I am shocked – shocked! – how many people don’t understand diabetes, especially since we keep hearing that insulin resistance/ type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing craze since the pet rock.
Admittedly, even I (who have juvenile diabetes/ type 1 in my family of origin) didn’t completely understand what was going on when my son was diagnosed a few weeks ago.
This was the extent of my experience:
- Juvenile diabetes is a genetic autoimmune disorder with no cure.
- People with juvenile diabetes can’t eat sugar (not entirely true…)
- They take insulin in the form of shots in the stomach. (terrifying)
In the past month, I have lived and breathed diabetes and will continue to do so forever. That said, ***I do not intend for this to become a diabetes blog. There are MANY other bloggers who have more experience and are better resources. I just have had a lot of diabetes on the brain of late, and it’s hard to be pithy. ***
But, I did want to address some of the misconceptions I have had and heard:
First, yes, my son takes 4 shots a day, and maybe more as he gets older or needs corrections in his insulin dosage. Yes, he gets them in his stomach, bottom, back, legs and arms – “site rotation” is what they call it. Variety is the spice of life…
Second, yes, we have limited the amount of sugar he eats and have changed our family diet to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as some godawful things I would have never thought of like beef sticks (don’t go there – that’s another post). He can have sugary treats if we plan for them, but juice and soda are off the proverbial table unless it’s a low blood-sugar emergency.
Third, (and I hear this one a LOT), whatever our family ate did not trigger his diabetes. You’re thinking of type 2. It wasn’t too much sugar, not enough protein, processed foods, nut milk, vitamin deficiency, or anything else. And, for the record (one person in particular), juvenile diabetes has been around for thousands of years, and has nothing to do with what cavemen did or did not eat. For future reference, when someone’s kid is diagnosed with an illness, it’s not polite to blame that kid’s mother. Asshole.
Are you still reading? Good! Because here’s a video from Diabetes UK. It’s geared for kids, has a Harry Potter vibe, and it’s a decent partial explanation of juvenile diabetes. Diabetes is a huge bummer. That’s all you really need to know.
Check out these blogs if you want to learn more:
Laurabetic – Life with Type 1 Diabetes
Integrated Diabetes – Think Like a Pancreas author, Gary Scheiner