Less Intense? Hrm…

Rumor has it that a group of people with type 1 diabetes want the name of the condition changed. They don’t want to be put in the same mixing bowl with people who have type 2 diabetes because “some people believe the type 2 diabetes epidemic is taking attention away from type 1 and needed research.” While I understand the argument, and it makes sense in my head, there are statements in this article I simply don’t agree with.

When people say type 2 diabetes requires “less intense” treatment, does this mean it’s less intense because we don’t need insulin? Because I know more than a few people with type 2 diabetes who actually require the use of insulin, and they have to struggle every day with basals, hypos, a pancreas that finally gave out, etc. But that’s not the only issue I have with the whole “type 2 diabetes is easier to handle” thing; diabetes, at least in my case, doesn’t come alone.

If you want to put me in the “just diet and exercise can make you better” wagon, I would agree wholeheartedly and jump right in. But let me tell you the story of how freaking hard it is for me to manage my diabetes with a history of PCOS, hypothyroidism, a pituitary tumor and recurrent clinical depression. My endocrine system declared war on me from a very early age, and here I am at 38, feeling like it doesn’t matter what I do, I’ll always be the chubby woman people point at because she has diabetes. When someone states that “living with type 1 diabetes causes emotional stress, a mental exhaustion, and sometimes anguish from doing this every day,” I truly hope it’s just semantics and that it doesn’t imply people with type 2 diabetes don’t carry the same emotional burden… we do, perhaps at a different level, but we still do.

And no, I’m not coming up with excuses. There are days when I wake up and I know that if I made better decisions the day before, I probably wouldn’t be feeling like crap. But that’s not the point here. What I’m trying to say here is that if type 1 and type 2 diabetes are not be put in the same category, then stop comparing them. But making type 2 diabetes sound like an easier condition to handle is not the way you’re going to get the point across.

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2 thoughts on “Less Intense? Hrm…

  1. Just finished reading the article. I’m a Type 1 who has problems with a number of statements made in the piece. And just from my own point of view: I’ve got a sister-in-law who was diagnosed Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) this year, and we’ve had a couple of opportunities to share our different routines with each other. Type 1 is hard, but comparing our stories, it’s clear that her Type 2 requires waaay more intense management than my Type 1.

  2. Bea,

    I’ve sat beside you at a restaurant table after we ate all the things. Your blood sugar was high. Mine was high. I injected a few units of insulin and was good to go in two hours. You were still drinking water, exercising and waiting, waiting, and waiting for your blood glucose to lower. Would I trade? Never. It made me sad.

    Type 2 is not the easy version. There is no easy version. We do the best we can every day. We need to support one another instead of putting each other down.

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