Sunday, 5 May 2013

Diabetes Name Changes?!

Image taken from Google.
"Hi! I'm Vicki, I'm 20 years old and I have juvenile diabetes. Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes. Erm..."

I should explain...(and apologise now, as this post is a bit all over the place as I try to gather my thoughts).

Two mothers of children with type one diabetes have started a petition to revise the names of type 1 and 2 diabetes to reflect the nature of each disease. This was brought to my attention by a friend (non-diabetic), who, I think, was expecting me to have a clear-cut opinion on the subject. Honestly, given that it would affect me, I would have thought I'd have an opinion on the subject too. But, as it turns out, I don't. Over the last few days and I have done a lot of thinking on this, and have read up a lot on what other people within the DOC are thinking about this (full list at the end of this post).

I guess I'm just skeptical as to what this name change, should it be successful, would actually achieve: the number one aim of the petition is "to end the widespread misconceptions regarding Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes." As far as I'm concerned, it's us, the DOC that help to end these misconceptions, through blogging or giving talks within the local community, even just by educating our families and friends. My "person", Jones, is like the diabetes-whisperer at the restaurant she works at, because of what she's picked up from me! When a customer says "Oh, I can't have pudding, I'm diabetic" she's quick to respond with something along the lines of "well, if you don't want anything, that's fine, but a tip for the future: my friend's diabetic, and when we eat here she tends to have.........of course, it's just what works for her..." (even gets a disclaimer in there too!) 

Over the last three years, I've heard a lot of comments regarding my diabetes, from "but I thought only fat people got diabetes" to "did your parents feed you too much sugar for you to get diabetes?" Ok, before I was diagnosed, I'd like to think I wouldn't have come out with insensitive comments like those, but I was ignorant to it. I think the fact of the matter is, unless people have a direct interest in diabetes (so either they have it, or are close to someone with diabetes) they just don't care. I say that, because I was that person. I knew no one with diabetes, so knew nothing about it. 

In response to this name change malarkey, another petition has been circulating and caught my eye: to have empathy, no matter the type. Now this is something I can get on board with. I have an opinion regarding this petition: I'm all for it. I've said before, it doesn't matter what type of diabetes you have, the aim of the game is the same (how's that for rhyming): the need to control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes is diabetes, it doesn't matter whether you have type one, type two, MODY, LADA.

So, after a long, rambling post where I'm trying to gather my thoughts on the subject, I'm at exactly the same place I started: I still don't have a strong opinion on the matter. If the name of my disease changes, it changes. I'm sure it won't be the first name-change in my lifetime, and it won't change the fact that my pancreas still doesn't work. But if you feel strongly about it, sign the petition. I admire the two mothers for taking a stand for something they clearly feel strongly about. I just don't share the same passion for this matter that they do. But if you do, help make the change happen.

What I read:
The Name Game at The Butter Compartment.
Association at T Minus Two.
Why I'm Not Signing the Petition at Life After Dx -- Diabetes Uncensored.
Let's Come Out of the Diabetes Cave Together at The Diabetes Hands Foundation.
What's in a Name at Diabetogenic.
I Have a Disease - It's Called Diabetes at Ride to Remedy. 

The comments left at the end of the two petitions.  



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