Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not Your Type

I have a hard time when people start throwing around what a type 1 or type 2 diabetic looks like. First of all, no type 1 or type 2 diabetic looks the same. When we put diabetes aside we are all people here.  I recently saw a quote that was set against some pretty flowers with pretty font and at first I was pretty drawn to it, it said something like, 'my diabetes isn't the kind of diabetes you see on T.V' and at first I got really annoyed by it, but then I gave it the benefit of the doubt, but to be honest I am not sure what the author of the quote meant by it.

First, I immediately thought this is type 2 shaming.  I admit, I am quick to tell people that I have type 1 diabetes even though most people have no idea what that means.  Most people when they ask are basically asking, "Did you do this to yourself you poor soul?" and really if they asked me that, then I could simply say,  "NO, no I did not," and walk away. 

The reason I am quick to tell them isn't because I think being associated with type 2's is bad, because frankly, I know some awesome type 2 diabetics, including my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa.  BUT, it's not what I know about diabetes because I know that I know more than the general public when it comes to diabetes.  It is what the media says about diabetes. So, that brings me back to giving that author the benefit of the doubt in saying that the media does NOT do a good job at talking about diabetes.  They make diabetics look obese, elderly, out of shape, useless, a pain in the butt, the list goes on.  When really, we are all awesome . . . okay that's bias.

The poster that I am doubtful about. Source: Unknown

So, if the author of that quote is saying indeed that those living with ANY kind of diabetes, does not represent the type of diabetes on T.V, then perfect.   BUT if the author of the quote is suggesting that the type of diabetes shown on the media is a representation of type 2 diabetes, and therefore, the type of diabetes on T.V is not MY diabetes....then, I don't like the flowery, beautifully designed quote. 

I don't think that any kind of diabetes is properly represented in the media and that's okay, because if Family Guy or the Simpsons gets a kick out of someone needing sugar or eating too much of it, then whatever - that's comedy and we can't get our head caught up in that.    BUT, I don't think that we should say things like, "Well for type 2's that may be true, but type 1 is much different." Okay, they are very different diseases in some aspects, but unless you are in fact a type 2, I don't think it's fair for us type 1's to make any kind of judgement.    

I know healthy, active, young type 2 diabetics that do not deserve to be stereotyped by anyone.   When explaining diabetes to my friends, family, or strangers at the grocery store, I try to give a clear and non-stereotypical explanation of all the different types of diabetes.  It's important that all of those living with diabetes work together, because I believe we can all learn from one another and pitting against each other isn't okay.



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