Saturday, September 5, 2009

Funny, Yet So True

I read this article on a great website:

It is funny, but at the same time, it shows how little people know about diabetes. According to as many as 3 million Americans may have Type 1 Diabetes, and each year more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. That's 40 children per day. Scary....

Anyhoo, Maddie and I read this together, and we had a couple of good laughs....

A constant source of frustration for people with type 1 diabetes is annoying questions or comments from well-meaning but ill-informed people. Here are some of our favorites:

"Does it hurt?"
Of course poking myself with a needle hurts sometimes, and you never really get used to it no matter how long you have had diabetes.

"You can't eat that--You have diabetes!"
I know what I can and can't eat! Limiting sweets can help me keep my blood sugar under control, but as long as I adjust my insulin, I can eat them just like people without diabetes.

"Do you think you should eat something?"
I appreciate your concern, but I've been living with type 1 diabetes for some time now. Unless I've already asked you to watch me for specific symptoms and remind me to eat, I can decide when and what to eat on my own.

"Did you get diabetes because you at too much sugar?"
Eating too much sugar is not a cause of type 1 diabetes. I didn't do anything to cause my diabetes.

"I know all about diabetes, so here's what you need to do...."
Just because you're older than me or have more education doesn't mean you know more than I do about diabetes. I've been living with this disease for many years, so don't you think I know more about it than you?

"You're so skinny, how could you have diabetes?"
Obesity can be a trigger for Type 2 Diabetes, but it has NOTHING to do with type 1.

**my personal favorite**
"I have type 2 diabetes, so I know how you feel."
No, you don't. People with type 2 diabetes may be able to control their disease with diet and exercise alone, or with oral medication. Type 1 diabetics have to inject insulin constantly.

"Insulin can cure diabetes, right?"
Taking insulin keeps people with type 1 diabetes alive, but dies not cure the disease. While progress has been made, there still is no cure for diabetes.

"How come your blood sugar is always too hight or too low? Are you doing something wrong?"
Many factors can easily cause my blood sugars to swing out of control no matter how well I follow my meal plan and insulin schedule. It does not mean I've done something wrong.

Can't you get rid of your diabetes if you just exercise and eat right?"
If I could, don't you think I would have done that by now? Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by a poor diet, obesity, or lack of exercise. Those are factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Exercise and a good diet can help me to better control my type 1 diabetes, but they do not make it go away.

Being that Maddie is a child, with friends who are also children, she gets these questions and ones similar, all the time. She knows that she just needs to explain that her pancreas doesn't work, so her pump takes the place of it. God gives certain people patience for a reason. Maddie has become a very patient little girl.

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