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.
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!