Diabetic. Insulin Dependent. Type I or Type II. Brittle. MODY. People (or Person) With Diabetes or PWD in this abbreviation crazed era.
I don't like being labeled when that only describes part of who I am. One thing that annoys me about these labels assigned to my pancreatically challenged life is that they are too clinical and don't describe the daily battles I fight. Ever notice how at any fundraising event for cancer that survivors are trotted out and celebrated? Their courage is admired, their caregivers are celebrated and their victory held up as an example to others in the same challenging boat.
But for diabetics (or whatever you choose to call us) all too often the conversation takes on a different tone. Google "obesity" and I'll bet at least half of the results will also include "diabetes." The former contributes to the latter along with the implication that if we'd give up the Big Macs or fried chicken our diabetes would simply go away. Ever stand in the grocery store checkout line and see some book or magazine with the words "Diabetic Cure..." "Diet" or "Revolution," etc.? For many people the idea seems to have taken hold that if only people with diabetes had some discipline, will power or enough smarts to avoid wretchedly unhealthy diets they wouldn't be sick. But the fact of the matter is that it isn't that simple. There is no cure now or even one in sight.
With no cure on the horizon, those of us with diabetes battle it not just daily but on an hourly basis. Type I diabetics know all too well the drill. Check your blood glucose. Count the carbs in the meal you are about to have. Compute the necessary amount of insulin to inject or enter the appropriate data into your insulin pump. Eat the meal on time and then a couple of hours later run another glucose test to see how well you did. Maybe things worked out fine and you hit your target. Perhaps something was amiss and you are dealing with hypoglycemia or you are high. But even with all of that work at managing this disease you are also trying to have a real life balancing work, school, family time or other "normal" activities. It is tough - something none of us asked for but which we have no choice but to deal with. Every day, every meal we have to get it right. It is an ongoing battle with no end in sight. That is why I don't call myself a "Type I" or a "diabetic" or even the more fashionable "PWD."
I'm a Diabetes Survivor!