Our topic this year is “six things you want people to know about diabetes”. Here is what I wish everybody knew . . .
- It’s not my fault that I have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, and there was nothing I could do to keep the insulin producing cells in my pancreas from being destroyed.
- It’s not anyone’s fault that they have diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t get it because they are fat or lazy or ate too much sugar. Women with gestational diabetes don’t get it because the babies they are carrying hate them. Diabetes isn’t anyone’s fault!
- High blood sugar and/or low blood sugars don’t mean I’ve done something wrong. I do my best to fill in for my pancreas. However, I am not an actual pancreas and I don’t have the skills needed to keep my blood sugars in range all the time. Blood sugar is affected by food, exercise, stress, amount of sleep, hormones, germs . . . the list goes on.
- An insulin pump does not fix everything. I once had a conversation about diabetes with someone and I mentioned that I was on an insulin pump. I was really surprised when she responded by saying “That’s really great, that means you don’t need to do anything, right?”. Wrong. My pump is helpful in dosing my insulin, but it takes a ton of work!!
- Insulin is not a punishment. Being on insulin doesn’t mean I, or anyone else with diabetes, has “really bad” diabetes. It simply means we need to take insulin to stay as healthy as we possibly can.
- Insulin is not a cure. No further explanation needed. INSULIN IS NOT A CURE.