Saturday, December 31, 2011

10 Facts about Diabetes

Having to test my blood sugar 4-10 times a day is a real pain.
Having to change my site every three days is annoying.
When the batteries in my pump die, replacing them can be inconvenient.
Dealing with the symptoms of low blood sugars is frustrating.
Hyperglycemia side-effects are nauseating and can be life threatening.

However, the thing that bothers me most about having diabetes is others' ignorance about it. AND, the stupid things they say to us.

I've had people ask me questions about my pump, my blood sugars, my insulin, and even my diet. Most of the time people are just trying to find out more, they're curious, and I REALLY don't mind telling them more about it. But when people throw out their opinion when they're uneducated on the topic, that's when I get mad. Maybe mad isn't the right word. Just frustrated or annoyed.

Probably the worst question I've received is one that I hear quite frequently, "Can you eat that?" or, "Are you allowed to have that?" or, "Should you eat this?"
I've also heard, "You're a diabetic, does that mean you can't have any sugar?"
"I could NEVER give myself a shot"
"Do you always wear your pump?"
"Did you bring your food supply?" (this person was referring to my pump)
"Do you need your medicine?" (when I'm low)
"Do you need something to eat?" (when I'm high)
"Don't you think you'll be able to get rid of your diabetes since you're exercising more?"
"You're not too fat for a diabetic"
"You have diabetes? But you're not overweight."

There are some SIMPLE things that I wish ALL people knew about diabetes. I'll be the first to admit that I knew very little about diabetes before I was diagnosed. I also know that for the most part, people are just curious and that their comments aren't meant to be malicious in any way. However, it's pretty much NEVER socially acceptable to talk about another persons weight. Or diet. And if you don't know the way something works, don't be afraid to ASK a question so that you CAN understand.

1. Your pancreas is the organ in your body that makes insulin which controls the blood sugar levels in your body. A normal pancreas delivers insulin when you need it, and does not when you do not need it.

2. Diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood- Hyperglycemia.

3. Usually a diabetic's blood sugars are too high. To bring them down, they must take their medication; either insulin or pills.

4. Sometimes a diabetic's blood sugars are too low. To bring them up, they must take in glucose by way of eating or drinking something with sugar in it.

5. Neither low blood sugars or high blood sugars are good. Lows can make a person pass out if extreme. Highs are more dangerous in the long run and cause complications like heart disease.

6. There are 2 different kinds of diabetes.
-Type 1: USED to be referred to as juvenile or childhood diabetes. This type of diabetes means that the person's pancreas no longer works and that to STAY ALIVE they must inject insulin; either through a syringe or a pump.
- Type 2: USED to be called Adult Onset diabetes. This type of diabetes means that the insulin your body makes is no longer effective, or as effective as it should be. This type is usually treated with oral medication but some patients also inject insulin.

7. Adults can be diagnosed as Type 1.

8. Children can be diagnosed as Type 2.

9. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes.

10. You could give yourself shots if you had to do so to survive.

I know this post sounds negative, and I'm sorry for that. I'm really not angry or anything, my purpose is really to get more information out about diabetes.


  1. Bravo, well said!!! I love it. :) Proactive "anger" is positive "anger..." It's good stuff!

  2. The rudest statement I got (shortly after my diagnosis) was, "We're trying to watch our weight so we don't get diabetes." Did that person just call me fat?? Although I could stand to lose a few pounds, weight isn't was cased me to become Type 2. Genetics gets you sometimes. Thanks for your list!

  3. great list - can I print this out and walk around with it taped to my forehead? :)