Why November is rapidly becoming a month I’m not lovin’ so much.

I have a problem with the month of April.  Really crappy things have happened in the month of April and now, whenever that month rolls around, I sort of wish we could skip over those thirty days and get on with May.

November is a bit of a rough month though too.  I was born in November and, seven and a half hours after I was born, my maternal grandfather died of lung cancer.  Exactly one week later, my paternal great-grandmother died.  I’ve grown up with the memories of others in regards to these two individuals and, I must confess, I always feel a little ripped off.

But for the most part, November is a wonderful month.  I love fall and the crisp, clean(er) air it brings.  I love the colour changing and wearing berets and, yes, I even love the cold, wet weather too.

This time though, I’m not loving November quite so much.

For those of us in the diabetic community, it’s Diabetes month, except that, for those living with the disease, every month is diabetes month and we’re all painfully aware of it.

Until this year, I had no idea there was World Diabetes Day (November 14th this year, in case you’d like to “celebrate” it).  I had no idea that there was a blue circle to “brand diabetes” and “give diabetes a common identity”.  Ignorance, as they say, was bliss.

But then I got diagnosed and the last four months have been anything but easy.  And I’ve been on the internet ever since learning about my diabetes and trying to understand the other diabetes out there.

“So what’s your type?”

Mine is the suck ass kind and after reading another (much admired) blog post on World Diabetes Day, I’m not sure I will ever want to answer that question again.

It shouldn’t matter what type you are. Diabetes, all around,  supremely sucks sweaty monkey balls.  No, I can’t relate to having my tubing getting caught on a door knob (I can only imagine!).  I don’t know what it’s like to have to take insulin on a regular basis for the rest of my life in order to survive, but I can learn about it and try to empathize and not be so obtuse to that type.

So imagine my surprise, as I was reading this blog post, that I started getting the general sense that I, along with anyone else who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, that I somehow asked for it.  That I made a lifestyle choice to get diabetes.

I am going to stop for a moment and say that the rest of this post is born out of the anger and frustration of being a diabetic and knowing I am actively doing things to improve the quality of my life and, I hope, for others.

I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

Sure.  Maybe T2D is largely preventable.  It’s much more largely preventable if it’s actually talked about.  But in my case, I wasn’t ever told that I could be running the risk of getting diabetes.

I had no idea the constant stress I was under was making me a candidate for this shitty disease.  I had no idea that my poor sleeping habits weren’t helping the situation either.  I thought I was doing good – I don’t drink any alcohol, I don’t smoke (and I miss a good cigar!), I don’t do recreational drugs.  Hell, I don’t even go to McDonald’s!

Yes, I could have been a bit more active or not had that bag of crisps or whatever, but again, I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

I absolutely resent (many things actually) that my diabetes was a lifestyle choice.  I did not knowingly ever make a lifestyle choice to become diabetic. Never once did I have a medical professional or a pharmacist or anyone say to me, “Hey, you know… you’re getting older and you’re not as active as you once were.  Did you know all that stress and being less active and not eating as healthy as you should could lead you to a path of diabetes?”  It was never in the equation.

Would it have made a difference?  I don’t know.  I’d like to think that perhaps it would have, but I’m not sure.  I am not the same person I was this time, last year.

Maybe there is a huge bias in this year’s awareness campaign towards T2D.  I’m sorry for that.  I almost feel personally responsible because, and God knows, T2D’s are taking over the world one body at a time.

This is in no way meant to diminish the severity of Type 1.  Again, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have Type 1 and I’m not going to pretend to try.  I try to understand it better than some, I try to learn things from those that are afflicted with it and I want to be someone that helps in the battle to find a cure for it.

But I want to find a cure for Type 2 as well.

Maybe that is “diet and exercise” for the masses, but for fuck’s sake, someone start saying that out loud; louder than it’s been said before.  Because while T1D’s had absolutely no control over their disease, and while a percentage of T2D’s may have a predisposition, nobody sets out to become diabetic.

I get enough guilt thrown at me from my government and health care professionals.  I would hope the diabetic community wouldn’t start throwing guilt at T2D’s too.

(As an aside, I have found far more many blogs about T1D than T2D.  I wondered why that was but… I think I get it now.)

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About RogueGirl

I like my music loud, drink tea and coffee, adore X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man comics, living straight edge, and studying both nutrition and CompTIA A+ certifications. I am a bit of a nerd. View all posts by RogueGirl

9 responses to “Why November is rapidly becoming a month I’m not lovin’ so much.

  • Sugar Free Mountain Biking

    Yep, I could have written that post too.

    I avoid most diabetes news out there as it’s depressing, far easier said than done though.

    If I could offer any advice it’s not to let others define what things mean to you. It’s your November, your life and your diabetes. Work out how to enjoy it best you can.

    If you work out how to get that right then let me know how 🙂

    • RogueGirl

      You have said many a wise word to me. You are one of the few people who I can truly look back on and say, “Yup. It was because of things he said that have truly changed my outlook on my view of diabetes.”

      So I’ll work on getting things right and will let you know my progress, but only if you promise to keep sharing kernels of wisdom. 🙂

  • mjohnson9706

    Both my grandmothers are T2, I’m T2. I think Diabetes awareness is great, but I also think it would have been nice as a T2 that there was more “awareness” going on at my dr. appts, rather than him just stating the obvious, “you need to lose some weight”.

