Reasons to be cheerful! A plea for positivity!

img_2333Imagine teaching classes in the way that Diabetes NSW have approached this week’s National Diabetes Week.

I used to teach in a really rough school where the students came from backgrounds where there was extreme social depravation.

Picture the scene:

“Good morning everyone! I know some of you might  die at a much younger age than the rest of the population due to the much higher than average rate of coronary heart disease in this area, many of you will most likely never get proper qualifications and unemployment is at an all time high in the area but hey ho, never mind. Chin up ! Let’s all get on with the job at hand and learn together. I’m going to tell you about all the awful things that may be ahead of you and hope that despite all of them, you have the desire to learn and move forward.”

I would have been eaten alive had I chosen that method of teaching!

The following pictures have been on Twitter the last couple of days for National Diabetes Week. Perhaps I am missing the point or being overly sensitive. I’m hoping to be proven wrong!

I’ve not blogged much of late or been on Twitter regularly. Today, however, I do feel the need to write down my thoughts.

The diabetes online community is fantastic due to the sense of  fun, support and community. You may never see the people you communicate with but they live a life in your head and you are aware of their joys and their pains. It’s not all doom and gloom: quite the opposite. Even when times are tough, there is always a sense of camaraderie, of being in it together, and often good advice is given on how to deal with the issues being discussed.

What is the point in Diabetes NSW stating the bald facts regarding amputation without giving advice on how to avoid this happening or setting it in a deeper context? This may come later but the scary, horrible stuff came first!

As a parent of a teenage boy with Type 1 diabetes, I need for him to see hope in his future. I try to do this in how I approach discussions around his diabetes. So much research has been done on the impact of living with Type 1 diabetes on mental health. Did no one think of that when coming up with this campaign?

I found this on Twitter and found it really apt :

Positivity in life is so important but even more so when you are a teenager living with a chronic disease. My son does not walk around feeling burdened or would never say that he ‘suffers’ from diabetes. It’s part of his life, he has no choice in the matter and he gets on with it. I’m thankful that he doesn’t use Twitter and so it is highly unlikely he will be exposed to this awful future where amputations loom large!

There is hope in Victoria where Diabetes Victoria have a much more positive, balanced campaign:

My plea is for positivity! Please!


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