T1D & FOOD
February 8, 2015
The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague at work. She was telling
me about her friend who has type 1 diabetes and didn't like talking about it, telling people
she had it or letting anyone see her deal with it.
I felt so sad for her. It made me wonder why and how people could feel that way.
Is it because they're embarrassed?
Or maybe it's because T1D is commonly misunderstood and she doesn't want to be judged
or given a label of 'you ate too much sugar' as though she had control of her condition
and is at fault?
I may be wrong and it could be something as simple as she hasn't come to terms with it
herself, but, I think it comes down to education. So many people don't understand the
difference between the types and simply categorise them all as just 'diabetes'.
Another girl joined in on our conversation and spoke about her friend being at a concert
when she had a low and tried to buy a soft drink at the bar to which the attendant said
"it's closed". I mean, this isn't someone just feeling thirsty and if that was me seeing my sister
being refused, gee, that attendant would have gotten a crash course on T1D pretty clearly,
probably in front of their manager!
It's almost at though Type 1 needs a completely different name... One that doesn't
associate itself with the stereotype the word 'diabetes' carries already.
There's a difference!
There's a BIG difference!
Sometimes, us non-type 1 diabetics get it wrong and don't understand. But, I promise that
a lot of people really do care and want to understand, help and support you.
Back to the first story though, I'm sure there are lots of people in her position. People who
aren't coping with their diagnosis, feel different, feel as though they don't fit in and some
that are just left confused and struggle with themselves. I may not completely understand
what you're going through but I understand it would be hard.
As someone who does know (a little bit compared to T1D's) about type 1 diabetes, I promise
I'm not judging you in any way and I guarantee there are many people like me.
I understand you're not at fault for anything.
I hope you feel empowered by your strengths and that you don't let anything or anyone
belittle you because of their ignorance.
Through my sister, I see your courage and I feel your courage... and I only want to reassure
you, that even though you may feel alone, many people care about you.
Only the toughest people are given the greatest challenges so my little reminder to you all is...
You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
No illness defines anyone!