1. There’s more than one type of diabetes.

Type one is just one of many types of diabetes mellitus (the science-ey name). No one really knows quite why it happens, but we do know how it happens. Type one diabetes happens when, again for some unknown reason, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Insulin helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, and without it, blood sugars rise, potentially leading to serious complications and death. Nothing that I did, or my parents did, caused it, it just happens.

2. Yes, I can eat that.

Please please please don’t tell me not to or ask me if I can eat something. I’m 20. I’ve been diabetic for almost 14 years. I know what my body can and cannot handle and I definitely know more about it than you. People with type one diabetes can eat anything that anyone else can have, within reason of course. But shouldn’t everyone be eating like that anyways?

3. No, eating healthy won’t cure it.

Like I said before, nothing I or anyone else did caused it. Changing my diet or losing weight will NOT cure it. This may be true for some people with type two but please don’t assume. Don’t you think if I could’ve cured it by now I would’ve? Which leads me to my next point.

4. As of right now, there is no cure.

There are treatments that are getting better and better every year, and with each new advancement, life with diabetes tends to get a little bit easier. Even in the 13 and a half years, I’ve had type one, the advancements I’ve witnessed have been amazing. Unfortunately, though, there currently is no cure, and the pessimist in me is unsure if there will be in my lifetime, but I really have no idea.

5. No that’s not a cell phone or a pager or an iPod, it’s my insulin pump.

It amazes me that some people even ask this. Like who uses a pager these days? And what 20-year-old uses one? Also, insulin pumps seriously look nothing like cell phones.

6. Yes, poking myself with a needle hurts.

This one is just common sense. Putting a needle in your skin is not going to feel good, duh.

7. Yes, I’m going to care for my health in public.

Okay, I get being scared of needles or blood. They’re not fun. That being said, if you don’t like looking you can always look another way. I don’t care if managing my health and keeping myself alive makes you uncomfortable.

8. And no, I’m not going to go to the bathroom to do it.

Do you know how many germs and gross stuff there is in a bathroom? Especially a PUBLIC one? I don’t even want to think about it. So no, I’m not going to go there to check my blood sugar, or take a shot, or change my infusion set. Why would I want to do that where people poop? I mean come on.

9. It’s not your grandma’s diabetes.

Odds are, your grandmother doesn’t have type one. Now I’m not saying its impossible, but more often than not, an eighty-year-old most likely doesn’t have type one diabetes.

10. I can do anything you can do.

Sure, sometimes diabetes makes things more difficult, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Look at Nick Jonas or Mark Lowe or Adam Duvall or Halle Berry or Theresa May, just to name a few. If other people can do it, so can someone with diabetes.

11. Yes, I can have children.

Back in the day, women with type one diabetes were discouraged from having children. Today, we have the technology to closely monitor pregnant women with diabetes, making it possible to have a healthy baby and successful pregnancy, as long as we take care of ourselves of course. Besides, why is my reproductive system any of your business?

12. This one applies to me but maybe not all of us: It’s how I met my best friends in the entire world.

Diabetes can really suck sometimes, but even so, it has brought some pretty great things into my life. Without it, I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends and favorite people in the entire world. Without it, I may not have the personal responsibility that I bring with me to everything I do.

Without it, I actually probably wouldn’t have gone to Marquette, in fact, I probably wouldn’t have even considered it (shout out to Maureen). So even though some days I really hate it, there are some things about it that I wouldn’t trade for the world.