As a Type One Diabetic for four years this June; one thing I have learnt is that people really do not know a lot about this disease. There are so many misconceptions and assumptions regarding Type One Diabetes and I thought I would just give you a little heads-up on what you probably shouldn't say to a Type One Diabetic.
"You can't eat sugar, right?"
Okay, I deal with this a lot at school. The issue here is that people like to make assumptions even when they don't really know much about Type One Diabetes. Having Type One Diabetes is not, not being able to eat sugar. I can eat sugar, all a Diabetic needs to do is take insulin for it. It's simple as that. Yeah sugar can affect my blood sugar levels but I can still eat it. The only difference is that a non-diabetic's pancreas has got it covered, mine doesn't.
"But, you aren't fat?"
Babies have Type One Diabetes, they're not overweight? I have Type One Diabetes and I'm not overweight?! This one irritates me. Of course I don't expect people to know everything about Type One Diabetes (I would love them to) but I just want people to know the difference between Type One and Type Two. Immediately when I say I have Diabetes this question is most probably the first one to come out of their mouths. Type One Diabetes is not caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. End of. No one gets Type One Diabetes because they are fat, and even though Type Two is linked to an unhealthy lifestyle, many are genetically predisposed anyway. But Type One is not caused by being overweight.
"My grandmother had diabetes, she has one leg"
Just because I am a Diabetic it does not mean that I need to know about your grandmother and her amputated leg. I don't really want to hear that seeing as I am Diabetic myself. It's a bit like going up to, I don't know, an airline pilot and saying "My uncle was an airline pilot, he crashed his plane" or telling an Electrician that your friend was electrocuted. There are just times when particular things are better left unsaid; it just irritates me also because there is no point in that statement anyway; it doesn't really go anywhere. It is a bit of a conversation killer if I'm honest.
"Are you going to die if you eat sugar?"
No, no I am not going to die. As I said before, I just take insulin for my food. Besides, it isn't just sugar. If I eat anything I need insulin. I mean. if I don't take my insulin I will be unwell but it isn't like Diabetics are allergic to sugar- I'm not going to put sugar into my mouth and then just drop dead. I just find it annoying when people say "Wait, you can eat that?" Yes, Yes I can eat that.
"No, no sorry I couldn't inject myself"
People people, please. Everyone says that if they aren't diabetic. I probably would have said that before I was diabetic. This one is just plain silly because you could inject yourself if you faced your own mortality if you didn't do it. As a Type One Diabetic I have to inject myself, I don't have a choice - if you lived with Diabetes you wouldn't have a choice either. So, I don't want to hear that you couldn't do it because you have to and you definitely would. Ok, sure it takes some courage at first but it's a life or death situation.
"Ew! Oh dear Jesus, that is so much blood"
I can guarantee that nothing else is going to come out of my fingers after pricking them with a needle, apart from blood. There I am, squeezing blood out of my fingers and all I hear is squealing- honestly? Just look away then or just get over it. I don't think glitter will come from my fingertips.
So there are a few things of which I think you probably just shouldn't do or say when with a Diabetic. All we're doing is trying to live and get on with our lives, the last thing we need is people making assumptions or squealing at what we do everyday just to stay alive.
p.s I thought I would leave you all with a picture of the sky. I love when the sky looks pretty.