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[IP] Education (was CDC: Diabetes becoming epidemic)

Sylvia, Joshua's mom, wrote:
>EDUCATION is the BEST weapon against fighting this and 
>all other diseases out there.  

Yes! It's a funny thing: I work for a publisher of patient 
education materials. In my very small department, there are 
two other women with type 1 diabetes, and probably several 
people with type 2. (Since my Salon article was published, 
diabetics have been coming out of the woodwork everywhere!) 
I don't think it's a coincidence that we're drawn to this 
kind of work. All of us have had personal experience with 
suddenly having to learn all about diabetes. All of us know 
how important health education is. So a lot of people with 
diabetes end up in health-related fields. 

[Digression -- skip this if you don't want to get *really* 

I just found out yesterday that our new library assistant is 
type 1. It was quite a surreal experience. We were talking 
about the new issue of a nutrition update newsletter, and 
also about the CDC press release that started this thread. 
She said something about the portion sizes of food given to
kids have changed: she sees people giving their kids a whole 
bagel -- the equivalent of four slices of bread. I thought 
it was interesting that she described it that way -- it was, 
of course, the way a diabetic (or a dietitian) would talk 
about the Dreaded Bagel. Then a few minutes later, she said 
that she was diabetic. We're about the same age and were both 
diagnosed at 33. It was a very strange moment.

End of digression.]

>Those of us who are educated (and I mean each one of 
>us on this list, degree or no degree) have enough knowledge 
>to help fight at least the ignorance that is running rampant in 
>the news and other forms of media.  We come from all walks 
>of life from probably every corner of the globe.  If we could 
>all educate at least one other person about this disease 
>then think of what good that would do to ours and everyone 
>else's life when dealing with this disease.  

Absolutely!  By the way, I've been meaning to say that I 
think that Joshua's science project is a great idea. He 
will teach a lot of kids and adults about diabetes! I hope 
he wins a prize.

There are times when I just can't bear to give another 
"Diabetes 101" lecture. But I do try to answer people's 
questions when I can. People really are interested, if 
you talk about it in the right way. I demo'ed my pump for 
some co-workers earlier this week as part of our "lunch 
and learn" series. Some people who wanted to come weren't 
able to make the time, so I might do it again in a month 
or so.

My mother-in-law just told me that she's thinking about 
applying for a job as director of the local ADA branch. 
They're looking for someone who can do a lot of outreach 
to schools, and she's got an education degree and is a 
former special education program administrator. She's 
also got personal experience dealing with diabetes (with 
both me and her late husband, for whom she was the primary 
caretaker during the last few years of his life). I told 
her to go for it! But I was especially glad to hear that 
the local ADA is trying to do more school outreach. (I think
there are two things that all kids need to learn to do 
*early*: 1) eat properly, and 2) manage money. The two are
not unrelated.)

>And just think what it could do if one of those people that we 
>educated was a..GULP..politician...HMMM...are they educatable...???

Heh. Well, some of them....

As I said in another post, I'm working on a long letter 
to my Congresswoman. It never hurts to write. It never 
hurts to speak up.

/Janet L.

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