I have a disease – it’s called diabetes

By Courtney | 1 Rookie Mark »

Blood Glucose: 48

I never start by stating my blood sugar/blood glucose/bg but because I’m low I thought I should post it. People who have diabetes / know people with diabetes very well will know that means something. For the rest of you – let’s just put it this way: my mom would usually say “Courtney, shut up and eat” and to the others “don’t talk to her, she’s low”.

Very much signs I probably shouldn’t be writing this and a horrible note that says “i’m discrediting everything i’m about to write due to a glucose starved brain which indicates that I’m slightly crazy” <---- that there is a stereotype. Not everyone who has a glucose starved brain is crazy - sometimes we get clear thoughts - and courage to say something that we've not been expressing (that's me, now, at this moment)

Ok, to the point, the reason I'm writing this: A name. A name change.

I keep pretty quiet about all things diabetes these days because I got tired of it being the center of my life, but something recently caught my eye....A Petition to Revise Names of Type 1 & 2 Diabetes to Reflect the Nature of Each Disease.

What I’ve decided is this: name change or no name change – for the past 20 years I have had diabetes and it will continue to be diabetes. And in my state of having diabetes I will always have to explain that I take insulin, that diet and exercise will not eliminate the fact that I have to take insulin, that my pancreas is dead (I still think that’s a misnomer – but that discussion is not for this moment), I got it as a kid – not due to some horrific amount of sugar intake – but an unknown reason.

What’s interesting to me, is a few years before I was diagnosed (ok, a decade) – a name change had already taken place. It went from Juvenile Onset diabetes to insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (Lee Ann at The Butter Compartment went into this a bit more in depth about the nomenclature of the name if you want to know more) – but when I was diagnosed in 1992 – it may have been called IDDM by the books – but the docs called it juvenile diabetes. Just because the medical name gets changed doesn’t mean the ambient noise around it will change.

To come even closer to home for me – with something I know intimately – and have to explain almost as often as diabetes in my life – bikes.

To most people – a bike is a bike is a bike. Regardless of being a mtn bike, a road bike, a triathlon bike, a cyclocross bike, a single speed bike, a fixed gear bike. It’s all a bike – they all serve the same purpose – you get on – you pedal – you go places. It’s a bike.

But to me – it’s not a bike, and people who know bikes (like those of us who know diabetes) know they’re not the same – they’re very different – even if it’s some minuscule way. If you’re intimate with it, you know the differences and can answer any question that gets thrown at you “what’s different about that bike?” – “what do you mean you didn’t get diabetes from eating lots of sugar?”.

The way people don’t understand diabetes – is similar to the way people don’t understand why I need “another” bike. Why I have “too many” bikes and what their different purposes are. Regardless of their names, I will always have to answer questions and educate the mass population that “just doesn’t get it”.

A name is mostly nothing – it’s a title – we have to explain its details, its intricacies, no mater how long/short/detailed etc the name is.

I have a disease – it’s called diabetes.

1 Rookie Marks On I have a disease – it’s called diabetes

  1. The bike analogy is brilliant! Thank you for posting this :)

    ...said Lee Ann Thill on April 17th, 2013

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