So, I’ve been pretty quiet lately. I think I’ve posted maybe twice in the last six months. I’m not a very good blogger and never pretended to be a diabetes advocate…it seems to me blogs get pretty boring when bloggers decide they are Health Care Advocates…
I don’t like talking about myself–funny, I know, seeing as how that’s what people do on blogs. I’m something of a hypochondriac and I prefer not to get buried too deep in my own head. But when I’m annoyed…I really need a place where I can get up on my soap box and scream at the world. That’s what this blog is becoming and, well, I haven’t been that annoyed lately because I really haven’t been reading my blogs and websites much in the last few months. I have better things to do with my time than to waste it on diabetes.
But, somehow, diabetes always seems to seep back in.
The media is my number 1 pet peeve. The way they imply that only fat, slovenly, hamburger-eating people get diabetes is so far beyond annoying that I can’t even explain how angry that makes me. So, when I was watching My Big Fat Fabulous Life this past week and watched as the star of the show, Whitney, was told she had pre-diabetes and she absolutely fell apart and decided she couldn’t move out of her parents’ house–I wanted to throw everything within arm’s reach at the TV. So much for breaking stereotypes and showing the world that you can be obese and still live a fabulous life! No…of course they couldn’t avoid the stereotypes and the misinformation….they had to show the world that yes, fat does equal diabetes.
Thanks a lot TLC!
And then on my favorite website (that’s sarcasm, ya’ll), Diabetes Daily, there was a post by Elizabeth Snouffer that railed on and on about how type 1 diabetics should not be put into the same pigeon hole as type 2s. I am so tired of this argument! Why do type 1s get to whine and cry, but us type 2s–those like me who can’t cure our diabetes with diet and exercise–who happen to live our lives exactly like those much suffering type 1s are supposed to suck it up because we did this to ourselves? Did we? Did I choose to live my life injecting insulin 4-6 times a day? Did I choose to worry about little changes in my health to the degree that it almost becomes an obsession? Did I really sign up for the possibility of complications and the possibility of an early death? If so, I wish someone would tell me when and how so that I can go back and change it!
In her post she says:
My diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was inherently traumatic and life-changing, please don’t confuse it with type 2 diabetes Allow me the dignity to define my disease as I call it.
First, let me say that any chronic illness diagnosis should be dealt with on a personal level because it does impact first and foremost the person who has to live with it. It is life-changing, whether it be diabetes, arthritis, cancer, or PCOS….anything that impacts your health is traumatic and life-changing…I’m not criticizing that part of the above statement.
However, I do take exception with the part that says “do not confuse it with type 2.”
Does she think that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is less traumatic? Either way, it’s still a chronic illness…and at least she didn’t have the stigma of having caused this disease herself balancing over her head. I bet the nurse who cared for her didn’t look down her nose at her, speak to her in quick, cursory statements, or avoid speaking to her altogether because she was so disgusted by the sight of her….I bet her doctor took more time to explain things to her rather than hand her a form for the diabetes education class and tell her to come back in six months…I bet the nutritionist at her diabetes class didn’t glare at her when she asked how many grams of carbs she was supposed to eat per snack and then tell her that she probably shouldn’t be eating snacks at all, in front of the entire class, including her husband….Shame. I bet she wasn’t forced to feel shame upon her diagnosis like so many of us type 2 diabetics.
I bet she didn’t cry for weeks afterward, so convinced that it was her fault that she had this condition that she couldn’t stand to look her husband in the eye for the guilt of everything this chronic illness was going to do to their finances and their family dynamic.
Not distinguishing between types is very uncool, not smart and hurts public awareness about both diseases.Period.
Okay. So lets name each and every nuance of diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 don’t work apparently, thanks to the media associating all diabetes with fat, slovenly lifestyles. Or, like a recent article I read, with early death as a teen. Juvenile-onset diabetes doesn’t work since more and more type 1s are being diagnosed as adults. There’s MODY and LADA and all those other types that begin as type 2 but become type 1 somewhere along the way (and aren’t those patients so relieved to have the stigma of the type 2 label taken away!)
What if we called them skinny diabetes and fat diabetes? Or maybe self-inflicted diabetes and totally-not-my-fault diabetes? Would that make everyone happy?
I would just like, for once, for some type 1 with an attitude like this to tell me where I fit in.
I use insulin.
I have highs.
I have low–lovely lows in the middle of the night with little to no awareness…anybody ever heard of Dead in Bed syndrome? Are you the only one afraid of it?
I have to check my blood sugar 5-8 times a day.
I have to pay for my supplies–and I had to give up my pump because I couldn’t afford the deductibles on my insurance….
How am I different from this Heath Care Advocate?
I get that type 1s aren’t getting the press they want–and probably deserve. But you know what? As a type 2, I don’t particularly like the press we’re getting, either. Type 1s are more than welcome to take over the spotlight, to take in some of the good and the bad that comes with the misinformation that the media loves to spread….
Or we could just try to educate people with the truth. Wouldn’t it be better to stop pointing fingers, to stop this my-diabetes-is-worse-than-your-diabetes game the type 1s are playing and actually do something to change the way the public views diabetes?