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[IP] Re: Types of Diabetes

Since I was diagnosed with Type 1 last year at the age of 49 (following four 
months of ineffective treatment with a succession of various oral agents 
because my PCP insisted I had Type 2), I understand the frustration and 
confusion that often accompany diabetes-related discussions. As a result, 
when it's clear someone is clueless about the differences in diabetes 
etiology, treatment, prognosis, etc., sometimes I just find it easier to say 
I have "juvenile" diabetes. This seems to immediately call up vivid images of 
cinematic scenes--e.g., see Steel Magnolias or Panic Room--in which colorful 
representations of life-threatening BG levels publicly reflect our private 
concerns and/or experiences. Though I don't like having to resort to outdated 
jargon, this has seemed to work better than giving a lengthy lecture to those 
who, for one reason or another, have a limited understanding of Type 1 vs. 
Type 2. 

It would be great if there were a better way of approaching the critical 
differences between 1 and 2, especially for those with Type 1 who initially 
may be misdiagnosed as Type 2, who might benefit from starting insulin sooner 
rather than later in the hope of preserving at least some beta cells. When I 
went on the pump in October eight months after Type 1 was diagnosed, my CDE 
and pump trainer, while encouraging, was not averse to pointing out the wide, 
rapid fluctuations in BGLs related to the severity of beta cell destruction 
that had already occurred.

So, when someone without much knowledge on this subject invariably responds 
to my situation with that all-too-familiar condescending look and line about 
how this might have all been prevented in the first place, I really don't 
have the energy to invest any time and effort in educating her unless she 
asks. Image-conjuring jargon is a relatively quick, easy, and relatively 
painless response, it seems, in light of the current cultural bias. And if 
someone has chosen to believe diabetes can be someone's "fault," that's too 
bad. I'm no longer listening to him. The truth is out there for those who 
care to become informed.

Paradigm pumping since 10/02
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