Six Things I Want Everyone to Know about Diabetes

Today is D Blog Day! Last year on D-Blog Day, I didn’t know it was D-blog day. It was my first year doing anything concerning Diabetes Awareness Month or World Diabetes Day, and with all the other excitement I guess I just flat out missed the memo.

Today it is the 6th Annual D-Blog Day. This day began in 2005, when I was a freshmen in college and had little interest in spending lots of time reading about diabetes or chatting with others who had the disease. But today is a different story. As I set alarms every hour and my stomach grumbles over my purposely skipped breakfast (gotta love basal testing) this morning, I will write about the six things I want people to know about diabetes.

1. You don’t have to feel sorry for me. Yeah, it did suck to get diagnosed with diabetes at 11 one week after Halloween with most of my candy still left. Yeah, it sucks to carry around an electronic device that’s attached to me all day. Yeah, it sucks when I think about possible complications. But seriously, I don’t know your story, and I’m pretty sure you’ve had some not so great things happen in your life. So don’t feel sorry for me, and I won’t feel sorry for you.

2. I can eat what I want. Please don’t make the comment “I guess that’s not very good for diabetics” or “should you really be eating that?”. And your concern over cooking me dinner is nice, but really, I can adjust around what is served. And please don’t scoff when I go for a couple scoops of ice cream. I know my body, I know my limits. Do I push them? Yes, but it’s not your job to police me.

3. There is no “good kind” or “bad kind”. Every kind of diabetes is a sucktastic kind. In my honest opinion (IMHO), there are downsides to both types of diabetes.

4. Insulin isn’t a bad thing. The fact that I have an insulin pump doesn’t mean my diabetes is “really bad.” It just means that my pancreas is flat broken. Not only that, I’m sick of hearing type 2 diabetics who are terrified of taking insulin. They see it as a failure on their part. It’s not a failure, and it will probably make you feel a lot better. Type 2 is a progressive disease, meaning your pancreas is going to slowly stop working and you might require insulin. More doctors need to make their type 2 patients aware if this upfront. It makes me sad to see people I know and love suffering and hurting their bodies just because they see insulin as a failure.

5. Losing Weight might help me control my diabetes, but you’re an ass if it’s the first thing you suggest when you find out I have diabetes. I seriously recently had someone ask me, “won’t it get better if you just lose weight?” There are several things wrong with that statement, but I won’t go there. The reality is, I would probably be better controlled if I ate healthier and exercised more, which would also cause me to be at a healthier weight, yes. But losing weight won’t “cure” me (or any diabetic of any type), it will only help me. So no, I won’t get “better”, but I might get “healthier.” And thank you for both making a diabetes fau paux and pointing out a point of insecurity for me. I appreciate it.

6. I can live a happy normal life with diabetes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a cure. Diabetes takes the lives of many people each year, but there’s no real statistic because diabetes usually leads to other things that cause death, like kidney failure and heart disease. Don’t tell me it’s not as bad as cancer. While I’ve never had cancer and your statement might be true, I still live in fear of death and could suffer life threatening complications. I think that that deserves a cure.

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5 thoughts on “Six Things I Want Everyone to Know about Diabetes

  1. Amy

    Great post! Number six is so true. By the time he died, Grandpa had suffered from a stroke, cataracts, poor circulation, heart disease and kidney failure. Diabetes research came a long way in his lifetime (when he was diagnosed in the sixties, they said he wouldn’t live past 40), but I’m still hoping for a cure someday.
    Love you!

    PS. If I ever heard someone tell you to lose weight, I would beat them up.

    Reply
  2. Jamie

    You hit the nail right on the head on all 6 counts (including #5)! Thanks for posting this. Sometimes I can be patient, and explain to people what the facts are of whatever ridiculous or insensitive statement they have said, and sometimes I just grow weary. Great post!

    Reply

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