The Power of the Noun


So it’s an interesting thing - me joining an online community dedicated to diabetes. I’m not really a public diabetic. Sure, I treat my diabetes in public - I’ll take a hit of insulin on the street, in the restaurant, or anywhere else I generally please. Speaking of, special thanks to the security guard in front of the Georgetown Salvation Army headquarters who just looked at me funny when I whipped out my Levemir and DIDN’T listen to that gut feeling that said to call the cops cause the crazy junkie girl with a yoga mat was shooting up and couldn’t they come and shoo her away.

Anyway, digressions aside, I publically treat diabetes, I am not a public diabetic. Twenty-something, funny girl, old soul, and wicked optimist - those are my nouns, not diabetic. Coming up on my year anniversary de diagnosis, I don’t really let people know how much I think about my diabetes. Sure, I have to count what I eat, time when I exercise, and prick my finger several times a day, but if I THINK about it, well that changes the whole ballgame. It becomes a preoccupation, and whether I like it or not, there’s a certain diabetes tint that a very significant portion of my life has taken on.

I think I’ve hidden my new D-shaped glasses from the rest of the world because, for the most part, my world is filled with people who knew me pre-diagnosis, and I want to be very sure that they don’t see me as Diabetic Lizzie. I don’t want to be Pitiable Lizzie or Fragile Lizzie or Lizzie*, unless that * is followed by “mega millions lottery winner and respected international leader.” So I haven’t really blogged about my diabetes (on my other blog, the hilarious and incredibly humble, I don’t talk about it to anyone, and while I’m very happy to answer questions that people may ask, I don’t generally bring up the subject first.

I have diabetes, but, one year into this bloody roller coaster, I don’t call myself a diabetic. The distinction may be slight, but it’s an important one for me right now. Maybe TuDiabetes will help me take on the proper noun-ness of it all.

So thanks to those of you who have friended me - it’s been a great welcome and I look forward to sticking around.


hi lizzie! i get what you mean about people thinking you are frail, pitiful and blah blah blah. it took my friends a while to get used to me. even two months on i think they have the idea that if i consume a grain of sugar i might drop dead in front of them. but that’s why i’m trying not to be shy about diabetes, because me doing that will only make people around me less aware than they might already be. i don’t like to call myself a diabetic either, but i’m new to it and i think it is weird. i prefer to say that i live with diabetes. it sounds much nicer, in my opinion. anyway you go girl! :slight_smile:


Welcome Lizzie! I totally understand! This is the only place I talk freely about diabetes. Like you everyone knows me pre-diagnosis, and I like it that way. It’s safe. You seem to have a good grip on who you are, and that’s what is important.


Welcome Lizze! You have a great way with words! Looking forward to reading more!! :slight_smile: I think my son has felt very similar to you.

It was kind of cool when we went to the Cincinnati Reds game for JDRF day recently. He almost wanted to have his insulin pump out for the younger kids to see. It was a different perspective when he felt like he could help out a little kid feel better about being a diabetic by seeing this big kid who was just like him. The power of a noun. Anyway, thanks for brightening my day. :slight_smile:


Welcome. Glad you’re here. I never wrote about diabetes before, but now that I have my blog, which I originally started to document my time teaching in Taiwan, I find the online community invaluable and like writing about it.