The October DSMA Blog Carnival topic is easy to answer, but as you can probably guess, the premise of the question goes a lot deeper:
Type 1, Type 2, LADA, Gestational, diabetes brought on by surgery . . . . the list of types of diabetes goes on. Each type may have differences, but ultimately they are all diabetes. When we think about it, there is a whole lot that all types have in common. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit for some differences too. So let’s look back to our “Breaking down the barriers between types” chat on September 10th and discuss . . . . .
Anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?
I remember this question (I moderated this chat, and I still have my notes). The idea behind asking the question was that I wanted to ask people to acknowledge that there may be something that helps them manage their diabetes, that maybe another Person With Diabetes doesn’t have at their disposal.
The easy answer for this Type 1 is that I can take insulin for anything I may eat, at any time of day. That flexibility is something the vast majority of Type 2s, especially, do not have. I’m not going to get into whether Type 1 is easier than Type 2, or easier than any other type of diabetes. The fact is, all diabetes requires a lot of work. But if I acknowledge that some part of diabetes may be slightly easier for my type, I’m recognizing that that’s a part of diabetes that is more difficult for another type. In making this admission, I’m saying to my fellow Type 2s, LADAs, Gestationals, etc… I wish you had it as easy as me.
As I recall, there were one or two Type 2s who mentioned how taking insulin was something that seemed more difficult to them compared to how they manage their day-to-day life with diabetes. Isn’t it interesting how we can think about the same things in different ways?
I also remember asking this question from an educational perspective. I’m intensely curious about nearly everything, and I wanted to see how other people viewed their diabetes versus another type. I wondered how they might consider having to manage their diabetes a different way. Most of the Type 1s participating in the chat that evening answered the same as I did. I found it fascinating that people considered insulin an easy thing for them, even though it meant taking injections or having an insulin pump attached to them 24 hours per day. It’s all in how you look at it, I guess.
In the final analysis, when the word “diabetes” is part of your diagnosis, it doesn’t matter what word (or words) preclude it. You’re dealing with something serious and challenging on a daily basis. The best part was the outpouring of support and understanding for all types during the chat that night. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: A diabetes diagnosis automatically makes you eligible for as much encouragement and support as the Diabetes Community can muster. As a community, we are stronger and capable of much more when we welcome and support all people, of all types, living with diabetes.
This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/10/october-dsma-blog-carnival-4