I've been annoyed for years. Whenever I'm in public and pull out my pump or CGM, I get, "what's that?" I explain and then, just yesterday and almost every single time, I get, "Oh! So it runs in your family?" Or, " My sister got it from eating too much candy." Or, "So you have to watch your sugar, don't cha?"
I have had diabetes, T1, for 29 years and it is only in the last five or so that this has become a really issue. Some confusion, but mostly, folks didn't know much at all, so the questions were limited. Now that Type 2 is increasing in children and more and more media and wellness programs are focused on it, folks don't really even realize there are two types. One autoimmune and one metabolic. Damn. They are not the same disease at all.
Today at work, standing by the elevator, there as a poster for a new Diabetes Management Program where they are going to help us control our diabetes and possibly stave it off. No reference to Type 1 or 2, let alone gestational or The other forms being discovered. Normally, irksome and I grumble under my breath and blow it off, but something's have changed and the name has a whole lot to do with it.
You've seen my posts about my tween. In 7th grade and she does everything possible to avoid letting anyone see her manage her diabetes. Few know and she wants to keep it that way for now. The main reason, other students only know about type 2. It's what grandma has or Uncle Joe. He's real overweight and had his big toe cut off. "It's real gross."
That is what my daughter wants to avoid. What do you say to that? Communicate with fellow 12 and 13 year olds? "Oh! You have this all wrong. I don't have what your grandma has, I have something that is completely out of my control. It's an autoimmune disorder..." Glare. "Whatever." On goes life. Misconceptions remain.
This poses a safety hazard, too. If friends don't know, what if there is an emergency. Wi makes the call for help? Maybes teacher who thinks the same thing?
So, I supported the petition because I'd like to see how it is responded to by the National Institute of Health and the others in the list. I'm not dying on the hill over this, but I am willing to talk about it on a forum at reaches a lot of people. The signatures were at right about 2,219 when I post this. Why not get a mass of signatures and see what happens. Type 2's don't care about this (according to my type 2 husband). They can have the "diabetes" brand. We can come up something more fitting of the disease we have to deal with daily forever. The disease that is not "cured by modifying our eating plan." Not angry, just irritated.
Let's make these numbers soar and see what kind of response is received. Click below to review:
Revise Names of Type 1 & 2 Diabetes to Reflect the Nature of Each Disease