So that was World Diabetes Day... Good thing I have a Twitter account and this blog or I wouldn't have known. I saw a message on Twitter yesterday saying the same thing. The author wrote that they didn't hear a word on any large media outlet but that Twitter was on fire with diabetes related posts. I found myself agreeing.
Every blogger, website and person whose BG was ever above 120 took the opportunity to announce something yesterday, me included and everyone's exuberance caused a flutter for certain, tweets were flying down my timeline at a furious pace. I spent my entire day keeping up with, managing, posting and responding to things related to World Diabetes Day. I felt great, though a bit exhausted (I may have fallen to sleep on the sofa and not woken up until 4:45 am) and I'd do it all again in a second but my question is, "what did I do?"
Was I only talking to other people who already knew that it was World Diabetes Day? Did our community have a party that only we came to? I'm sure not totally but I'm betting that the answer is, in some part, "yes". It's this nagging feeling that I have that helped me to decide to follow my passion and announce my charitable intentions last week. My overall concern that while we are supporting each other and doing it well, our message may not reach far outside the community or with the same intensity that it does inside the community.
It's a huge and difficult question but I want it answered - How do you get a baseball fan to care about hockey? A serious news junky to care about the Kardashians? Is it possible to get a message to a person that has no interest, connection or concern with a topic without marketing that person to within an inch of their life, thusly ruining the message? I think the answer is "yes" and I'm determined to find a way to do it.
None of this is to say that the amazing things that go on in the DOC everyday aren't valuable, just the opposite, they are the heart of the DOC but how do we expand? How do I leave a guy who has no connection to type I diabetes feeling what a T1 mom feels when she reads something that I've written. It is possible, I know it. I know in impart because I believe but also because it's happened to me and recently.
We took Arden to see 'Wicked' in New York last week. At the end of the first act the character Elphaba is hovering above the ground having just come to an important realization about herself. The scene ended, the curtain went down and the house lights went up - I was crying. My level of interest going into the show stopped being an issue when I was presented with a well told and interesting story. That is how I see our message about diabetes going wider. We have to stop spouting statistics and saying the same things over and over when we're presented with a larger audience. I know that it's difficult to find new and interesting ways to say the same stuff but it's doable. We need to tell more interesting stories, well.
If only diabetes was a green witch that could sing...
They didn't allow photograph in the theater so here is a picture of Arden surveying New York from the Empire State Building.