Nobody should die prematurely from diabetes!

On the last two weeks I had really sad news about two women who died because of diabetes. It´s not that uncommon and it always hit me. One was someone close to a friend family, here in São Paulo, a women around 35, who had a successful life in her personal and professional life. What people told me (people are afraid to tell you bad news when they know you have diabetes) that she got a H1N1 influenza for the second time and didn´t resist to it. The other person was a young girl I met in one of my trips, very kind and intelligent. She had a kidney failure and didn´t resist.

One had access to medication and education. I can´t tell that the same happened to the other. But what it makes me think is that handle diabetes is such a difficult task that we need to emphasize the importance of the multidisciplinary treatment, with the idea that no one should face this disease alone or “in the dark”.

This is not new: diabetes is a chronic disease and until this day it has no cure. This is a huge burden people with diabetes have to live with, added to this the stress of controlling 24/7 the glycemia, having to deal with prejudice, fear and stigma, explaining what is happening to you to your family and friends (and sometimes to society) and take care of our body (after all, diabetes is not the only thing you need to care about your health) and mind.

Michelangelo: "I just had to take off what wasn´t Davi"
Michelangelo: “I just had to take off what wasn´t Davi”

When difficult times comes on your professional or personal life it is hard to keep the balance and all the balls juggling in the air. And  I think that fits here some ideas (the same that I need to listen sometimes) that can improve any type of relationship, by the way. It´s not a recipe, but maybe it can give food for thought:

1) Family and Friends: please, listen without any playing the judge or the devil´s advocate. Don´t minimize what someone is feeling by trying to rationalize an emotion.

2)  Healthcare professionals: make treatment decisions a shared goal, that I also have the autonomy to choose the path I want to follow.

3) You there with diabetes:

  • Clarify to yourself why you are feeling what your feeling: Clarity: invest on your self-knowledge, continuously, and in every sense of your being. This will help you understand more of your body (eg.: every time I get to stressed my glycemia tend to raise/ drop) and mind (to help you cope with this condition (and many others that life can bring unexpectedly).
  • You are not alone: don´t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help and search for professional health support, including support groups, sometimes those beloved one around you are not ready to listen, understand and create the empathy you need on a specific moment. Not because they don´t want to, they really love you, but sometimes they just don´t have the tools, we are all humans: liable to defects and limitations;
  • Fight for your rights: of access to medicine, care and education.
  • Don´t be afraid of being wrong: sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Don´t be too hard on yourself. Learn with your mistakes.

Write this post is somehow a chance to take the pain I feel when those kind of news hit me. Wish and hope that one day no one will die prematurely from diabetes.

Peace.

Advertisements

Addressing T1D at Public Schools, Public Libraries and NGOs

DSC03776

In 2010 I was gently invited to participate on a beautiful project to create a playful educative book on type 1 diabetes. The Fundação DPaschoal is the social arm of a 63 years old  brazilian organization, DPaschoal.

fundação educarThe Fundação has some projects based on te following dreams:

Trote Cidadania: Through a social technology, develop young able to transform themselves, their schools and communities. Turning violence culture on college into citizenship actions.

“Leia Comigo” (“Read with me”):  That every child in Brazil has the pleasure of reading and his own book.

And this reality comes true, youngsters are protagonists on their own changes at Academia Educar (Education Academy) working society competence and values. Until 2010, more than 31 million books were distributed in all states of Brazil. It´s important to point that Brazil has around 13 million people with all types of diabetes, the same number, 13 million people, don´t how to read or write ( 8.7% of the total population aged 15 years or more) at all.

arvore de livros

 DPaschoal supports a government project called “Todos pela Educação” (“All for education”) and distributes books on public schools, libraries and NGOs. Those book are designed by a committed team of excellent experts on education and are made to be read in groups and generate debates about many important topics/values/moral.

The “Todos Pela Educação” goals are:

 1. EVERY CITIZEN, FROM 4 TO 17 YEARS OLD, IN SCHOOL
2. EVERY CHILD BEING FULLY ALPHABETIZED BY THE AGE OF 8
3. ALL STUDENT LEARNING ARE SUITABLE FOR EACH YEAR
4. ALL  CITIZEN AT THE AGE OF 19 HAVING COMPLETED SCHOOL
5. EXPANDED INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION AND BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

I´m super glad to be part of this project that is so holistic: touching themes such as education in my country, diabetes education, stigma, prejudice at school and myths. A big thank you for my brother, Rafael Labate, that worked actively suggesting type one diabetes as a topic to be addressed by the institution and Fundação DPaschoa  team for allowing me to tell my history, to hear about your history and contribute with my thoughts and networking.

