626,400

Numbers don’t lie.  Between October 29 of last year to Tuesday, 626, 400 Americans were diagnosed with diabetes (type 1, type 2, or gestational).  One in 4 don’t know they have diabetes.

Tuesday was Diabetes Alert Day.  It’s a day that the American Diabetes Association set aside to send the message that diabetes is more than taking a shot of insulin, watching what you eat, and heredity.  It’s a matter of life and death.  It’s a disease that have claimed more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined. With AIDS and breast cancer, you can see the effects of it on someone from the outside as well as the inside.

Diabetes is a silent killer.  You don’t see the effects on the outside, until the advanced stages, if left untreated.  Many will die and not know that diabetes is killing them.  Are you willing to take the risk?

What you just saw in that video is what I have to do about 4-5 times every day.  I have to duck into a restroom to do it, because there are so many people who are uncomfortable watching me shoot up.  Many think cancer is taking several rounds of chemotherapy and they’re in remission.  What you don’t know is that some cancer patients will have to take oral cancer medication to keep it in remission.

Anyone can be deemed “cancer-free”.  There is no such thing as “diabetes-free.”  It can be, but until people stop living in denial and being secretive, it’s a losing battle.

So many of my young professional peers seems to ignore it or come up with an excuse to not talk about it.  “My grandpa has it.  He didn’t take care of himself.” Tell me more than that.  How was he affected by it?  Were your family supportive of him?  Encouraged him to take better care of himself?  Did you change some of your lifestyle habits?  I want to hear that from you.

Don’t tell me that you feel sorry for me.  If you want to emphasize with me, then let me take my shot in public without getting weird looks, ask me how I’m doing, ask questions about life with diabetes, and I’ll say that you can live a long life with it.

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