“Oh, you have diabetes? What type?”
“Type 1.” I reply.
“Oh, my cousin has Type 1 too. She lost a lot of weight and now she’s only on one pill every day. Maybe you’ll be able to get rid of your pump one day!”
I can’t recall how many times I have had this conversation in some way, shape, or form. I hate this conversation. Why? Because by asking me which type I have, you’re implying that you know the difference between the two. But you don’t. I hate this conversation because it starts with me feeling like I’m going to connect with someone over their relationship to my type of diabetes and it ends with me feeling frustrated.
Yes, diabetes is bad. It sucks. Will there ever be a cure? Maybe, I don’t really know. But what I do know is that no amount of miles run, weight lost, vitamins consumed, gluten avoided, cinnamon sprinkled, will bring my pancreas back to life.
It. Won’t. Happen.
I wouldn’t dare go up to someone with cancer and tell them how I think they should treat their disease. I wouldn’t go up to someone with an amputated leg and tell them that if they stopped consuming gluten, their leg will magically come back.
So what change do I want? I want people to be educated. To start, I want all health professionals to know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It should be in their “So You Want to be a Doctor” handbook. Every physician’s patients are impacted, if they are Type 1. Surgeon? Yep, longer time recovering/healing, risk of infection increased. OB? Yep, that’s a high risk pregnancy. Primary Care? Yep, how is that medicine you’re prescribing to me going to effect my blood sugar? Podiatry? Cardiology? Pediatrics? Yep. Yep. Yep.