Why is it so hard for the nondiabetic person, even doctors, to understand this disease? Why is it so difficult to explain to people? Why is it so difficult for us to understand it ourselves as people with diabetes?
One of the big reasons is that diabetes is such an individual disease. There are so many factors that weigh into what makes mine as opposed to what makes yours. There are so many different kinds of diabetes. And God knows we must have the correct label, right. It’s a complicated disease with so many moving parts that it defies a concise description. It is surrounded by layers of misconceptions and misguided perceptions. Even in this new millennium there are people still using descriptions of diabetes that date back hundreds of years that are wholly insufficient and inaccurate. Yet they get passed around in this new electronic age as gospel.
Aside from all of this, or maybe because of it, we work to change the conversation. To me the most daunting problem in doing this is the volatile nature of diabetes. Doing the same thing tomorrow that I did today, which was successful today, does not guarantee a second successful day necessarily. I am quite sure that we all have scratched our heads more than once thinking “why are my numbers what they are today? I thought I did everything the same as yesterday.” For no apparent reason things that worked well this morning are not working well for me this afternoon. On so many levels and in so many ways there just are no straight lines.
This is why a person without diabetes has such a hard time understanding. Even healthcare professionals, if they do not have this it is hard to understand what we are talking about. There is no “just do this…” answer. It may work here or there, for this person or that person but it is not an absolute answer. There are very few absolute truths when it comes to managing diabetes or even with the disease itself. That is what makes it so difficult for people to understand. Heck, it’s what makes it so hard for us PWD to understand this thing.