Does the Type of Diabetes You Have Matter?

Does the type of diabetes you have matter?

This is the question I’ve been struggling with the last few days. There is a lot of stigma that runs with diabetes, especially with Type 2. But I have always tried to remain neutral and not play the “my kind is worse” card. I’ve never believed that T2 diabetics are “getting what they deserve”. Why? Because the type of diabetes one has depends on many different things, including hereditary factors.

But why am I suddenly wondering if my type matters more?

Last weekend I was with my husband at our friend’s birthday gathering. It was just a bunch of adults drinking some beer and eating chili. The birthday boy’s girlfriend is pregnant. She also happens to have gestational diabetes which she developed about midway through her pregnancy (she only has three weeks left).

Let me set the record straight real quick. This woman was in my wedding. She’s not just some friend that I have. We know each other, and pretty well. She knows fully well that I have T1. That’s why the following conversation is frustrating:

Friend: Yeah, I’m on four shots a day. One at night, and then three for my meals.

Me: I know what that’s like! Which insulins are you using?

Friend: Lantus is the one I take at night. For the meals it’s Humalog.

Me: Oh interesting. What are your doses like?

Friend: 30 units of Lantus EVERY night. It burns so bad. And the Humalog is like 3-4 units depending on what my fasting blood sugar is.

Me: Wow! 30 units is quite a bit and it probably does burn a lot. If it’s at room temperature, it shouldn’t burn as bad as cold insulin. Have you tried splitting it up into multiple areas so that you don’t inject in just one spot? It’s also better for absorption.

Friend: No. It’s okay. I get so many bruises…look!

**eye roll, like I don’t do this every day???? Now I started to get snippy**

Me: Ugh, I totally get it. Fiasp gives me bruises all the time too.

At this point, we took a break in the conversation. Other guests had arrived. But at the table, the following comments were made:

**Important note: when we started eating, she made quite a loud statement that she can’t eat the baguette. Fine, yeah, she probably shouldn’t. But she did eat 45 tortilla chips. Huh??? After the meal, she asked me if tortilla chips had a lot of carbs. Seriously? First, they come out of a bag, read the label, second, if you aren’t sure, why did you eat them?**

Friend & boyfriend: Yeah, diabetes sucks. She has to give shots all the time and it’s stressful.

Me: ……yeah, that’s my life.

Friend & boyfriend: Ugh, can’t wait until the baby is here and it’s just gone! It’s horrible!

Me: ….yeah, mine will never go away.

Friend: Oh! My sister is Type 1 now. She said that her T2 turned into T1.

Me: That’s not possible.

Friend: Well that’s what she said.

Me: But it’s literally not possible. She is more than likely a T2 diabetic who is now dependent on insulin. She is not T1.

Friend: Yeah anyway. It will be so great when this is gone.

**Are you f-ing kidding me????**

I felt betrayed. I felt kicked to the curb. I was on fire inside. The comments that both of them made that evening, despite my empathy and my sincere interest in her care, were thoughtless and insensible. Out of everyone at the party, and perhaps her life, I am the one who can empathize and understand what she’s going through the most.

To make those comments to me, like I somehow don’t live with the same condition, but the one that is autoimmune, that will NEVER go away, was beyond my words. There is literally NOTHING that can cure me right now, or even in the foreseeable  future. Put that into perspective, please.

She should be thankful, but also hopeful, that her diabetes will go away after the birth of her child.

So yes, sometimes it DOES matter to me what type you are, especially if you are the arrogant and insensible type. But if you’re normal about it, I will be too. This disease sucks, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.

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P.S. Here’s a little bit of history that might make my furiousness more understandable. This woman, when we first met 2.5 years ago, told me that she also has diabetes. In these 2.5 years, do you know how many times I ever saw her carb count, test BG, or take insulin or pills for her diabetes? NEVER. Because it doesn’t exist. I think she was probably told that she has a high chance of developing T2 and should be careful, and that was probably interpreted as having it. Center of attention, you know? That sounds cruel, but I can’t make this shit up!

 

8 comments

  1. I actually think gestational diabetes is harder in the short run- keywords being short run. Like your “friend” said it is just that- a short run. You don’t have to have it the rest of your life, just 9 months. That fact alone infuriates me (with jealousy) but also the fact that she and many other gestational diabetics complain about it A LOT. Like you said “welcome to my life!”
    On the flip side, many GD’s are diagnosed halfway through a pregnancy and are told here’s how diabetes works, now test your blood sugar, give yourself insulin, learn what a good BG is, learn how to adjust insulin rates,oh and by the way be pregnant and your baby’s life depends on it. At least for me I had 18 years to “practice” diabetes before I got pregnant. They’re just thrown into it and like most mom’s probably scared to death when they find out something is wrong with the pregnancy.
    So I could argue both sides. When I was pregnant one of the admin’s at my doctor’s office wrote “gestational diabetes” on my discharge forms. I got so mad I complained to my doctor next time that that was in fact a big error. He apologized and immensely but I made the joke “is there something you’re not telling me? Is my diabetes going to be cured in a few months?” I laughed, because that’s all you can do sometimes. I mean we’re going to have this the rest of our lives so might as well add some humor

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your perspective is refreshing to hear! I do not discount what she is going through for a second. It was never about who has it worse, for me. But somehow I felt like she was searching for that affirmation and I just wasn’t going it give it to her. I wanted to be there for her and help as best as I could, but she clearly just didn’t care one way or the other, hence the tortilla chip show.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I too questioned the tortilla chips! I gave up 2 things cold turkey in pregnancy: tortilla chips (and salsa) and pizza. I gave up the chips because 6 of them are 32 carbs. And who the heck eats only 6 chips?? I just avoided the temptation all together. Again, great topic!

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  2. Wow she comes across as very insensitive and even self absorbed. She could possibly have forgotten about your diabetes I was thinking but then you were clearly referring to it so then what was her excuse?! Yeah she’s lucky that she only has to deal with it for a few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh she didn’t forget about my diabetes. Like I said, she was at one point a pretty close friend, who was in my wedding. On my wedding night, my pump broke and she was there to help with everything. No excuses there! Honestly, I’ve always known how self absorbed she was, but just ignored and dealt with it. Not anymore!

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  3. I feel really bad now… I have gestational diabetes (literally just diet controlled so not even that bad) and I’ve been chatting to my T1 diabetic friend bout how crazy hard the whirlwind of getting your head round it all in such a short space of time and the “risks” to baby r frightening to a confused mum plus is how sore your finger get with testing lol. She’s been amazing supportive and I have this whole new level of adoration and respect for her. We lived together through uni so I sort of thought I knew how tough her daily balance of what you can and can’t eat was like but it’s like it’s hit home now.
    But reading this maybe I’ve just been pissing her off with moaning and banging on about myself!! I would feel terrible if I upset her in any way and your conversation sound like something I would moan about without truly thinking about what I said!!!
    This is my apology to all diabetics if us short term GD girls don’t get the real struggle n turn a bit selfish.
    I for one am now obsessed with carb counting and food pairing n it’s all I worry about so the relief of it (hopefully) being over soon, so the risk of unintionally harming my baby through accidental hypers is gone, is never close enough!!
    It’s an eye opener though, I will always have a deeper respect of the world of diabetes even if this trip was short lived n largely minimal xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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