What They Should Know – Diabetes Blog Week Day 5

Diabetes Blog Week – Day 5

Our instructions:  “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

Oh boy.  This topic immediately caused a nasty rant in my brain.  So much so that I had to put it aside and come back to it later, which means I didn’t get it posted yesterday on Day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week.

I don’t think the misinformation about Type 1 diabetes bothered me quite as much when it was just my husband.  After all, he’s an adult.  He can defend himself.  He can tell people to go climb a tree when they direct a ridiculous comment towards him.  But now, there’s a child involved.  And let me tell you, I can feel the steam coming out of my ears when someone says something stupid to him.  (i.e., random lady in store who says “maybe if he eats more healthy, diabetes will go away…”)

I know.  I shouldn’t expect every person to perfectly understand diabetes.  But that’s the thing, I don’t.  I just kindly wish people would keep their mouths shut when they don’t know what they are talking about.

I’m good if you want to ask questions.  That’s cool.  That means you want more information.  That means you care to learn.

I’m not good with inaccuracies stated as facts.

I guess if I had to choose one thing for people to understand, it would be that high and low blood sugar numbers are normal.  They can’t completely be avoided.  Their presence doesn’t mean mismanagement or poor care.

There are many factors that impact blood sugar.  Exercise may bring it down, but in some cases could bring it up.  Stress can bring it up.  Wrong carb count on restaurant website can lead to a major low.  Even if you perfectly count carbs and manage insulin intake, the resulting blood sugar may not be perfect.

I consider diabetes to be a “do the best you can” disease.  It will never go exactly as planned, but hopefully over time, there will be mostly good results and less of the bad stuff.


“Diabetics Can’t Eat Candy”…Yes, I said that!

I met my husband when I was 24.  We were both working at the same large corporation and by some crazy chance, were assigned to work on a project together…me from Human Resources, him from IT.  I didn’t have a choice about what would follow.  His sparkling blue eyes, great smile and awesome sense of humor reeled me in right away.  We worked together for 6 months before his contract ended, and 6 months after that, we were married.  Sometimes, you just know.

The point of this story is that one day before we started dating, a co-worker said to me “Did you know he has diabetes?”    My response, “No he doesn’t, I saw him eating m&m’s.  Diabetics can’t eat candy!”

Yes, I said that.

Fast forward to now.   We’ve been married 10 years.   We have three beautiful kids, one of which also has Type 1 diabetes.

Of course, now I know the comment I made so long ago is ridiculous.  Now I know that diabetics can eat anything a non-diabetic can eat.  Now I know that in some circumstances, a diabetic MUST eat candy to survive.

Over our years of marriage, I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous comments about diabetes.  Every time I hear one, it gets under my skin.  Particularly when one is directed at my 9 year old child.   But then I remind myself, that I thought wrong too.  So I take a deep breath and I calmly explain the truth, in hopes that we can move past the myths one person at a time.