I had quite a day today, an MRI, ABI, Physical Therapy and appt. w/ Surgeon. So as the nurse takes me back to see surgeon she goes thru the usual rigamarol. . . weight, height, medications, etc. and I tell her that I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 35 years and a Type 2 diabetic for 2 years. She looks at me and says "You cant be both." So I explain to her how yes, i can, then she responds w/ "Well you must be one BAD diabetic!" hmmmmm. . . . the "Arnold" side of me wanted to tell her to F*** off, but I told that little voice in my head to be nice. So with her back to me, I responded w/ a smile on my face and said "Yeah, its been two years of hell, thanks for asking. So it got me thinking. . What makes a bad diabetic? Did she mean I was bad at taking care of myself? I am part dietitian, insulin pumping guru, motivational therapist, and diabetic educator due to this disease. Or was she trying to make the point that I have a bad case of diabetes because I have both types? Would she tell a cancer patient that they must be a "BAD" cancer patient due to dealing w/ two types of cancer. . . that would be unthinkable. . but diabetes Type 1 or 2 or both is a chronic disease that has no cure, so why did that make her comment acceptable? So now moving on to the next appt. I meet another nurse. After same rigamarol she tells me she ran the Boston Marathon w/ a PACE MAKER!!! Wow!! You cant get more motiviation than that! She answers all my questions about the complications I am running into and gives me words of encouragement, reinforces the fact that i have a good medical team behind me, then tells me anytime i have questions or need answers or help along the way, please call her she's there for me. Wow! I went from nasty dig from one nurse to kudos & positive thinking from another nurse all on the same day!
If there is one thing this disease does, is it makes you emotionally tough! Diabetics deal w/ the food police (you know, cigarette smoking Aunt Bev over there telling u not to eat that brownie cause your diabetic), ignorant or insensitive people in the medical field, constantly fighting w/ insurance company to get medical supplies covered, piling high medical bills, daily struggle of making sure EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth is covered properly by bolus of insulin or that you will be burning it off shortly, oh yeah and that nagging extra muscle pain a diabetic deals with when exercising, I can go on but you get my drift.
So the next time you run into a diabetic, whether you think they are a "good" or "bad" diabetic is irrelevant, and just let them know you understand its a tough disease to deal with and give them some words of encouragement. Honey goes alot further then vinegar.