I am back for day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week, courtesy of Karen Graffeo of the blog Bitter Sweet.
“What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?” Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.
I am going to take a slightly different take on this. Since it is my daughter who has diabetes, I “live” with diabetes, but not in the same was as those who have diabetes. But the one thing I wish others would know is probably something those with diabetes want others to know also: Type 1 diabetes is not the same as Type 2 diabetes!
It probably wouldn’t be so bad if the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes wasn’t fraught with so much judgement. I cannot count the number of times that people have not only told me, but also argued with me, that a tea from India, a new diet, or the proper amount of exercise would cure my daughter. Or the times I have been asked if she ate a lot of candy when she was young. The underlying tone always seems to be that it did not have to be this way, as if we could have done things differently to have avoided this. Or that we could be doing something …and we aren’t.
I know that the people who say these things are not trying to come across as judgemental. Most of the time, they are simply trying to be helpful. And quite frankly, the way that the media covers diabetes, it is a wonder that anyone knows anything about Type 1 at all!
That is my wish. But what can we do other than continue to talk to people, without taking offense or getting defensive, and take such moments to educate people about the differences?