Combatting Ignorance about Type 1

I had no idea what diabetes was before I got it. Absolutely none. The doctor told me and I was like, “OK, what does that mean?”. There was none in my extended family - there still isn’t except for me.

What’s the point of being resentful? Just treat it as a teaching moment.

my response always is, Do you know what a pancreas is? Usually the response is, a what? Then you ask, do you know where your pancreas is? Usually, again they answer no. WE always just say, your works, and our does not, at all. Without insulin or a new pancreas we would not be here, plain and simple.
Or you could be a smartie, like my 14 yr old type 1 daughter who tells the boys at school to get a book and look it up!

I just smile, and walk away.

And I go home and put on my Blunt Lancet t-shirt and my “I’m tired of diabetes” bracelet and talk to people who “get” it here on tu!

I haven’t read the comments b/f mine so I may be repeating someone else here but the way I look at this is I HAVE TO HAVE IT> YOU NEED OXYGEN RIGHT? Insulin is ANOTHER thing you need. Some ppl just don’t understand ANYTHING about diabetes!!! Being a Type 1 for 37 years I KNOW I NEED INSULIN to LIVE but even my father was one who thought I was using insulin as herion and told me to “get off it” I try to educate ppl where they understand but it’s like this really If you don’t have itand hadn’t lived trying to help someone who does YOU JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT!!! I learned that when I lost both parents to cancer. My mom went 1st and she told me something I’ll never forget, “Unless you’ve got this you’ll never understand it. I’m sorry I thought I understood everything you went through as a kid but now since I’ve got pancreadic cancer and have had to relize what’s up. I know now that each person dosen’t know what another is going thru unless they have it themselves”

Now let me say I in NO WAY compare myself to cancer patients (I lost my mom to pancradic cancer, lost my dad to lung cancer 2 totally different suffering from them) but when she said that to me it made me feel a little better about what I had tryed to say and she just wasn’t getting it as hard as she tried. My dad? He NEVER got it.

I would seriously walk away from telling people that “Theirs is Type 2 Diabetes.” I mean, while it is true that some persons may be able to catch their Diabetes in time enough that they can control it with diet and exercise (some LADAs included, who may do a very low carb diet), for some time, it still doesn’t mean that they won’t have to use medicines and/or insulin down the road, before they got truly very sick, and could risk a Diabetic coma, and die. I would just focus on how some persons, and some types of Diabetes require insulin immediately, and forever. We don’t want to keep the myths going of “all Type 2s” can control diabetes with diet and exercise, or that diet will somehow “cure” their diabetes…

when i was first diagnosed i was convinced there MUST be a natural remedy for my disease :smiley:

its been hard being reliant on pharmaceutical companies to live…but i have come to terms with it.

ive had the conversation and i just needed to let it go…they aren’t going to understand until they see what ‘living’ without insulin does to a diabetic.

i usually say a quick prayer that they never find out how ridiculous their pov is.

If anybody tells me “you should go off insulin” I would tell that I’d die quite a bit sooner than I would like to. If I were at work, I would add “and then YOU will inherit my file cabinets full of work!” which would likely shut them up immediately.

WOT but I like the Ramsay Lewis allusion in your blog’s name! I used to have that record on vinyl but should d/l it sometime!! Thanks for insulinspiring me!

I am a T-2 and oddly enough I knew more about Type 1 than I did about T-2 before getting T-2.

I worked in Emergency Services and responded to Type 1’s that had gone DKA or were having severe hypoglycemia.

In the 1970’s there were no meters and I remember some repeat calls to their homes. Technology has helped but in the old days it was pretty primitive.

As a T-2 I educate people at every opportunity I get on all Types.

My favorite responses in order of preference:

  1. Insulin/Oxygen, Oxygen/Insulin
  2. Do you know what a pancreas does?
  3. Read a book.
  4. Get smarter friends.

One I’d suggest, but haven’t heard - “You use insulin. Why can’t I?”

