6 min read
I have a question for you. If John has 20 candy bars and he eats 12, how many does John have?
What was yout answer?
I have to admit, I didn't make this queation up. Odds are, you knew this This question is from a popular meme. And becasue its a meme, the answer is never the obvious choice. So if you guessed C) Diabetes, you guessed correctly.
Yes this meme was made for humor purposes, and I hate to be the buzz kill that taks the humor out of a joke, but it has some "truth" to it. Diabetes is an illness not many people know about. They have heard of it, and think they know what it is, but this diseases has a lot of misconcpetions around it. There is a stigma and stereotype surrounding diabetes. When people think about diabetes, they think of overweight old people who eat too much sugar. They think that if you have this illness, you can't eat anything with sugar or else you die. I know this becasue I'be heard it all said to my face before.
On my road to being a blogger, I am testing out different blog styles. My first blog post was a descriptive one. It was a intoriduction to me and my life. This blog post continues with that theme (a look into my life) but with a different style. I want this blog post to be an informtaive one to educate others about the misunderstood illness that is a part of my life: Diabetes.
Diabetes is characterized as a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to insulin is either inhibited or impaired somehow. It requires constant care and close attention to blood glucose levels.There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2. Both types deal with complication's of the pancreas' ability to produce and and process insulin. However, Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in that affects the body's ability to produe a sufficient amount of insulin it needs. This type of diabetes is usually associated with poor nutrition and obesity. It is treated with either daily injection shots of inuslin, or insulin pills and can usually be cured with proper nutrition and exercise. Type 1 diabetes is different. It is a chronic condition in which the pancreas no longer secreats any insulin and is usually due to either prior illness or genetics. It is treated with daily injection shots and close moderation of carbohydrate intake, but there is currently no cure.
People often do not know that there are two forms of diabetes, and that they mean different things. For the most part, people associate diabetes and those who have it to suffer only from type 2. They view them as overweight, and maybe even blame them, saying that it's thier fault they suffer from it and if they ust lost weight or exercised from it they would be fine. Coming from someone who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes, there is nothing more disheartening then hearing these false assumptions.
First of all, Diabetes is a disease and in no way, shape, or form anyone's "fault." I was diagnosed when I was 11. The reason was said to be because of genetics. Type 1 Diabetes runs in my family. It doesn't effect everyone in the family but for unknown reasons effects only some individuals fo a family. The doctors said that me getting diabetes was inevitable and wasn't so much a matter or if, but a matter of when.
My diabetes requires constant around the clock care and moditoring. I meticulously count my cards, check my blood sugars, and give daily shots of insulin. Some days I get it right, some days I get it wrong. If I get it 'right', I can live my life and do and eat practically whatever I want. When I get it 'wrong', I suffer from high or low blood sugars, which results in either fatigue, neasuia, migrane, dizziness, confusion, and in extreme cases, can lead to a coma. It's a hard balancing act, and there's no real way of knowing how to get it 'right' or 'wrong'. I just do my best with what I can do. The same goes for those who suffer from Type 2. They follow a similair regimine of constant care, and work their hardest to get their blood sugars to where they can be.
Whether you suffer from type 2 or type 1, I know how disheartening it is to hear comments from others who don't truly understand this disease. I used to get upset or annoyed when people would make incorrect statemants or questions regarding my illness, but now I welcome those comments. I welcom them beause I use it as a chance to educate others of my disease.
This disease, and anyone who has it, is not limiting. Type 1 diabetics can play sports, indulge in sugary sweats, and travel just like anyone else. It requires a little more constant care then others are used to, but we do it. I understand why people get confused about this disease, but that is why I take the time to educate anyone who makes a false assumption or asks a question regarding my disease.
Did you know that Type 1 diabetes effects 3 million people around the world? Or that 1 in 10 Americans have the illness? DId you know that with quality care and moniterring, Diabetics can live long,healthy lives. They can win gold medals, run marathons, start a family, climb mountains, and have succesful careers in any profession they choose. I emplore people to educate themselves of this disease, and I emplore those who have the disease to educate others. We are so close to finding a cure for diabetes, and we will get even closer with the support and education of all indiviudals.
Together, we can turn type 1 into type none.