It's great to be here. Here, literally, at Diabetes Forecast, the healthy living magazine of the American Diabetes Association. And to be alive and thriving after 38 years (and counting) with type 1 diabetes.
Life with diabetes in 2012 looks a lot brighter than it did circa 1973, when my parents learned that their preschooler had a chronic disease. The daily shot of insulin and those bubbling, color-changing test tubes of urine and Clinitest tablets have been replaced by multiple daily injections, a wide selection of blood glucose–lowering medications for my type 2 friends, and meters smaller than a mobile phone.
Despite the improvements in treatment and outcomes, however, I'm tired of diabetes. I guess that you are, too. That's why we're members of the ADA—and working diligently to Stop Diabetes®.
The Association is on our side, championing research and providing resources that help us deal with the daily ups and downs (the blood glucose kind and the emotional kind, too). Medical ID bracelet, glucose tablets, the Association on speed dial—they're all key tools for self-care.
These three Association resources particularly impress me (you'll read about so many more throughout this issue):
♦ Advocacy. Through the efforts of the Association's legal advocacy team, people with diabetes are protected against discrimination at work and at school, at restaurants and at rock concerts. Research funding and health care coverage are key initiatives, too. Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) for more information and to volunteer to become a Diabetes Advocate.
♦ Information. More than 30 Center for Information and Community Support staff members are on call from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST every weekday to answer your questions about diabetes and send you free information. Call 1-800-342-2383 for pamphlets and people who really listen.
♦ Friends. Self-care is easier when you have friends who truly understand what it means to live well with diabetes. You'll meet such friends in the pages of this magazine, and you can find more online in the Association's chat rooms at diabetes.org/messageboards.
One day you and I will be able to stop taking care of diabetes and turn our time, talent, and treasure to other important causes. Until then, thank you for taking good care of yourself and your loved ones. And thank you for your support. I'm tired of diabetes, but with your friendship I have great hope for the future.
Kelly Rawlings, PWD* type 1
*Person with diabetes