November 14 is World Diabetes Day, a day near and dear to my heart. Words can not express what being diabetic feels like, nor would I want to make even my worst enemy experience it. Although the constant finger pricks and the injections before I eat absolutely anything are a bit annoying, its by far not the worst thing about diabetes. People are. So, here is a letter to all the people out there that think Type One diabetes is a laughing matter.
To whom this may concern,
Diabetes is not a piece of cake or a bowl of candy posted to your news feed or timeline captioned "#Diabetes". Diabetes is not something someone is going to get because they just ate a Big Mac and a large fry. Diabetes isn't the answer to the math problem involving someone buying a ridiculous amount of candy bars in an elementary school math book. Diabetes isn't obesity.
Type One Diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. There is no cure, though there are researchers working on it, for type one diabetes.
Diabetes isn't necessarily staying away from sweets and sugar. Yes, diabetics need to moderate their sugar intake, but diabetics eat sugar. It's in just about everything. As I diabetic, I know what I can and can't eat. I've got it under control.
One thing I can leave you with is what a diabetic really is. A diabetic is a strong independent that deals with more than most people can even imagine. Diabetics are math whizzes, calculating every nutrition fact on the label to dose their insulin. Diabetics are learners, learning to live with a disease that literally attacks their pancreas. Diabetics are persistent. They never give up. They may hit hard times in their life, but they always get back up! Most importantly diabetics are people. They don't deserve people making jokes out of something they have to deal with.
Just a reminder, next time you offer someone a piece of candy and say, "Diabetes?" you aren't funny. You are making fun of a disease that affects 29.2 million Americans. You are making fun of a disease that could lead to the loss of limbs, sight, or even a life. It's not a joke.
Type One Diabetics