Introduce your condition(s) to other Health Activists. What are 5 things you want them to know about your condition/your activism?I live with the wonderful (sarcasm) condition known as type one diabetes or juvenile diabetes. You can also call it by its scientific name, diabetes mellitus. There are many other types of diabetes, like type two, LADA, gestational, and monogenic; I'm stuck with type one. Type one diabetes occurs when the beta cells in the Islet of Langerhans inside your pancreas attack themselves. These beta cells usually produce insulin, a hormone your body makes to convert the carbohydrates from food into the energy you use. Because my pancreas doesn't produce insulin anymore, (I'm not in the honeymoon stage.) I give myself insulin through my pump. An insulin pump is a cell phone sized device that gives me insulin with a few clicks of a button through a tiny tube (called a site) inserted into my arm, leg, or stomach.
Now that you know a little bit about my condition, here are the five things everyone should know about type one diabetes:
- Type one does not equal immediate kidney dialysis/ organ failure/ amputations. I've never talked to or actually seen a diabetic with any of these drastic consequences. The only way these things can happen is if you don't take care of your diabetes for YEARS. Not two days, not a few weeks, not 2 months, but many years.
- DIABETICS CAN EAT SUGAR. I don't care if you know one that doesn't eat it, we can it sugar if we want. (And on that note, if you ask someone if they want to eat something and they say no, please don't say something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, it's because of your diabetes." It might be because of that, but it might not be, as well. People ask me this all of the time and sometimes I just want to scream, "NO!")
- Type one shouldn't be compared to other illnesses/ conditions. You should NEVER say, "At least you don't have cancer." You may be trying to be optimistic/ lighten the mood, but that isn't okay and it just makes everyone feel awkward. You wouldn't say to a cancer patient, "At least you don't have *insert illness here*," would you?
- Type one comes with an interesting sense of humor. We have so many memes and can occasionally make borderline offensive jokes. See figure one.Jesus has risen and so has my blood sugar. twitter.com/meow_its_sarah…— Sarah(@meow_its_sarah) March 31, 2013
- Type one diabetes will definitely add new terminology to your vocabulary. See figure two.
Figure One- A joke pertaining to Easter AND diabetes. This could be slightly offensive...
Now you know the secrets (not really) of type one diabetes, spread them around so everyone can know!