Diabetes or diabetic?

"I have diabetes, or I am a diabetic." One or the other, or both?

I used to say "I have diabetes," as I felt "I am a diabetic" defined me more than saying "I am a husband, I am a teacher, I am a son, I am a brother, etc, etc." Yes, all those descriptions were more accurate than letting the disease I have define me.

Yet, if I hadn't had diabetes, I probably wouldn't have met the woman who married me, become a teacher,or earned a post-graduate degree. So maybe if"diabetic" didn't define me, it has indeed shaped me and molded me into the person I am today. And how much of my time is spent checking, pumping a bolus, thinking about blood sugars? A lot of time. It does not control my life, but it does affect and influence it, all the time, Even in my sleep.

So, I've accepted and admitted that being a diabetic isn't a "part of my life;" it's a big part of my life. Does it define me? In many ways, yes, Does it define my heart and soul? No. It just affects my existence. Daily. And my existence continues to be based on my care and control of my Type 1 diabetes. And when people ask now, I'll tell them "I am a Type 1 diabetic" or "I have Type 1 diabetes."

Why highlight Type 1? Not because of any opinion of Type 2 diabetics in particular, but my need to let others know that I am solely dependent upon insulin, and my life revolves around that need and dependency. Admitting a dependency is never easy, but with the admission goes an empowerment of friends and/or co-workers whose appropriate actions I may need one day. If calling myself a diabetic is what it takes to inform and empower my friends and co-workers, so be it. A question of semantics should not stand in the way of protecting ourselves and possibly, the ones we love.

i agree with you whole heartedly
i've always been diabetic since i was not yet 3 in 1936

I don’t think it matters, but I prefer “I have diabetes” because it seems like a lot of people who know nothing about diabetes like to throw around “diabetic” as though they are experts on the disease. To me diabetes is diabetes regardless of the type and the goals are the same (maintain healthy BS).

Funny, I've been thinking the same thing! I started saying "I have diabetes" or even "I live with diabetes," but truthfully it's all just semantics. I often see people in this and other sites say, "My diabetes doesn't define me," and I get that, but in a way it really does. I simply want it to define me in a positive, not a negative way. I'm 42+ years with diabetes, and I'm living life to the full. We all have a terminal disease. It's just a matter of how long we live and how well.

BTW, sorry, Diabetic Dad, to use your name in the title of my most recent blog post. I didn't realize this until you commented on my post! You must have thought, "Wait, what?"

-"Another" Diabetic Dad :)

MikeMack, No apologies necessary. As a first-time father recently myself, I rejoice at your announcement, while at the same time believing that diabetic parents have their own worries and concerns and issues that in a way set us off from the parents of diabetic children, who have their own arduous journeys to navigate I welcome your opinions and insight and congratulations again.

BTW, my blood sugar was also a concern during my child's birth, so much so that I slept in a chair beside my wife, who had a C-section and had to stay for a few days. I felt safer sleeping in a chair at the hospital than being at home by myself.