So the first post of my first dblogweek – and such an emotive subject. So many things I would change about diabetes if I had the ability. So I’ve decided to focus on some of the misconceptions about diabetes I would LOVE to change.
- Diabetics lead an unhealthy life. How many times have I heard that. The belief that to much sugar led to my diabetes frustrates me. A buggered pancreas led to my diabetes, nothing else. What worries me is sometimes I pick up on this with people that should know better. The locum GP, the HCA taking my blood, the Nurse on the hospital ward. They don’t see the changes I’ve made, that my partner has made. They don’t see the thought that goes into food choices. They don’t see the carb counting. So if you have made this assumption before , next time you feel the thought starting to generate, maybe think this instead. There’s somebody who is trying. Trying to balance their diet and lifestyle. Trying to overcome the frustration of not getting it right all the time. Someone who appreciates a treat every so often. Someone who appreciates they need to continue to try for the rest of thier life, and who sometimes, just sometimes wishes they didn’t need to try every day.
- Every bad mood equates to low blood sugars. Diabetics have feelings. The same feelings as everybody else. So why if I share my bad mood or frustration do I get the almost immediate response of “have you checked your blood”. No. Have you? Surprisingly, diabetics are allowed to loose thier temper, become frustrated, fed up, disappointed. That’s life sometimes. Occasionally friends, partners, colleagues, pets will incur our wrath. This, more often than not can be attributed to thier actions and not me having a hypo.
- We know best – no you don’t lol. I’m not usually one to bother with labels. However, on a recent stay in hospital a very pleasant young nurse was booking me in when the question of diabetes came up. Having noted that I took insulin and metformin she announced, almost as though she was diagnosing the condition, that I was Type 2. My reply to this was to point out that I was Type 1 – as confirmed by my consultant. But more importantly I believed that diabetes was diabetes irrelevant of type. Her response was that she should know as she had study for years at university. Mine was that I lived with it. Every day, 24 hours. That no amount of diet change would reverse my diabetes, and that I trusted my Consultant and DSN. When I went to the gym for the first time I was asked if I had a note from my GP giving the all clear for me to join. This was a revalation. People joining a gym need their GPs permission. Ahhh – people with diabetes that want to join YOUR gym need a letter from thier GP. Why?. I’m not contagious, I manage my condition well, I’m not a risk to anybody else. More importantly I don’t need any special treatment. I’m the expert, I know how I feel. Yes I want advice, yes I want your input. But please don’t tell me or speak to me as if I’m a child. Engage with me, involve me. Learn from me as I will do from you. Recognise that I have some expertise, that I have advise to share.
And there they are. My top 3 pet hates. I could go on about how I hate all of the testing etc but I don’t any more. It’s part of my life. And how do we change the above. We talk. We learn from each other and foster a synergy that will benefit all PWDs. We have a wealth of experience. We are our best advocates. So don’t tell me you know best, don’t roll your eyes when I ask questions. Don’t make assumptions about my life style. Talk to me, talk to us. Engage us in shaping our future. Together we can beat this.