Type 1, Type 2, LADA, Gestational, diabetes brought on by surgery . . . . the list of types of diabetes goes on. Each type may have differences, but ultimately they are all diabetes. When we think about it, there is a whole lot that all types have in common. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit for some differences too. So lets look back to our “Breaking down the barriers between types” chat on September 10th and discuss . . . . .
Anything easy about living with your type of diabetes that isn’t easy for another type?When I was first diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago it was with Type 2 diabetes despite being having no family history, only having 140 pounds on my 5' 10" frame, and being fairly active. No blood tests were ever run, I was simply told to adjust my diet and take these pills. Eventually, a couple of weeks later (yes, you read that correctly, a couple weeks), I was told it was time to get a meter and start monitoring my blood sugar. That is a story for another time, what I want to focus on is adjusting my diet. I went pretty gung ho on the low carb diet and brought my A1c from 11 to 6.5 pretty quickly. I ate a lot of cheese, meat, and veggies. I paid extra money for low carb bread, found low carb recipes on line. That Thanksgiving I even made a chocolate pie with an almond meal crust and sugar free pudding mix just for me. It was expensive, and as you can probably guess, left something to be desired in the taste department. I only had a small serving of potatoes, skipped most of the desserts, and simply sat by and watched others enjoy their typical Turkey Day meal. I made do with the change in diet and accepted that this was what I had to do to be healthy but it wasn't easy, and boy did I miss those Snickers and Almond Joys. When I did cheat or slip for a few days I was left feeling guilty by the numbers on my meter. Then when even the low carb lifestyle was not returning the desired results I started to give up on it and eat what I want. Not testing very often was an easy fix for the guilt. Fast forward a little to when I fired my doctor and found someone else who confirmed the correct Type 1 diagnosis I had began to accept and I was started on insulin. It scared the crap out of me at first. All those injections! But the bright side was that I could loosen the chains on my diet and still see BG numbers that didn't make me feel like I was some sort of heathen. I've seen three sides of the D-life. Life without diabetes, life as a Type 2 diabetic (stigma and comments about how skinny I am included), and life as a Type 1 diabetic. There have been things to accept and things to enjoy with all of them. But I think the thing that came with the biggest sense of relief for me when I started on insulin (other than the realization that all the BG number in the 200's and 300's weren't my fault) was the freedom to eat what I wanted and the ability to correct a high number much more easily. I still don't eat the way I did before my pancreas called it quits. I still enjoy my soda, but in the diet variety and the sugary snacks are fewer and farther between. But I can go to any of my favorite restaurants and enjoy that side of mashed potatoes, a buttery roll, or a bowl of pasta and, with a little math, minimize it's effect on my blood sugar pretty easily. When I see that 250 or 300 on the meter I know that I can correct it with a bolus of Humalog rather than playing the long waiting game, walking around the neighborhood (although it still helps) and impatiently checking my meter for hours. So the way that I know I have it easier than someone living with Type 2 diabetes (and I'm sure there are a lot more than just this) is that I can eat what I want and cover it with insulin to avoid blood sugars that get too high and take small steps to easily correct a high blood sugar.
This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/10/october-dsma-blog-carnival-4