A group of folks sit at a Diabetes Anonymous meeting. Some empty chairs surround them to welcome new members.

Diabetes Anonymous

Hi, I’m Tom McAtee and I’m a diabetic. Hello, I’m Sarah Johnson and I’m a person with diabetes. Good evening, I'm George Smith and I have diabetes.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Just a bit maybe? Maybe you’ve heard similar introductions in shows, movies, plays or something else on being an alcoholic. Before you take this the wrong way and go hyper on me, kick back and listen to what I have to say.

A few years ago I worked for a copier company as an onsite fixer at one of the bases. Often I’d be at the hospital working on a machine. Sometimes I'd be lucky and it would be the one right in front of my doctor's office during his lunch. He would walk over and tell me to come see him after I got done. We had a lot of discussions on diabetes and it wouldn’t be a doctor to patient, but person to person on this. Both expressing our views.

A place to turn for diabetes support

One time we were talking and he caught me off guard with what he said next. Told me that there should be a Diabetes Anonymous just like the Alcoholic Anonymous. I started laughing and he told me he was serious. He told me to think about it for a moment. Asked me what is an alcoholic's main weakness. I told him it was alcohol. He then asked me what a type 2’s main weakness was? Hmmmm... Food? Ok, now an alcoholic has meetings that he/she can attend throughout most cities all over the states. They go on a business trip or what have you, they can call that city they’re going to and find the place and time of the local meetings.

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Yes, there are online communities but at times you can't connect securely if on a trip and some businesses have monitors on their systems and will block you from going to some sites. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like the AA setup for diabetics everywhere that they can turn to as well? A lot of people don’t have the luxury of an understanding spouse, family, friends or even a team to turn to for help. But let us assume that something like a Diabetic Anonymous is set up throughout the cities across the states. Wouldn’t that be useful to a diabetic? Actually go to a meeting and be among others that are going through the same thing and have the support to give to each other? To be able to draw off of each other's strength? The more I thought about this and still think about it, this actually began to make sense to me.

Finding an understanding community

I think it makes sense if you kick this about in your mind a bit. I’ve read in many places where an individual is saying he/she doesn’t have an understanding spouse, family, friends and just can’t seem to find anyone who they can trust to talk with. But let's imagine that there’s a place where you can go and have a weekly meeting with those that are also with diabetes. To find the understanding they need and can relax with. To share their information, anxieties and what have you. Of course, there will need to be some kind of moderator there. Hopefully, one that is trained in this, and fully understands diabetes. Preferably a doctor, also have a dietitian, and a psychologist or someone with that background training to help with the mental wellness part of diabetes as well. To help people cope with what they’re going through. Like I mentioned before, don’t be ready to take this the wrong way without giving it a lot of thought. Just think. Wouldn’t it be really nice to have something like this to turn to for information and help??

Hi. I’m Tom McAtee and I’m a diabetic.

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