DSC03806

 So this year, the book,  was released and soon will be available to our population

. It is sponsored by DPASCHOAL, Lei de Incentivo à Cultura and MANN FILTER. If you are interested in sponsoring the project, please contact Marina Carvalho at: marina.carvalho@educardpaschoal.org.br

DSC03753DSC03752

Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens!!!

II IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme

Last November I had the honor to be part of the II Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme that took place in Melbourne, Australia, with more than 130 people from all over the world. Each one making projects that are changing the would you live.

SONY DSC

It´s a multicultural environment that puts together people with the same diagnosis, that pass through similar challenges, but at the end of the day our differences are the part that makes my eyes shine bright.

SONY DSC

I think that every journey we decide to do on the outside announces a big journey on the inside. And I it’s a nice feeling of being surprised by myself and my own development. In those years as an IDF-YLD representative, I’ve learned much more than I can comprehend right now.

break free

One of the most beautiful thing I can see with my eyes are people connected with their inner energy, with courage to take risks. brave enough to question the “status quo”, and lead by what they can create with the world they receive (not just following every rule and doing what is expected) and all of it with integrity, defending the values each one truly believe.

DSC03204

Young people together represents what are that generation’s thirst for change. What they CANNOT deal/live with anymore.  Common dream? Live in a better world with diabetes.

DSC03216

I have a dream to live in a world in which high-income countries don’t explore low-income countries and them give them assistance help (with their money and NGOs) that only let them more dependant and help richest countries to empower their 3rd sector economy (otherwise they would not have jobs for their people).

I have a dream to live in a world that young people don’t leave university so blind to create and do what they believe (not just what they are told to) with integrity of their own self. Thinking that science is answer to everything.

I have a dream that no one have to die or suffer because of lack of access to their rights.

I have a dream that a collective consciousness lead us to a better future than our present. Consuming things (=supporting) that ensure a fair trade with a minimal pollution during all its production and selling.

cerebro

Type 2 Diabetes: Is there someone to blame?

I always admire people who can put in words (simply and easy), thoughts that I can´t express or ideally communicate. In this TED video below, Peter Attia questions the paradigm on the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes in a lecture called: “Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?”

Here is a video I wish every person could watch and reflect about diabetes and judging. But Peter goes so much further by  questioning the conventional wisdom, cause and effect (and which one we’ve been treating?), the order of events between obesity and insulin resistance, conventional stigma that judges/blames people with type 2 diabetes (and its complications) and obesity.

peter

Click to watch (subtitled in 24 languages): Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?

“We can’t keep blaming our overweight and diabetic patients(…). Most of them actually wants to do the right thing but they have to know what that is and it’s got to work.”

*Peter Attia, a surgeon and a self-experimenter. He hopes to ease the diabetes epidemic by challenging what we think we know and improving the scientific rigor in nutrition and obesity research.

Tips for people who don’t have diabetes

Here goes a post for people who do not have diabetes and sometimes don’t know how to deal with friends and familiars who has it.

instituteBDI blog 1

You must have listen that a diabetes diagnosis reaches not only the person with diabetes, but the entire family and eventually friends (and environments such as school and work). So, all end up being touched by the diagnosis, more directly or indirectly

Changes in food, exercise, introducing medications and glycemia control 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), and there can also be an emotional and psychological burden that comes with a chronic disease. It is really important for a person with diabetes to count on family and friends support.

In 2011, I met the Diabetes Behavioral Institute and they have great materials and programs to help people master the unique challenges of diabetes, conduct behavioral research in diabetes and provide health care providers with the specialty behavioral training necessary for managing diabetes effectively.

Today I’ll present you the Diabetes Etiquette from the Diabetes Behavioral Institute, that you can find HERE in .pdf, its 10 tips for people who don’t have diabetes are:

419211_311824625543386_1165674397_n

421989_311824652210050_1012059704_n

425639_311824658876716_1694730966_n

425293_311824688876713_1569812021_n

424050_311824708876711_603499506_n

430165_311824868876695_1281232430_n64006_311825068876675_982434370_n

427081_311825098876672_1149834551_n

420251_311825125543336_1430675157_n 418080_311825138876668_390886954_n

At the end of the day, when we are able to laugh at something it gets much more easier. To finish this post I´ll let you with this funny image from a fanpage called Type 1 Diabetes Memes, in which they describe in a funny way people´s perspective on T1D.

type 2