If only people could walk in our shoes for a day.

Before having diabetes I didn't know much about it ... but I thought I did. My step mom developed gestational diabetes and after pregnancy she was diagnosed with type 2. My grandpa had type 2 and I knew there was a type 1 but I just thought one type you got through your family and one you didn't. Then in the 8th grade I meet a girl Lindsay Nance who had type 1(the only other person in the whole world that I've ever known who has type 1). Sometimes I wish I had a way to get a hold of her so we could talk we weren't that close but I remember eating lunch with her and asked her about her diabetes. I knew she had it because she told me after I had asked her why she always left class earlier before lunch, she had to go to the office to take her blood and to give herself her insulin shot everyday before lunch so she was dismissed from class a couple minutes early. That day at lunch she was eating some type of candy and I remember asking if she could eat that she told me she could eat anything she wanted. I asked her did you get it because you have people in your family who have it and she said no. (I remember being one of those people who ask me the same questions I get everyday). At that time I didn't realize one type meant you have to have insulin and that it was an auto immune disorder and one type you can usually control with diet and it might get to the point where you need insulin but your body still has some your just resistant right? Well I know now I didn't really know ANYTHING back then. We did the science fair together that year and I remember her giving herself a shot in my bedroom and asking me if it was okay she give herself her insulin shot in my room or should she leave the room but I didn't mind. I actually thought it was cool this sounds so weird but I remember wishing I had diabetes so I could be like her. She was so pretty and I just thought she was the neatest person. People say "Be careful what you wish for" I learned the hard way I guess. I don't know why anyone would wish diabetes on themselves but I did. Anyways the craziest question I remember asking her that day in my room was "Do you have the type where your sugar goes up or down?" she told me "both". Wow I thought "She must have the bad kind." Now I know both types your sugar is going to go up and down. I used to think diabetes meant your sugar was high and hypoglycemia was a type of diabetes where your sugar goes low. I thought this because my grandmother had low blood sugars but now I know it was for different reasons she didn't even have diabetes.

It's weird to look back and remember those moments so vividly and now I know exactly what she was going through. Yesterday I went out to eat with my boyfriend, his mother, his niece, and her son. His mother has type 2 and I have type 1. I remember pulling out my pump and counting my carbs and then his neice asked if it was actually attached to me everyone in his family has seen it hanging on the outside of my jeans but only one other person has asked about my pump. I told her yes and then his mom started asking questions too. She asked me if you could only get a pump because you numbers are way out of control like mine were?... But mine were never way out of control well I mean as normal as any type 1 diabetics are who tries hard to keep them undercontrol anyways I just said I think you have to just be type 1 to get a pump but I didn't get it because I was out of control I just got it to help my life be easier and not have to give myself so many shots. Anyways after saying that his niece asked Dorothy ,his mom, what type she has and said 2 and Diamond, his niece, asked how many stages are there like how many type? So do you (referring to his mom) have the worse type? (because in "stages" type 2 would be further along than type 1? I think that's what she was thinking). I wish now I would have explain to her better but honestly I don't think she would have understood very well anyways. I told her Type 1 means you absolutely need insulin there is no way around it I can't live without it Dorothy has type 2 and for the most part she should be able to control it with diet and excersize and Dorothy agreed.(I didn't explain to her that type 2 is progessive and you can use medicine and can end up using insulin but also didn't explain to her type 1 is an autoimmune disorder and that my body simply doesn't produce insulin at all)

After the conversation was over is when I started thinking about all this. I'm probably always for the rest of my life going to be asked questions like this and think back to the time when I asked the same questions.

What crazy questions have you guys been asked or maybe asked another diabetic of opposite type than you have or maybe before your diagnosis??

Views: 27

Comment by Frances on January 9, 2011 at 2:04am
Have you googled? There are a few people on facebook with the name of your lost friend.
Comment by Natalie ._c- on January 9, 2011 at 2:28am
I have a lot of friends with Type 2, and while, in the early stages, many can control with diet and exercise, Type 2 is progressive, and most have to go on medication. And a significant number end up on insulin.
Just thought you'd like to know.
Comment by Muragaki on January 9, 2011 at 8:25am
I remember being aware of my mother's diabetes when I was younger but we never discussed it, not out of secrecy or non-disclosure but because we had a strange relationship. Other than Mom, I never knew of any other diabetics until my early 40s when Dad then my brother were diagnosed. Again, not much discussion because the familial connections simply didn't exist; I only knew they all were Type 2, as were at least one grandparent on each side.

Being Type 1s, none of them has the slightest idea what my day looks like. At Thanksgiving dinner this year, I ducked into Dad's office and was using his computer to look up carb counts. He stuck his head in the door and, clearly annoyed that I wasn't engaging dinner guests in conversation, wanted to know what I was doing. When I explained, he asked why I hadn't done so earlier (like, before even showing up); I guess I was supposed to know by premonition what would be on the table.

On another occasion my brother remarked on his prospect of "becoming" Type 1 (as if his chances somehow exponentially increased because of me). *sigh*

At the very least, it would be nice if folks had a basic understanding of each form of diabetes -- or dared to assume that I am intelligent enough about my own disease to know what I can or cannot eat.
Comment by catlover on January 9, 2011 at 10:13am
I try to take every opportunity when I am asked about my diabetes to educate the other people. You did just that. The general public is basicly ignorant about diabetes, so anything you can do to increase their info about the condition is helpful.
Comment by Jen on January 9, 2011 at 11:43am
I didn't have a clue what diabetes was until I was diagnosed. I've been visually impaired since birth so in elementary school I learned braille along with using large print. I hated braille (at the time) and saw it as something extra no one else had to learn. During grade three a girl a few grades ahead at the school got Type 1, and one day when I complained about having to do homework in braille my mom asked if I would rather have to learn braille or have to take shots every day like this older girl. I said I'd rather take shots! Well, in grade four guess what happened?! I was diagnosed with Type 1 so then had to use braille AND take shots! Be careful what you wish for, indeed!
Comment by Frances on January 9, 2011 at 12:47pm
Jennifer J, if my mom heard that story she would have said that you had given yourself the "evil eye" by talking about the shots . . .
Comment by Natalie ._c- on January 9, 2011 at 2:52pm
So my family gave me the evil eye by saying "Natalie, don't eat that; you'll get diabetes!"? I don't know if they ever said it to any of my 9 siblings and cousins, but I AM the only one who got it!
Comment by Frances on January 9, 2011 at 3:16pm
I think it only works if you say it about yourself. If you *do* tempt the evil eye you need to spit three times (ptoo-ptoo-ptoo). :)
Comment by Devon on January 9, 2011 at 6:54pm
Yes, I think it's great you take those opportunities to educate people about diabetes. I try to do the same thing because there are many people who don't understand diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. I think the strangest questions I have gotten are about my pump. When I first started using it, a lot of people had no clue what is was. I had a college professor tell me I needed to put it away because he thought it was an MP3 player.
Comment by KimKat on January 10, 2011 at 10:38am
Great blog! So bittersweet! I am sure your long lost friend would be happy to here from you again. I am sure someone knows where she is. :)

I don't normally tell people I don't trust yet about my D but if I hear misinformation - I am always correcting them without revealing myself (unless they ask). I am only 1 year in so it is still a process for me to tell people but that is OK. I still hate all the misinformation out there and I would rather reveal my secret to people if it will make them understand the truth about what D is and what it isn't.

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