Damn right! Hardcore insulin junkies - and proud of it.

You can ask them as soon as they can give you the name of a plant that secretes insulin that you can make into a tea, let you know! :slight_smile:

I unfortunately have concluded that there are some people who will never be open to being educated or to giving up their incorrect beliefs. I grew up with a father who sounds exactly like this woman. He is into raw food and homeopathic approaches. Being told I could stop taking insulin if I tried harder lead to me ignoring my diabetes for most of my adolescence (I took two injections a day but didn’t see a doctor, adjust dosage, pay attention to what I ate, or check my BG more than occasionally for years). That man lived with a diabetic daughter for 12 years and will still not listen. My parents were against me going on the pump.

It’s very awkward in social situations when someone isn’t willing to hear what you have to say and I’m sorry you went through that! It’s so disappointing. I don’t have anything to contribute apart from that I feel your frustration.

A lot of people want to believe that they can avoid illness by breathing correctly, eating some particular way, taking some supplement. At the root of this ignorance is fear. With people that in the past have insisted I can go off of insulin, and have been way out of bounds in their hounding me, I just tell them I could go off of insulin, but I would go into diabetic ketoacidosis within a few hours and be dead quite swiftly, and oh by the way the death would be painful and horrific (and I describe how one dies via DKA). That description of death by DKA really seems to shut them up.

I guess I look at these things as a challenge. It is about fighting misinformation. Not just from wacko’s who advocate that raw veggie diets cure type 1, but also from institutions like the ADA. It is the ADA which is now telling the American public that they can “Reverse” diabetes with diet and exercise. Your friends may be the type to embrace complimentary alternative medicine and believe that if you just ate right you would be cured, but that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong, just misinformed. And it is not surprising when we have a constant barrage of misinformation from groups like the ADA that should know better. I like to take these opportunity to bring a little enlightenment into the world, but realize sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t work, then those friends don’t get to hold my glucagon pen.

I wonder if it’s mixed up with the blame game, that too many people believe that diabetics brought their condition on themselves? I was asking myself what the natural supplements brigade make of everyday vision problems like short-sightedness and long-sightedness. After all those are also chronic conditions. Would the natural supplements folk also be opposed to spectacles, contact lenses, reading glasses etc, and instead recommend carrot tea as a cure for myopia? In other words, is it a response to all chronic illness, or simply to a condition where it is (wrongfully) perceived, some choice is involved?

(The thought occurred to me because my BG management routine is now so much a part of normal life, as normal as putting in my contact lenses. My insulin is like my lenses, something extra to help out my body as it needs it.)

I don’t know, I try to educate my friends and people when that I am around and still some don’t get it. I remember cutting a jab at one of my friends who is a raw food,no GMO, no animal testing type. After she suggested I switch to a raw food diet. Just stated nope I like my meat at least pan seared. She got real disgusted whe I pointed out if not for animal testing I would be dead and my insulin is GMO.

uuugggh…I am sorry you had to endure this. I have faced this too and it makes me so angry and frustrated and angry all at the same time, that over time I have tended to stray away from groups of folks who seem to believe this. I would print out some true medical information for them and ask that they read it.

Want to hear another great one? Related to “karma”…that I must have done something "really bad"in a past life to get this…

Let’s see, yesterday a coworker told me not to worry because a girl had a pig pancreas put in so no one will have diabetes soon. And my sister, the original ‘if you eat this and this nothing will ever happen to you’ called last night to say coconut oil cures all kinds of skin conditions, including fungal–implied it will also cure diabetes.

When I went to nursing school in the 80s my textbook gave a tiny paragraph to Type 1 , saying that it usually occurred in children and was very difficult to control so they had a short life span. Then it spent pages and pages on Type 2 diabetes. I was totally undereducated about diabetes until I was lucky enough to get it. But It will be gone as soon as I drink some coconut oil, LOL

Did you tell your coworker the Onion is a parody