The lovely Gina Capone is hosting D-Blog Day 2010 right here, so be sure to check out everybody’s D-Bloggy links, and post your own too! According to Gina, “D-Blog Day was started on November 9th 2005 during Diabetes Awareness Month, to help unite diabetes bloggers and create awareness about diabetes.”
The topic for 2010: 6 things you want people to know about diabetes.
So here, in no particular order, are my six things:
- Yes, I can eat that. My diabetes in and of itself does not not put any one food item on the “Must Never Eat That” list. My diabetes doesn’t mean I can’t eat sugar or carbs, it just means I have to be careful when I do. If I balance sugar/carbs eaten with the appropriate amount of insulin, there’s no problem. That being said, I personally choose to significantly limit my sugar/carb intake on a regular basis simply because it’s easier to manage my bloodsugar – it limits the highs and lows of this crazy diabetes rollercoaster. But that’s my choice. That’s what works best for me. It doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t allow myself a sugary treat from time to time. I just have to match it with the appropriate amount of insulin. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to. And I’m pretty good at it too. 🙂
- Type 1 and Type 2 are different. Not everyone who has “diabetes” has the same disease. If I can be totally honest, I do get a little tired of being compared to everyone’s grandma who has/had diabetes. (But I’m sure she’s a very nice lady. Please give her my best.) Along the same lines, I don’t have “severe” diabetes, and I don’t have diabetes “real bad” (which is how Napoleon Dynamite would have diabetes, were he to have diabetes). When it comes to Type 1, there aren’t “degrees” of severity (unless you’re honeymooning, I guess, but let’s not get complicated here – I’m trying to clarify, not confuse). My pancreas doesn’t work. At all. Not even a little. Just like everyone else with Type 1.
- I didn’t cause my diabetes. It didn’t happen as a result of eating too much sugar as a kid. (If you know my mom, you’ll know just how ridiculous the thought of that is.) My immune system attacked my pancreas. My pancreas lost the battle.
- Having diabetes complications doesn’t mean I am (or was) a “bad diabetic”. A lifetime of diabetes (even one that’s only about 30 years so far) takes a toll on a body. Some people are more predisposed to complications than others. Some people take longer than others to find the “solution” – the right combination of insulin/diet/activity, etc. that works for that individual. Complications can be a result of poor control, but they aren’t always. And they’re definitely not always an indication of a lack of effort when it comes to diabetes management. Diabetes comes with a lot of feelings of guilt and the resulting complications can really add to those feelings. Having complications sucks. Seriously. Having the “bad diabetic” assumption made about me as a result of having said complications sucks even more.
- Diabetes management takes a lot of effort. The kind of effort that makes it feel like another full-time job that I never get a break from. It’s hard work. Sometimes I burn out.
- My child’s chances of ending up with diabetes are slim. This is one that I didn’t know until a couple of years ago. According to my endo (and a variety of other sources), as the child of a diabetic mother, my daughter has only a 2% chance of ending up with Type 1 diabetes. I like to think of it as a 98% chance that she won’t. I’d say those odds are pretty good. 🙂