It’s 2016, and people still don’t get Type One Diabetes, at all. I can’t tell you how often I hear “It’s that sugar disease” or “Is it contagious?” Even now, when so many tens of thousands of people have diabetes, many don’t understand it–including those recently diagnosed.
Diabetes isn’t just insulin injections and doctors visits. Diabetes means using fingernail clippers to cut off the calluses that have built up on your fingertips from years of checking blood glucose (sugars).
It’s being forced to call out of work because your sugars decided to rampage, whether high or low, and then getting chewed out because you weren’t sick enough to merit going to the hospital.
It means getting so used to having blood drawn that you can correct phlebotomists on their techniques, and even correct those who are doing it wrong.
I’ve had this disease for decades–almost since I was born. Managing type one, according to doctors, is about controlling blood sugars. Managing type one, according to diabetics, is a constant battle, and you’re trying to limit the casualties. I’ll come back to retinopathy and other issues another time.
There are some who don’t view diabetes as a disability, and that’s fine. I fall in the other camp. Every time a girlfriend wants to go for a walk, forcing me to weight active insulin versus blood sugars versus recent meals, gambling on how far and fast she’d like to go, I feel the burden of this illness. This condition rears its ugly head every time I drop low from simply crossing campus, or have to postpone eating because of a stubborn high.
I’m going to post more on diabetes in the coming weeks. I’d like to start using my knowledge of this illness to help people. There’s still plenty of confusion, discrimination, and misinformation out there. Together, one blog post at a time, we can do away with that.
Despite its difficulties, I have high hopes that this disease will become increasingly more manageable, even cured via technological advances. Until then, all we can do is share and learn.
Thanks for reading! If you’d like to hear more, drop a comment on what you’d like to hear. Otherwise, I appreciate any and all shares. Talk to you soon!