What is it about diabetes that makes people think we aren't normal? Is it the occasional low blood sugar? Is it the need to put your health ahead of whatever other insignificant thing might be going on at the moment? Although I haven't had any recent experiences with people thinking I am strange, I have been dealing a whole lot more lately with the "Can you eat that?" thing.
It is frustrating. I realize that only 5 - 10% of diabetics are Type 1. So people most often hear about Type 2 and controlling your diet, but seriously people! I don't go up to strangers (or even acquaintances) and tell them they shouldn't be smoking. Or drinking. Or whatever else stupid it is they are doing. It is their life. They live it every day. They know the consequences of using tobacco or consuming alcohol. So why would they need me to remind them of that? They don't. So WHY do people insist on giving me dietary advice??
If you are a close friend or family member, this does not apply to you. Most of you don't do this. Or you don't do it often. And you know that I know what I am doing. So, if you occasionally ask me about something I am eating, don't fret. I won't yell at you.
It is the random strangers that I am referring to.
Some times it seems to bother me worse than other times. Here lately I have been on my soapbox about the differences between Type 1 & Type 2. I still don't know where to start. I feel like I can't change anything. I want to be able to tell people about the differences. About the fact that Type 1 isn't something I got from bad diet or no exercise. I want the general public to be more aware of this.
Type 1's may only be one tenth of the diabetics in the world. But we are here. And we do count! It is obvious in most public service announcements that they are putting information out to the public about Type 2. The announcements that are made regarding Type 1 don't mention adults with Type 1. Just children.
Let this be a statement from all Type 1's across the United States! We are here. We are not all diagnoised as children. And those of us who were...we DO live to see adulthood.
If you are a Type 1 diabetic and you feel this way, start talking. Post on blogs, write your congressman or representative. Talk to members of your community. And talk to the strangers when they ask, "Can you eat that?" Let people know that you are alive. Let people know that there is a "lost" group of us out here.
Maybe, someday, the average non-D citizen will understand a little bit more about this illness.