Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Judgement, Skepticism & Ignorance

Oh, man, I've been a little sad the past few days about an "incident" my husband and I had the other night.

We went over to another couple's house for dinner a few nights ago, and somehow got on the subject of health, eating right, etc. Well, turns out this couple are WAY into natural health remedies, as in they probably haven't used modern prescription medicine in years, and tend to treat any problems they have with diet, supplements, and essential oils. Let me say first thing, that I'm not opposed to any of that. I believe you should treat whatever you can naturally, and that diet and exercise play a huge role in keeping you healthy. But I also know that there are certain illness like, oh, Type 1 diabetes for example, that cannot be treated by supplements or herbal remedies, or whatever.

While we were having dinner, the wife (who knows I have diabetes) started saying things like, "well, you're not going to go on that insulin pump, are you," and "well, I assume you will want to have kids eventually," and "well, have you tried going off insulin?" Usually in situations like this, I just simply educate people on how Type 1s must always take insulin, that you can not control Type 1 with just diet and exercise, and that not taking insulin means I will die. I did all of those usual myth-dispelling things.

The thing that got me, was that both she and her husband seemed to not believe me! They seemed really skeptical that I had to take insulin (even though I explained the differences between Type 1 & Type 2), and seemed a little judgmental that I'm still taking insulin and that I actually want to go on an insulin pump. I felt like they just didn't believe that I was trying hard enough or eating right or exercising or something. Granted, they are about 30 years older than us, so maybe age has something to do with it, but in my experience, people of their generation seem to be really tethered to modern medicine, not to "natural" medicine. So, I was really surprised and disheartened when they seemed skeptical that I had to take insulin the rest of my life. I felt really judged, like I was somehow allowing myself to stay "unhealthy" because I'm still using insulin.

So, I didn't know what to do. The conversation kind of fizzled out after that, and my husband (who is amazing) did a great job at trying to help myth-bust too, and then change the subject when it didn't work. But, I just came away feeling very judged.

It just makes me realize that we have a lot of education to do in the diabetes community! It also made me realize that there are just some people out there who will not be moved from what they think they know, and that there might not be anything you can do about it.

Any suggestions, peeps? How do you handle situations like this?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolving diabetes.

While I wish my diabetes would just freaking resolve itself, it doesn't seem like that is ever going to happen in my lifetime. Instead, I will have to work on resolving things myself, I suppose. So, here for you is a list of New Year's resolutions regarding diabetes:

1. Lower my A1C to at least the mid 6 range.
  • Test at least 8 times a day
  • Log tests and food and exercise
  • Correct if high
  • Correct with glucose tabs if low
  • Exercise more often (this goal is expanded upon in detail on my personal blog)
2. Visit an endocrinologist regularly (This year I have much better insurance, and a lower deductible, so this should be easier to do!)
  • Find an endo that takes my insurance and that I jive with (no more putting up with crappy endos for me!)
  • Make an appointment, and then keep in contact/coming back as much as they want me to and as much as I can afford
3. Get Other exams that I should be regularly getting as a Type 1 diabetic:
  • Dude, it's been a long time since I've seen a dentist.
  • I need to see an eye doctor to get my glasses Rx updated.
  • I also probably need to see a retinal specialist to get my tiny bit of retinopathy checked up on.
  • See whatever other doctor my endo suggests I see.
While I have been working my you-know-what off for the past 5-ish years to get in decent control while being under- or un-insured, I now have the means to get in even better control, so I'm resolving to do it!

Wish me luck!

What are YOUR diabetes goals this year?