You Have Diabetes? You Are Not to Blame

By Manny Hernandez, Senior Vice President of Member Experience and Strategic Product Alliances (living with diabetes since 2002)

“It is strange to live in a world where making oneself bleed is the first step to healing.”

This is one of the many powerful and cruel ironies of life with diabetes so eloquently captured by Rivers Solomon in her recent New York Times Opinion piece titled “I Have Diabetes. Am I to Blame?

I tell Rivers: you are NOT to blame.

Blame it on our leaders and governments, which often gloss over and underpay for diabetes prevention programs and initiatives that focus on inspiring people instead of trying to scare them into action to help prevent diabetes complications.

Blame it on our culture, where it has become OK to crack jokes at the expense of overweight people, and media, which seem unwilling to have a serious dialog about diabetes without resorting to alarmist imagery.

Blame it on our healthcare system that focuses on quarterly lab results and 10-minute long doctor’s appointments, forgetting that 99.993% of the time, people with diabetes are self-managing their condition on their own.

Thank you, Rivers! Your courage to speak up about your life with type 2 diabetes, the challenges it has presented you, and how you continue to face them head on is inspiring.
There’s no cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes yet. But until there is one, all of us in the diabetes space need to continue working hard to make managing diabetes easier, so you can live the life you want with the support you need.