    The way I see it is that the general public knows there is a such thing as Diabetes, heck the general public most likely knows as much about diabetes as I did the first 4 years after diagnosis.

    Anyways, I respect the T1s, they’ve been dealt a bad hand, but that doesn’t mean that we T2s were just asking for it. I ate the same standard American diet as my sisters and my brother, they didn’t get Diabetes. The reasoning behind the whole lifestyle choice is pretty dumb to me, as maybe I hit the genetic lottery (sarcasm), but I sure as heck did not ask to be diabetic, and the whole “oh, you got the kind that’s not so bad” gets old.

    Thank you for not holding back.

  • t1dActiveLiving

    Thank you for this post. I’m going to admit to you that I, too, used to have a terrible assumption that many pre-diabetics were told they could prevent diabetes, and yet chose not to listen. When I had read about how diet and exercise could prevent the disease, as a type 1, it seemed illogical that someone would not take the steps and then end up with the disease. Having a completely defunct pancreas comes with huge challenges. I would never wish type 1 diabetes on anyone, so it was really hard for me to understand why someone would put themselves in that position.

    However, as time went on and I grew to know more about diabetes in general and I can tell you my assumptions were quickly put aside. I now know that genetics plays a huge role in getting the disease. Plus, until you walk in someone’s shoes, none of us are in a position to judge what decisions he or she has made or know the path to which someone gets diabetes. None of us wants it. Period. I believe we are all doing the best we can.

    I don’t want people to make assumptions or spread miseducation about my diabetes or challenges in any aspects of my life.

    If there is one thing this whole process of diabetes has taught be is to not judge, and to listen to people’s stories. It has taught me to keep my mind open. I am constantly dealing with people misunderstanding my disease, and I’m sure, as you’ve noted, you have to do the same.

    You have great strength. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It has further opened my eyes. I look forward to learning more about type 2 diabetes. Because whether you have type 1, type 2, LADA or MODY, we all should come together to help and support one another.

    Jessica

  • R.C.

    As a felllow T2 I understand. I’ve unfortunately seen a lot of hate thrown our way from other diabetics online. Mostly bitter exclamations of “well at least *I* didn’t do it to myself! Mine’s autoimmune!”

    Let’s get real here, many of us who develop type 2 weren’t living RISKY and DANGEROUS lifestyles compared to everyone else. I know plenty of people whose diets are way poorer than mine ever was and they’re not diabetic. Many aren’t even overweight.

    My main problem with this year’s campaign is the focus on prevention. Yes, some cases are probably preventable, but I know mine wasn’t. Delay-able, maybe, but preventable probably not. Every single member of my family (except my sister and grandmother) has diabetes of some type. All ages, all shapes and sizes. And many type 2s probably would have developed it as they age anyway if their genetics where geared that way. My grandpa is bone thin, active his entire life (military man and then avid tennis player) and he still got it.

    Anyway, glad to see another T2 blogger on here 🙂 We need our voices heard too!

    • RogueGirl

      Thanks for sharing your story R.C.

      I agree, there are many cases of preventable Type 2 diabetes out there, but it’s just not being talked enough to people who may be able to do something about it.

      But for those who are in a place where it’s almost destiny, how do you prevent that?

      These, along with the differences between Type’s 1 and 2, LADA and gestational need to be addressed in a fulsome manner, not just, “Hey, let’s talk about prevention.”

      I’m looking forward to checking out another T2 blog! So, so glad you reached out to me!

  • meltwicediabetes

    Hi There,

    I am one of those type 1s out there but I hear ya. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “I get enough guilt thrown at me from my government and health care professionals. ” Add to that the so-called diabetes organisations that I believe are mainly to blame for all the shame and stigma that is heaped upon “people with diabetes”. You can’t really blame type 1s for trying to opt out of that, sure sometimes our anger at all that does get directed at type 2s instead of where it belongs but seriously, I don’t believe it’s type 1s that are causing the major problem here.

    Type 2s need to revolt against the diabetes organisations that promote this stigma and the other messages to which you object. With a world wide population that exceeds that of the United States, govts could rise and fall on the diabetic vote.

    Oh and you’re right about prevention that IS the theme of World Diabetes Day (so how annoying if you’re a type 1 and there is NO prevention or even way to delay your diabetes but WDD implies that there is-so you’re lumped in with stigma but awareness of your type of disease is totally ignored).

    • RogueGirl

      I’m so glad you understand that my dismay/frustration etc. isn’t with Type 1’s. I can only imagine the frustration and anger and the perpetual roller coaster ride that is life with Type 1. I think that’s why I admire so many of the eloquent bloggers out there that have it – I don’t think I’d have that strength to carry on that they do.

      And again, I think you hit the nail on the head when you say Type 2’s need to revolt against diabetes organizations and health administrations and government agencies and the like.

      Anyway, I hope my rant wasn’t such that I was doing exactly the thing I didn’t want to, and that’s to point fingers and lay blame at those who are affected with Type 1. On the contrary, I want to understand it better so when I do get up on my soap box, and I scream and yell and try to get the message across that, the name may be the same, but the types of diabetes are vastly different (and sadly, not all cases are preventable as is suggested), that I sound mildly intelligent and not a blathering idiot. 🙂

  • meltwicediabetes

    Had to come back to tell you about my WDD blog post, you may appreciate it, it’s about stopping the blame game & uniting to make the most of our combined strength.

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