I came across an interesting concept, today. One that got me smiling. The term ‘type 3 diabetes’.
We’ve all heard about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, maybe you’ve even heard about MODY or LADA. There might even be a few of you who are familiar with the phrase ‘type 0’. Ultimately, a type zero is a person who doesn’t have diabetes. Within the diabetes online community, it seems to be used to describe people who make unfair judgements or irrational statements about diabetes. You know – don’t let me catch diabetes from you – oh, my cat has diabetes! The things that make us diabetics put our head in our hands and think ‘did you really just say that’.
Having done some research this morning (It’s Monday morning, no one does actual work on a Monday morning!), it appears that type 3 is being used to describe the support networks of people who have diabetes. I absolutely LOVE this idea. You know I love me a reason to talk about support networks…
I’m always thinking about who supports me in my battle against diabetes, who doesn’t, and who doesn’t even know I have diabetes (I have very little enthusiasm to blog about that minority).
I’m eternally grateful for everyone within my circle of support. Every branch of it offers me something different, but it all builds up to me being able to keep on top of my diabetes and feel OK with the fact that I have this condition.
Family. My rock and my stepping stones. Maybe I’m just lucky, but my family are so understanding when it comes to how I deal with my diabetes. Granted, I do still get the occasional ‘should you be eating that’, but that is nothing compared to the times they’ve been there to run around looking for something to treat my hypo, or checking my sugar levels if I’m acting super sleepy. I cannot thank my family enough for helping me through the rollercoaster that diabetes has led me through – the physical, the practical, the psychological effects. Diabetes can be overwhelming at times, and it would be very lonely if I didn’t have my family.
Non-Diabetic Friends. Otherwise known as type zero’s. Very few of my friends have diabetes. I’ll admit it was difficult for me when I was diagnosed. I often felt angry that people didn’t seem to understand what I was going through, and why I didn’t want to constantly drink alcohol or eat takeaway every night. However, there have been a few people in my life who have been so incredibly understanding. I wrote about one particular person recently. Just the notion that someone wants to try to understand what diabetes is, is enough. I am grateful for these lovely people.
Diabetic friends. I have met some amazing people through the fact that I have diabetes. Through the doc and volunteering for Diabetes UK, I have laughed, worked, vented, and travelled with incredible people who are all just like me – they have diabetes. If I didn’t have diabetes, I would not have had the opportunity to meet these people.
Diabetes Online Community. It took a year and a half for me to discover the DOC. I don’t know how I managed before then. Despite the limits of 140 characters, I met Lizzie on Twitter. I find it funny that not only do we both have diabetes, but we were both diagnosed as having type 1.5. Together, we now meet up regularly, and have both been involved in setting up the Basildon Diabetes UK voluntary group.
Aside from Twitter, I’ve been posting to this blog for 2 years, next month. Through this blog, I’ve gotten talking to people from all around the world, from all walks of life. But there’s always one thing that we have in common. Diabetes. I blog because I want to share my experiences with diabetes, so that others can relate to my experiences. At the same time though, I absolutely love reading about other people’s experiences. It’s so easy to pass hours of time, simply reading other people’s blogs.
The diabetes online community is a powerful thing. Even the healthcare professionals are getting on board with it. This is great, and I hope it continues to grow. What I do want though, is for social media networking to be recognised as a proper support network, when people are diagnosed with diabetes.
Everyone listed in this post then, could in theory be classed as a type 3. They are involved and support someone who lives with diabetes.Of course, there may be people wh oread this post and ask why I feel the need to label everyone. I don’t. The thing is, I’m just trying to close the bridge between diabetes and non diabetes.