This is the first time I have participated in the Diabetes Blog Week. What a great way to start by getting the chance to tell how you about my passion of educating people about Type 1 diabetes. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t know a single thing about diabetes, my first thought was I couldn’t eat anything that had sugar in it and let me tell you almost everything does. It was stressful and difficult because I knew nothing about my disease and at that time I was managing it alone. I started to research everything I could get my hands on and worked with my doctor to learn everything I could about diabetes. Overtime, I got the hang of it. I learned how Type 1 isn’t about restricting what you can eat, but more about learning how your body digests the things you do eat and controlling your blood sugar with insulin.
Once I’d gotten my diabetes education under control it become more and more clear that the rest of the world had no idea what this disease was, let alone how to differentiate between the two types. People would hear I had diabetes and tell me that if I just ate correctly and exercised regularly it would go away. This was hard to hear because people felt it was ok to speak into my disease even though they themselves knew nothing about it. The fact that they didn’t understand that there are two types and what the difference is between the two was one issue, but then when they grouped the two together was even worse.
There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, no weight loss regime to end it, and no magic pill. Most of us get it in our childhood and will have it until the day we die. And yet, most people who talk with us will admit to not knowing what Type 1 is. People will wonder why one diabetic has to use insulin and another can just take a pill. People are still unsure of how I can eat sweets while having diabetes. Or worse, some people consider me to have a “bad case” of diabetes because I need insulin to survive. For me, this is not ok. We have taken two diseases and jumbled them up so much that no one really knows anything real about either one and that’s a problem in my book.
I started my blog (I Run On Batteries) because I wanted to help educate people about Type 1. I wanted to tell my story of living with diabetes, share topics other diabetics could relate to and hopefully change someone perspective about Type 1. When you Google diabetes you often see more information about Type 2 which is fine because lets face it there are a lot more Type 2 diabetics than Type 1 diabetics. But part of me feels that the reason no one understands Type 1 is because there is more of a focus on Type 2 and that’s not ok. We need to shine the light on Type 1 as much as we do Type 2 and hopefully help people to see that they are two different diseases.