to "mark" the day, or whether I need to mark it at all.
I've got some great friends within the Diabetic Online Community (#doc) as well as some great relationships I've formed with people I've met via hospital courses or through my local Voluntary Group. I'm sure tomorrow will be like many others in a lot of respects in that I'll experience a few highs and lows (physically, metaphorically and blood glucosely) and that I'll chat some of the same nonsense I always do.
After a little contemplation, I decided that I'll rock up to work in a blue shirt and tie (repping the IDF colours) and that I'll try and "live tweet" my day as a Type 1 diabetic. I'll post my blood glucose readings, my meals, my carb calculations and some of the emotional responses that a "typical" day with diabetes can elicit. (There's a lot of talk around the associated mental health problems people with diabetes can face that you may not be aware of).
If you want a snapshot into the world of a diabetic, or might know someone else who'd be interested, you can follow me on Twitter at @BroomOwl I'll do my best to tag my posts with #WDD and #DILOD (Day In the Life of a Diabetic) depending on character limits and all that.
I suppose tomorrow will be a chance to reflect and be thankful that whilst having diabetes can suck some of the time, I'm lucky to be alive in a time where modern medicine means I've got a pretty decent shot of living with it for years to come.