Today is World Diabetes Day (whoop whoop!) It’s the middle of National Diabetes Month, my busiest month of the year because everyone wants to talk about diabetes – all the time.
I’m not complaining! I always want to talk about diabetes – all the time. This week alone I’ve had seven radio interviews, three TV interviews, presented two webinars and flew to Joburg for a diabetes event. Next week there’s another in-person TV interview and my first Facebook Live. I am about to be exhausted. But it has been such a joy to spread the message that it’s possible to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes – and that we need to be taking diabetes very seriously in South Africa.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors
Our campaign for this year’s National Diabetes Month is all about Type 2 diabetes risk factors – take a look at the video below. You can find out all about Type 2 diabetes risk factors (and how to reverse Type 2 diabetes) here.
It blows my mind that Type 2 diabetes is a manageable condition – even reversible! – and yet it kills more women than anything else in South Africa. How is that possible? That’s the question I’ve been asking (over and over) this week. The more we can talk about diabetes, and make it part of our national conversation, the more we can make an annual diabetes screening part of the social norms each year.
13 years of diabetes – 13 things that make me happy
Meanwhile, last month was my 13th diaversary: 13 years of living with diabetes! Apparently one of the emotional root causes of diabetes is a lack of sweetness and joy in life (which I do not feel is true in this life!) so I decided to find 13 slices of joy on my diaversary day: 13 things that make me happy.
It was a Monday and I was working, so it wasn’t about doing anything dramatic. It was about noticing how even the tiniest things give me a moment of happiness:
- A cup of tea first thing in the morning.
- A hot shower to wake me up.
- Playing with my kids outside.
- Eating delicious food.
- Time in my garden.
- Meaningful work.
- Gin and soda at the end of the work day, with my lovely husband.
- Dance party in the lounge (almost always to this song at the moment).
- Watching movie trailers (my fave).
- Yoga (20 mins is enough most days!)
- Reading in bed.
- Colouring in.
What a beautiful, ordinary day. Celebrating the beautiful, ordinary fact that I am living with Type 1 diabetes every day, and it hasn’t (ever) stopped me from doing anything.
World Diabetes Day
This World Diabetes Day, I am grateful to have a platform – through Sweet Life and Diabetic South Africans – to talk about diabetes in a meaningful way to people who want to listen and spread that message to thousands of South Africans. The interviews this week have all been different, but they have all been thoughtful and intelligent. I’m grateful to have a voice, and a platform to share it. Happy World Diabetes Day!