For the first time, I am participating in the DSMA Blog Carnival. Each month, a topic is selected for us all to write about and take the first few steps towards brainstorming a solution.
Here is the topic this month –
Let’s discuss the lack of diabetes education, supplies and insulin for PWD’s living here and in other countries. What can we do?
This topic is one that is very close to my heart. I have had challenges in my life with diabetes. I have had times of rationing supplies and balancing my budget to make sure I can cover all my medical bills.
There was a time between the end of college and my first full time job that I purchased insulin just across the Mexican border. I know how very privileged I am now that these were my only struggles.
Two years ago, on my first trip to Haiti, I looked around for people living with diabetes. This was the only evidence I could find.
I took that picture in the hallway of a “hospital” where patients were recovering from orthopedic injuries from the earthquake.
When I asked one of the workers if she had seen anyone with type 1 diabetes, she couldn’t remember a single case.
Traveling back to Haiti this year, I began to understand more why that may be the case.
If this is your home and your bathroom, tell me how you can watch your carbohydrate intake or keep your insulin at the appropriate temperature? There is no kitchen as we would expect in American homes, cooking is typically done in the front yard.
Food choices may be deciding what meal to eat rather than what to eat for that meal. I can’t imagine being faced with the decision of feeding your family or trying to find medicine for one of your children.
I recently had a conversation with people from Frio and they mentioned that they try to offer their product to people in Haiti and other countries in similar situations and they have trouble finding people to use the Frio packs.
Those in need of insulin are just not living long enough!
I have no idea how to solve this problem that seems so overwhelming. I know that we need to keep talking about it in the diabetes community. No matter what are circumstances and struggles are, if we are privileged enough to have access to a computer to read and/or write blogs, we have a duty to stay involved in this issue and continue the conversation.
This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/august-dsma-blog-carnival/.