I was reading this article in the NY Times from 2004: Diabetes: Faces of an Epidemic; Type 1: The Morning I Will Never Remember, By Anne Rice. She describes the lead-up to her diagnosis with Type 1, a horror story worse than many I have heard. But then at the end of the article she says this:
"In the beginning, when I was lying in bed, the basic demands of diabetes – the monitoring of blood sugar, the taking of insulin twice a day – seemed overwhelming.
Of course they aren’t. In fact, for a self-employed writer who works at home, and hasn’t taken a drink in decades, the demands are next to nothing. Eat well; forgo sugary foods; do a simple finger-stick blood test four times a day; and inject yourself with a needle so fine it causes no pain whatsoever. The kits for the blood tests are sold in every drugstore; so are the needles; so is the insulin. And there are books galore about the disease with abundant recommendations on how to survive with it. You can learn as much or as little as you want, and in my case I wanted to learn as much as possible. Endocrinologists guide you to the right dosage, and order the requisite tests to confirm your progress. Once a year you see the eye doctor and the heart doctor. You watch your health; you care more about it."
Such a understatement, “the demands are next to nothing,” from “one of us” disservices the diabetic community. The demands are not next to nothing. How could she think this? I feel her perception–even if it is true for her (and if it is, good for her, I guess)–helps contribute to the commonly misconception that type 1 diabetes is “not such a big deal.”
…and in the NY Times, too…