Oh Right, That Diabetes Thing
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Oh Right, That Diabetes Thing

A diabetic's response to some of the common misconceptions about Type 1 Diabetes.

Oh Right, That Diabetes Thing
Jay Carpenter

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In those two years, I’ve been asked enough questions to realize that most people barely have any idea what it actually is.

First a basic summary of what the disease actually is. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder that causes the immune system to target and destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. What this basically means is that the body is no longer able to manage blood sugar on its own. Once, this meant death was guaranteed, but after the invention of injected insulin in 1923, life with Type 1 diabetes became possible.

So now that we know what the disease is, let’s look at some of the common questions I get asked.

“You were doing so well last week…”

Yes, a week ago I was. Now I’m not. You can’t just ‘figure out’ diabetes and then follow your schedule to manage it. The human body is an extremely complicated thing and almost anything, ranging from how stressed you are to how long it took you to digest that slice of pizza can make a massive difference in how you need to manage your blood sugar from day to day. Sometimes things simply change and you need to manage things differently with no warning. Diabetes is like playing a game of blackjack with your body, except your body isn’t sure if it wants to play blackjack or if aces count as 11 or 1.

“Is that the bad kind?”

There isn’t a good kind of Diabetes. They are different diseases and are managed differently.

“Can you eat…”

Probably not shellfish, I’m allergic, but that’s unrelated. Diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat something, (even candy!) it just means that you need to pay attention to how many carbs are in it so that an appropriate amount of insulin can be injected alongside it. Diabetics often follow a diet, but that’s because when you already need to pay attention to part of the nutrition information, you might as well go all the way.

“Can you still drink?”

Alcohol is an interesting problem to face as a type 1 diabetic. Yes, we can still enjoy alcohol but care must be taken. While the effect Alcohol will have on Diabetics will vary based on the individual drink and drinker, it can be safely consumed once we have figured out how it affects us. It is not safe however, to have our judgement significantly impaired. We need to be able to react if something goes wrong, and there’s no guarantee that anyone else will be able to help us. It’s best to be safe and not get drunk, but we can enjoy alcohol.

“I have lactose intolerance, so I understand…”

No, these two issues are pretty different, to say the least. Trying to find some way of empathizing is well meaning but can often come across as extremely ignorant. Also, I didn’t need a detailed description of what happens when you eat cheese.

Hopefully next time you meet one of the million or so type 1 diabetics in the United States you can avoid asking one of the common questions we tend to get asked constantly, and maybe make the disease just a little bit less irritating. We know your questions don’t come from a bad place, but seriously, they get really repetitive.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

Ever wanted to check out EDM music, but didn't know where to start? Look no further! Start here.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

If you have been following me for a long time, then you know I write about two main things: relateable articles and communication media based articles. Now, it is time for me to combine the two. For those of you that don't know, I am a radio DJ at IUP, and I DJ for a show called BPM (Beats Per Minute). It is an EDM, or electronic dance music, based show and I absolutely love it.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments