Saturday, September 28, 2013

Talking about diabetes; combating misinformation

First off, let me say something about myself: I am an introvert, 100%. It should be noted that I am not a misanthrope. I prefer to spend time not talking to people, but I don't generally hate humanity. That being said, there are some things that just get me to talk to people: my pets, anthropology, band, and, apparently, diabetes. If anyone has anything to ask me about my diabetes, I'm more than willing to share (except that time I was walking around Savannah with a BG of 45. I didn't want to talk about it then).

Diabetes used to be number one on my topics to never discuss. Diabetes was just another thing that made me that girl. I was the girl who was too honest for her own good, bad at speaking to others, freakishly tall (seriously, I was 5'5" in the 5th grade), and I just didn't like to even think about diabetes. Everybody had so many questions, and it was something I was living with 24/7/365.

These days I'm happy to talk about diabetes all the time. There is so much misinformation out there. Normal people who are untouched by type 1 sometimes have no clue what's going on. Many people don't realize the differences between type 1 and type 2. While it's really frustrating, it's hard to blame them. If I didn't have diabetes, I probably wouldn't know much about it. Sometimes I swear I'm going to punch the next person who tells me that eating XYZ will cure my diabetes, but the truth is they most likely read it as a headline of a trashy magazine at the checkout stand. They're just trying to help.

Maybe my diabetes is making me soft. I used to get mad at misinformed people, and then I started talking to them instead of brushing them off. I would much rather give people the truth than have them telling more T1's that a raw vegan diet will cure them.

With the awesome online community, it is so easy to isolate ourselves into this neat little pocket where everyone knows about diabetes. But the sad truth is that a lot of people don't know about diabetes, or what they do know they learned on TV. I've taken it upon myself to talk openly about my diabetes whenever I get the chance. I'm not obnoxious about it, needing to turn every conversation to diabetes, but people know if they have any questions about diabetes, I will talk to them.

I guess the main takeaway for this is: It took me years and years, but I'm now happy to talk about diabetes. I feel like it's better for everyone if I decide to educate people who don't know any better, rather than get angry and walk away. 

1 comment:

  1. Am a new follower! It also took me years to feel comfortable talking about my life with diabetes. It's up and down but every day is a new day :)