Diabetes: What's in a name?


It's diabetes awareness month—oh wait. It just ended (where does the time go?). I digress. Among the usual awareness raising campaigns and events, alongside calls to arms, I mean action, against America's obesity—and therefore TYPE 2 epidemic—a little debate among those of us in the know seems to have picked up a bit of steam.

The big question: Should TYPE 1 be renamed (one could as easily argue in favor of re-branding TYPE 2)? It's an interesting question. While I, and I think most 1s, have sympathy for the other team, I know I don't care to be lumped in with what, in many cases, is a self-inflicted disease (I know, I know, there are exceptions to every rule).

I don't know what the answer is. I can tell you that there are times when I educate others, and other times where I just simply say "it's not that kind of diabetes" in response to questions like "you're too thin to have diabetes." I have enough to deal with without becoming a poster child for the cause.

About a month after I was diagnosed, I attended a diabetes class offered through the local major hospital. Not only was I the only one there under 30 (and possibly under 50), I was the only TYPE 1 and the only newly diagnosed. Not only was I already light years ahead in carb counting, but I was amazed to listen to these (very nice folks) giggle about how they wanted to get off meds, or lose a few pounds or whatever, as their reason for attending the class.

It was a tad isolating to say the least and I've never attempted another.

From personal experience, I can tell you that I have had even medical professionals ask me if I take insulin (um, yeah???).

I can also tell you that at my OTHER job, I have one co-worker with TYPE 1 and several with TYPE 2. Guess which ones aren't running off the floor to check their sugar? Guess which ones are always offering around candy and cookies?

With about 95% of all persons with diabetes being TYPE 2, I imagine it's a lost cause to expect the mainstream to get it.

This article from the Chicago Tribune details the battle quite nicely (though a few of the people seem a little too...angry).


So, to change or not to change? What do you think?

Theresa Flaherty