Do you feel normal? Re: 22 things to remember about diabetes

I saw this list posted in a forum earlier and was about to write this reply when I felt that my point may require a discussion of its own,

I agree with some of this stuff, including the whole stigma thing. I detest people saying to me ‘You’re diabetic but you’re not fat. Have you lost loads of weight or something?’ No. Type one diabetes is not anything to do with lifestyle and type 2 isn’t always anything to do with it either. Dr Michael Mosely, who is a TV doctor that is very slim, has it and his diagnosis was nothing to do with his lifestyle,

But that was not the point I came here to make. One of the points written said that we look normal on the outside but on the inside are far from normal. This seems a tad dramatic to me. I am a diabetic but I am also a violinist, chorister, harpist, guitarist, composer, scientist, artist, procrastinator, sixth former, person with awful eye-sight etc etc. I do not feel inherently different to how I did pre-diagnosis. I do not feel like I once knew normal but since my immune system decided to destroy my insulin producing cells, I am now a whole new person. To me, diabetes is like the history A-Level Ive been doing this year. Its been interesting however its been a lot of hard work and effort that I would rather have not done. While I enjoyed reading about it, the actual having to do it has been tricky and a pain but it does not define who I am.

Everyone has things about them which make them different and which bring hardship on their lives: diabetes, coeliacs disease, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, history A-Level, but I think ultimately it is something that I get on with and that, while it can be disruptive, I still feel normal with it.

I would like to add that I have had my ups and downs with diabetes through my life and there have been a few years where my attendance in school has been rather low due to various problems I have faced having diabetes. It has not been a smooth run, however I feel as if I am normal and that while my blood sugar may fluctuate and while I may feel ill with it occasionally, I feel fine the vast majority of the time and I feel normal.

What are your views on this matter?

That was one of several tin-eared statements in the article that gave me the impression it was not written by someone with T1D. Charitably, I think the writer meant to point out that “inside” we have a physiological abnormality–our pancreases don’t work correctly–but that’s certainly not the language I’d use. I don’t feel like it describes me either.

If a magic fairy appeared and cured me, it would feel “abnormal” for the rest of my life that I didn’t have to worry about my bg and getting test strips and keeping track of insulin and counting carbs.


I saw that article and was quite turned off by it. It seemed to describe people with T1D as delicate and in need of sympathy, because are lives are awful and fragile. This is far from true, at least in my case. To further my disgust for the article, the author’s bio said she has a website that teaches you how to feel great in just minutes per day (snake oil), and the hosted website, if you Google a portion of that article’s title, you’ll find hasseveral “XX things to know if your loved one suffers from YY” articles.

I think “normal” is overrated… Nobody is completely normal.

Too right! As a very good friend of mine once said, ‘everyone is a little bit weird. If they were completely normal, their lack of quirk would in turn make them unique.’