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[IP] Michigan Diabetes Control Program (cross post)

Hi all,

I received the following from a consultant in Michigan who is looking into ways to improve diabetes awareness and "control" in the state of Michigan.  (MDCH, Diabetes Control Program)

From the email it sounds like he has very few people with diabetes involved (hope this assumption doesn't have me making an A...   of myself)

The physical location is in Lansing but is directed through out the whole state.

If you are interested in getting involved, let me know and I'll forward your address to the consultant.  (As he says in the note: "We're convinced that the people with diabetes themselves must step up to get more noticed.")

Jim S.

The denial factor in diabetes has been pronounced in my opinion. Until very recently we have not seen prominent people with diabetes come forward. Professionals tend to downplay its significance and minimize its seriousness. Even those with a profit motive, such as managed care organizations, who would stand to save a ton of money have been slow to acknowledge the devastating effects of diabetes. But the most surprising thing I've found is that individuals want to deny it. This was surprising because, unlike mental illness or chemical dependency, diabetes ought not to be a highly stigmatized disease.
I'm beginning to understand that many people who are diagnosed are simply not properly alerted to the seriousness of the disease. Also, the fact that there may be no overt symptoms at first diagnosis may contribute to denial. Then, too, people tell me that to admit that they have diabetes, especially to others, invites a good deal of scrutiny and criticism from others surrounding eating and other lifestyle habits - produces an invasion of privacy of sorts. And, finally, I'm told that diabetes is just not very "sexy," dramatic, or conducive to the racy sound-byte that we and the media love so much. Maybe we'll just have to change that, given what we like to emphasize in our culture.
Anyway, that's what I've learned so far ... I have started our "consumer-focused planning group" and we've had one meeting so far. This is a state-wide group of highly energetic people who want to promote some consumer initiatives. We're convinced that the people with diabetes themselves must step up to get more noticed.

Jim S.                          (type I, pump since 08/94, dx 10/09/65)
mailto:email @ redacted