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We are fighting with ourselves

fighting diabetic

We are at war, people!  Allow me to explain…

Earlier this week, Sara wrote a post on her blog Moments of Wonderful about a man with Type 2 diabetes that she had a conversation with and the shame that he associated with moving toward insulin-therapy in his diabetes management.

If you don’t read Sara’s blog, you should start.  She is living with type 1, and her posts vary between stories of living with diabetesand news about industry.  And like most of her posts, in the one mentioned above she did a really great job of explaining her feelings without also commanding that everyone reading agree with her. The “P.S.” from her post kind of wraps things up nicely:

I don’t think insulin = failure is an issue just for people with type 2 diabetes. I know I have been in situations where it is so tempting to compare basal rates or total daily doses with other people with type 1 when really our insulin amounts have very little to do with each other.

After reading her post on Tuesday I thought, “Yeah…you’re right Sara!  Good post.”  I walked away from my computer and went on with life.  When I returned to the Interweb, a civil war had broken out!  The war was started when the JDRF posted a link to Sara’s post.

jdrf posts sara nicastro's moments of wonderful blog post diabetes

JDRF’s Facebook link to Sara’s post

The comments on this Facebook link were varied, but the majority of them were from people with type 1 diabetes, or with children that have type 1 diabetes and the general comment was something like, “We did nothing to deserve this like THOSE people.”

It’s ironic that Sara’s post was born from a place of acceptance and understanding and brought about more fingerpointing and misunderstanding.  I feel strongly that no person living with diabetes is responsible for having this condition.  Read that last sentence again, then stick a fork in me.

I know that many people agree with Sara and I.  Many people feel that this fight is counterproductive.  And many people feel that we need to move past this. Stick forks in all of us.

As people pointed out when commenting, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are not exactly the same, but as demonstrated by Sara explaining that all of us have different basal rates, her type 1 and my type 1 are also not exactly the same. This stuff is tricky.  It’s confusing.  And we are better off if we can all lean on one another…regardless of the number in our label.

This long civil war we’ve been fighting reminded me of a Diabetes Secret from a couple of weeks ago from a tired soldier:

A diabetes secret posted to tumblr about type 1 and type 2 differences

via My Diabetes Secret on Tumblr

It’s really time to stop fighting this war with ourselves, because at the end of it the only people that lose are people in our own army.  Allow me to quote from one of the army generals (and full-disclosure he also signs my paychecks) Manny Hernandez on the topic:

Back in the 80′s, people who were HIV/AIDS positive and negative joined together, because the stigma was affecting all of them. I recommend that everyone touched by diabetes watches the documentary “How To Survive a Plague“, so we can all get a sense of the unique challenges that this community faced and how they overcame them.

You may say: “HIV/AIDS is so different from diabetes. Diabetes is not contagious. There’s no point in comparing ourselves.” I would argue that a majority of people with diabetes live in the DIABETES CLOSET, and because of this, WE as a diabetes community, are in the DIABETES CAVE… we’re not being seen enough, all types of diabetes are not getting enough exposure, visibility, and deserved attention.

So I call a cease fire.  Everyone put away your weapons.  All is forgiven…let’s start healing.

“To a mankind that recognizes the equality of man everywhere, every war becomes a civil war.”
– Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

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