An argument for kindness in the diabetes world

I don’t know if the antibody tests were done when I was diagnosed in 1984. I had them done myself when I went on medicare, and they were negative. My C-peptide test does qualify me for a pump, but I’m still categorized as a T2, which means I don’t qualify for a CGM on medicare. But since I don’t really want or need a CGM anyway, it’s not a problem.

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My husband’s last A1c was 6. He is quite thin and no one in his family had diabetes. His A1c’s started rising when he started taking statins several years ago.

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Hi Ruth:

This statement is not true. You may not qualify for a CGM on Medicare for another reason but being T2 is certainly not one of them. Here are the Medicare requirements for a Dexcom CGM:

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Yes, we all need more kindness, and this “argument” is very powerful. I will disagree with one statement–Type 1 is not 5% of all diabetes. A huge number of people with Type 1 diabetes are misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes, simply because they are adults. In fact, study after study (with the first published in 1977) show that ~10% of people diagnosed with “Type 2” diabetes are autoantibody positive, have Type 1 diabetes, and have been misdiagnosed. So Type 1 is way more than 5%!

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@CJ114 I wonder if that’s a recent change. I know they didn’t cover cgm’s for T2’s for a while.

Anyway, as it happens, I really don’t want a CGM. My A1c’s for the past year have been steady at 5.8, with not many lows and none below the 50’s. I did have one A1c at 5.6, but I was having a lot of serious lows, so I tweaked my basal rate a bit and that took care of it. For the past three months, the most serious low I’ve had has been 58 to somewhere in the 60’s, and not more than maybe once or twice a week. I can live with that.

I’ve also got an adhesive allergy, so I have to use barrier tape which is a pain getting medicare to pay for. I definitely do not want another site to stick on my body, lol.

But I am glad to hear the Medicare now does cover cgm’s for T2’s…so stupid for them not to, right?

This mindset was very prevalent back in the early 70’s. My parents attending parent support groups had many parents say things like this to offset those discussions people would have about ways to cure their kids. But wow, it turned ugly.
Over the years, talking with many fellow PWD both 1 & 2, I believe that type 2 is so much harder. Most everyone I talk with has multiple problems. Every organ system is in the mix, which leads to the many different drugs and treatment plans. I just don’t think handling all that is easy, along with the blame and shame everyone, medical professionals also, heap on people with type 2. Who can do all that, plus lose weight when everything is stacked against you. No one can control their family history. There is nothing you can do about that. If the genes are there, they are there. Even if a person loses the weight, that doesn’t mean they won’t get diabetes. Type 2 is such a complicated disease. There is no easy fix.
And while we all want a cure, I think type 1 will be cured long before type 2. There is just way too much going on with type 2.
So I think all of us being helpful and supportive is the way to go. It’s the way everyone should be with everyone. Just think how much nicer the world could be. And in regards to diabetes, just think of the numbers. We are a bigger force to deal with.

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Yes, it was not until early to Mid 2017 that that Medicare started covering CGM for T2 patients, at which time I got on the Dexcom G5 and it has given me the necessary data to remain in the same ranges as a non-diabetic. The system is not perfect, but still totally awesome for anyone that wants to put the effort into learning how to use it properly.

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Just want to point out that not all Type 2’s are diabetic because of insulin resistence. My C-peptide test was low enough to qualify for pump under Medicare but my insulin resistence score is normal. But I don’t have the beta cell thing. For awhile, after having used a pump for many years, I was afraid that once on Medicare, I wouldn’t be able to get another pump (necessary because Animas went belly-up…tears :cry:).

Sounds like you might be T1/LADA. Have you ever had C-Peptide and antibodies checked?

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I had tests done when I hit 65 and needed to get my pump approved by Medicare. All the antibody tests were negative. I had the C-peptide done twice. The first time, my blood sugar was high, and the C-peptide was too high to qualify me, but I had it redone with a much lower fasting bg and my C-peptide was low enough to qualify.

T2 definitely runs in my family, so I’m not surprised I didn’t have antibodies. Plus, I absolutely NEVER get ketones, no matter how high my bg gets. When I was going through chemo 10 years ago, and I needed to take megadoses of steroids the night before treatment, my bg’s in the morning were over 1,000, with not even a trace of ketones. Also, apparently, explains why it’s so hard for me to lose weight!

@Sally7
No way is it easier to be a type 1 than a type 2. Not having insulin means death to a type 1 and everything that goes with it, exercise, stress, foods, etc. It’s much more of a all day thing.

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My impression of the differences are that you can’t compare Type 1 and Type 2. They are just too different.

Type 1 seems to be a lot more volatile. Wider swings in BG. Excessive lows, faster stomach emptying. Our bodies can get used to lows and, without close monitoring, go REALLY low to the point we can do nothing for ourselves. I have been walking around talking in my 20s (before I had a CGM), then suddenly I feel it.

