i hide it during high school, but i don’t know if that was so much because of social stigma or me ignoring it so that i could live a normal teen age life. i think in young people the stigma may come just as much from denying the illness as it being something out of the normal for other children. i was the first diabetic in my elementry school and at the end of fifth year when another girl in my class that i barely knew was diagnosed we were sort of pushed together mostly because we were in the same situation (don’t get me werong, she was a nice girl, but i think all we really had in common was diabetes).
now in my mid twenties, i still don’t hide it, but i don’t make it the bases of who i am either. i was surprised to find out that a lot of my friends in this area had no idea that i was a diabetic until i started talking about how i was getting an inulin pump. infact, on of my friends (RIP) saw me rubbing my arm when i walked by him at the gaming shop and asked me what was wrong. i told him i had just done a shot in the bathroom and it had hurt. he got a confused look on his face and said, “a shot of what?” i told him insulin and he laughed, having thought i’d just choked down booze in the bathroom.
i think diabetes becomes more of a stigma when we let it. if it rules our lives, it becomes obvious and we stick out more due to our own discomfort with it. when i began to accept my diabetes as just another thing to do in my life it stopped becoming what i was known for. mabee that’s the key. i am just another person like anyone else out there, i just get my insulin in a different way. he’s just a normal guy, only he needs glasses to read that street sign. we are normal and if we accept that it helps others to as well.