Last week I posted about how anxious I get in public, when I am addressing my diabetes. Injecting in public makes me sweat. It makes me want to run away and hide. I feel like everyone is watching me when I whip out my diabetes kit. Watching me. Judging me. I feel like a criminal, and people are watching me, waiting to take my next move. My next move with that dodgy looking needle. The needle that delivers insulin, because my pancreas is broken. I’m not a criminal, I feel like yelling to those watchful eyes.
It’s really quite amazing, when I hear what people truly believe about diabetes. The things I’ve heard in my office, have made me chuckle and angry, simultaneously.
“I don’t want you to give me diabetes”
“This chocolate bar is going to give me diabetes”
“Why have you got diabetes? Only fat people get diabetes”
As funny as it is to hear these comments, it’s worrying to see that this is the view of people who may not have any experience of diabetes. Sure, they might not have been diagnosed with diabetes, but it is estimated that over 600,000 people in the UK have the condition, without knowing it. Scary statistic.
It is these comments that show just how little is known about diabetes. Is it no wonder so many people are potentially living with diabetes, without knowing it?
For those who are living with the condition, wouldn’t it be nice if they could get on with their lives, like normal people, without feeling like they’re being judged? Any sort of stereotyping is frustrating to hear. The last thing I want when I’m trying to keep up with the rollercoaster of diabetes, is people making comments about how I have the ‘bad’ kind of diabetes because I’m type 1, or that I obviously ate too many sweets as a child – I didn’t eat a lot of sweet things when I was a child, my mum always ended up sneaking the sweets out of my Easter egg, because I took so long to eat them!
Diabetes is hard enough, without these sorts of comments and judgments. How about we do something to educate EVERYONE about diabetes – not just those who are already living with the condition.