What I am not clear about is the WHY. I think that most of it is using insulin. Insulin is powerful stuff and it is quite easy to suddenly have too much.

I also think that what makes Type 2 difficult is that it is easier to be in denial about it. It’s pretty ominous when you find yourself injecting from day 1. You can’t (though some have) blow off needing to inject.

(The interesting thing about LADA is that some convince themselves that if they eat really low-carb that they can eliminate fast-acting insulin. You may not need fast-acting until you are coming out of your honeymoon, but in my ten years I have only come across one Type 1 whose honeymoon lasted more than a year or two. Beta cell death comes to us all as Type 1s. You are going to need basal and bolus insulin. You just are).

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I really don’t think either type is “easier”. No chronic disease needing 24/7 maintenance is easy. But I will say as a person with type 1, I can handle my blood sugar swings much easier than someone who takes a pill or uses diet & exercise to manage their blood sugar. It is much easier for me to take a correction bolus to fix a high versus someone who takes a pill. So much harder to correct those highs. And sure walking around the block can help bring down a high but sometimes when a person gets that high, exercise is not always the best solution.
I am not saying either is better. I am just saying with type 2 there are so many other issues that pay into the disease. High blood pressure, high blood fats, weight that is a cause or the result of type 2. So much going on here. Type 1 is a lack of insulin. (Yes there is also a lot going on with other hormones being produced that might play a bigger impact than we think. It might not just be insulin alone).
As a child I always felt it was so unfair that I didn’t ask for this disease. The reality is none of us asked for it. No one has any control over our family history. But as a child, I really didn’t understand. As an adult I realize, things are much more complicated. And whether a person has type 1 or type 2, a little understanding as to where the person is, where they were and where they are going can help us better understand and help.
Is either type “easy”? Nope! Is either type better? Nope!
But i will say, I believe I have it a little easier because my tool chest makes it much easier to addresss those highs and lows that happen in my day to day life. Again, my opinion here, not fact. I feel for those of my fellow PWD who must deal with high blood sugars and only have exercise as the only option to try and bring it down.

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The argument of which is worse cannot be answered in my opinion, there is the worst and best in both types. There are T1’s that appear to be able to control their BG with relative ease, although I have to say that is an illusion, and there are some T1 that can never seem to gain good control no matter how they try.

Same with T2, some people make it look easy but others can never, even with great effort, achieve their goals.

If difficulty in achieving good blood glucose control is the standard by which we judge difficulty we will never be able to decide because in all forms diabetes has the ability to defeat us without extreme effort on our parts and every day there are people of both types that lose the battle.

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So very true in all aspects of your post. I think from my standpoint and for much of the first half of my journey with this disease, I was in a poor me, pity me, the world is against me mindset. I felt life was so unfair and what did I do to deserve this. And back than parents of “juvenile diabetics “ kind of feed it.
But as I have meet more and more people with diabetes and I hear their stories, I have come to realize as much as I hate the day to day, I can manage it pretty well. And I hear the people talk about the many different doctors they have for all the medical problems they have. And the medications they take, I cringe thinking about how they juggle all of it everyday. I take insulin and a statin for preventive measures. That’s it. I see my endo every four months and my PCP every few years or as needed and my eye doctor every year, foot doctor when needed. So yes, I am very fortunate. But listening to these stories and others daily norm, I have come to realize there are many, many others who have it much, much harder than I do. Sure I have crappy days or weeks. But everything always comes back in line. I am always very defensive whenever I hear someone say that same old same old, that people with type 2 did it to themselves. It drives me crazy! Just like I did nothing to cause my diabetes no one with type 2 asked for it. And I am always in awe of people later in life who can just switch over and make all the changes that must be made when diagnosed with diabetes.
Another personal belief that it is easier as a child to be diagnosed with diabetes, because I had no bad habits started. My parents told me what I could and couldn’t do and it became my norm. I don’t know how I could handle be very set in my ways and learning everything just got turned upside down.
These chat lines are great for us all to voice our opinions and I love hearing others viewpoint. But I do stand firm on the statement that no one caused their diabetes! No one has control over family, genetics or how their body reacts to things. So which is easier? Let’s just throw it up in the air and say both can suck sometimes, both can be challenging sometimes and sometimes the blood sugar fairies are nice and let things ride smoothly once in awhile!

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I was diagnosed in 1959 with type 1 when I was 8. I knew children who died and never had a chance to grow up to even have the argument about about whether it is more difficult to have type 1 or 2 diabetes. These type 1 children never had a chance.

