Over the weekend I had someone ask me a diabetes question. I was really excited to teach someone about having diabetes and explaining the difference between the two and what the likelihood is of someone developing it. I often use my story as an example because lets face it, it’s easier to explain something once you have experienced it yourself and have educated yourself about it. During our conversation an onlooker decided they wanted to butt in because they think they know more about my disease, than I do.
This is very frustrating for me. This was an educating moment about something very personal for me. All I wanted to do was help someone understand the two types of diabetes and how the two differed. I felt I was making great strides with this person and then the interruption happened. Now, don’t get me wrong I am all for people correcting me if I am wrong with information I am giving to someone, if they are a doctor in the field or have diabetes themselves. But if you are not either of those things, for me it feels kind of like someone who has never been pregnant telling someone they know everything about pregnancy because their best friend was just pregnant. It’s different for everyone situation to situation and again I cannot stress this enough I hate it when people tell me or treat me like I do not have an autoimmune disease, but instead did this to myself through my lifestyle choices.
I was very proud of myself. I managed to hold myself together rather than turn into the fire-breathing dragon I can become in situations similar to this. It is my hot button. I managed to just calmly say that my disease has nothing to do with eating sweets as a child and continued to teach the person asking for information. After the person who felt they knew everything about diabetes left the room, I clarified again the difference between the two and that even though I have had a completely different disease for almost 8 years that person still seems confused about my disease. Luckily, the person I was teaching took in what I had to say and was happy to learn a little something about both types of diabetes.
I am sorry this sounds a little bit like a rant. But like I said this is a huge hot button for me. I am very passionate about educating the world about Type 1 diabetes and if I knew a little more about Type 2 diabetes I would love to give more information about it as well. Until then, I will stick to the basics that I know and the difference between the two. But please, if you have a family member with either type of diabetes, please be respectful and understand that they may know a little more about their disease then you do.