How was your Diabetes Awareness Month? I celebrated by taking a step back from most online activities and burying my head in the sand. Because, as always, Your Diabetes (Awareness Month) May Vary. #YDAMMV – get it trending!
I got COVID at the beginning of November and that was the definition of Not Fun. I was lucky in a lot of ways – I managed to take my first dose of anti-virals an hour after the ‘you’re positive’ lines came up on a RAT and was able to recover at home mostly. I easily accessed care when I needed it, and, in circumstances absolutely not normal for most, had heads of diabetes, and infectious diseases, departments at city tertiary hospitals calling to check in on me and make sure I had all I needed. (I know this is a perk of the work I do, and I recognise the remarkable privilege my work offers.)
I also spent November making some big life decisions and some big life moves (We’re in New York for the next three months) and that has all been kind of…big. I have never been so grateful of my incredibly supportive family and friends and, especially diabetes friends who have been an absolute bedrock on helping me through this time.
But here I am. It’s December. And it’s cold. December and cold are not words that generally go together for an Aussie sun-lover, but I am more than happy to be living in a city where Christmas carols suddenly make sense. Humming ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ when the aircon is blasting, wearing a tank top, and sweating in 40°C heat is all sorts of oxymoron. This year, I’m wandering the streets in boots, a giant pompom adorning my beanie and wrapped in layers of coats and scarves, just as Mariah Carey intended.
Next week, I’m leaving New York and travelling to Lisbon for the IDF Congress. I’m so honoured to have been invited to give an Award Lecture, as well as speak in and chair a number of other sessions. The best part of this particular conference is the Living with Diabetes Stream which is dedicated to recognising diabetes lived experience. I can’t wait to hear from diabetes advocates from all over standing on stages and bravely, authentically and honestly sharing their stories. I wish more professional conferences had this sort of focus. And I also can’t wait to meet up with diabetes friends, some of whom I’ve not seen since before COVID. The Congress will be big and there will be a lot of it shared online. Keep an eye out!
Oh, and if you haven’t managed to get your #dedoc° voices scholarship application in yet, now is the time. The deadline has been extended by a few days and you have until next week to get yours in. You’d be mad not to, because become a #dedoc° voice means joining remarkable diabetes advocates from across the world and becoming part of a network like no other. Learning from dozens and dozens of people with diabetes who are there to do nothing but build community and support each other is incredible. Come join us! (Disclosure: I am Head of Advocacy for #dedoc°.)