Sometimes I agree that it is easier to become a diabetic at an earlier age, but we who were diagnosed as children also have a lot more years to be ravaged by this illness, if we have been fortunate enough to make it to adulthood. Most make it now but some don’t.

I admire people who have become diabetic as adults, and have had to change their lives.
I know that I had to change my way of eating several times as an adult and I found that it can be done. It has helped me become a very strong disciplined person.It is difficult but much of life is.

I was fortunate to have this disease for 50 yrs before I had any serious complications from it. Now after having been a type 1 for 60 yrs I can see what having had this disease has done to me both physically and emotionally over the years. I worry a lot about what the next years will be like. Will I still be able to make sense of how much insulin I need or what foods I can eat? If in a nursing home will I have competent help? I really doubt it, because competent medical professionals can be hard to find.

I think I could rely on a nurse to give me a pill but could she figure out the correct insulin doses? I feel bad for all diabetics who become insulin dependent whether type 1 or 2 and whether young or old.

I have always said that there are far worse illnesses to have than diabetes, but this is a very difficult illness to have for all of us. I am not finding it any easier as I age.

We all need to be treated with kindness. We are all fighting for our lives.

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We all need to treat and be treated with kindness, diabetic or not!!!

Have a Merry Christmas
and/or a Contented Feast of the Immaculate Conception
or Happy Hanukkah
or Joyous Kwanzaa
or a Kickn’ “Tet”
or a Blissful Bodhi Day
or a Cheerful Maunajiyaras
or Wonderful Festival of Lights
or a Blessed Ramadan
or a Good Winter Solstice
and/or a Joyful Canadian Boxing Day
and a Festive Festivus,
and a Happy New Year!

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I try to be kind to all people, because we are all fighting our own battles. People can always use a smile and a kind word, even people we don’t agree with.

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I am a morbidly obese T2. I have heard and seen many times, on TuD and many other places, that I am worth less as a human being because I allow my unbridled lusts for sweets and other inappropriate foods to give me this terrible disease. Indeed, I really do accept that improper eating and the accompanying overweight tend to aggravate both diabetes and its complications. But am I really so thoroughly guilty for these behaviors?

I was a very, very fat infant, even at the age of a few months. The photos are hard to argue with. There is plenty of research associating infant obesity with lifelong obesity, apparently through endocrine processes which, among other mechanisms, increase appetite and a desire for sugar. So if I am guilty, the two- or three-month old pre-me was probably much more so. The courts and the dispensers of justice in many societies try to avoid assigning criminal guilt to infants, but many diabetics refuse to take part in this sloppy sentimentality. Punishment for the Type 2s! (Yes, I’ve really heard this. From a doctor.)

So what is my point in all of this? Just blowing off some boiling bile? No, there’s yet an earlier stage to the story, before me the criminal infant and me the criminal adult. When I was born, I was not breastfed at all, because of a fashion in that time and place. I was fed “formula”. And there’s now plenty of research on the negative correlation between breastfeeding on the one hand and both infant and adult overweight on the other. So it turns out that aside from an opportunity for namecalling, wchich we all love, there is a practical lesson to be learned from all of these discussions about the guilty T2s:

You ladies who are young and having babies, nurse them with your own milk! There are a lot of other medical advantages to breastfeeding, but just reducing one’s child’s chances of getting this disease with all of its complications is quite enough. In fact, just reducing your child’s chances of getting the dirty looks reserved for the overweight is quite enough reason to nurse them.

And I don’t mean than you should start out nursing them, and then once slip a box of formula in the house when you’re in a hurry. And the next time, you won’t be in quite as much of a hurry, but you’ll still find a reason. The famous slippery slope.

MOTHERS, YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT DIABETES? YOU WANT TO DO YOUR SHARE AGAINST THE EPIDEMIC OF OBESITY? NURSE YOUR BABIES! (You may even decide it’s fun.)

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Your story and observations are compelling, @MapleSugar. I live with T1D, so please excuse any ignorance I may have in making this comment. Over the years here at TuD, I’ve learned that type 2 diabetes likely follows a sequence of events that few in the general public are aware, even many who live with T2D.

The theory goes like this: a defect causes dysfunctional T2D metabolic physiology, possibly due to a genetic predisposition, occurs first, even before substantial weight gain. Once that dysfunction takes root then large weight gains follow and make it harder to lose weight.

In other words, T2D occurs before and then drives the weight gain.

Gluttony and sloth do not cause type 2 diabetes! I truly believe a genetic weakness sets people up for this condition and it then sets up a slippery slope to make effective treatment difficult. Current clinical medicine has failed miserably to help patients.

Here’s one program that has enjoyed amazing success in treating T2D over the last few years. I have read the one and two-year test results that provide impressive and hopeful data. It may not work for every patient but the numbers it produces exceeds any of the current clinical regimens in place.

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