I start with a word that sounds like I’m about to stop living
My middle is a wager I might make on a horse
I end with a flea-like creature
That’s right; I’m a Di-a-be-tic. Or am I?
When I was a child I was a diabetic. Later the trend changed and I morphed into being a person with diabetes. Since I’ve started blogging I’ve also added pancreatically challenged to my list of labels. And that’s without even starting on the good diabetic/bad diabetic debate. But does it really matter what we’re called?
My initial reaction was that it didn’t matter either way. It was only when I heard other people try to label me that I suddenly became interested.
My attitude really shifted when I heard a group of healthcare professionals talking. There was a lot of talk of “What you find with diabetics is that…” and “Diabetics don’t respond well to…”.
I hate being referred to as part of a group like that. While I know I have a lot in common with – and learn a lot from – the people reading this blog, I know that we’re also completely different. While its lovely to know that I share a disease with Tim, CALpumper, Sam, Ckoei, Mark, Scott and all our other readers, I expect my healthcare team to recognise that my attitude, needs, quirks and expectations are unique. We can’t all be treated the same.
As an aside, perhaps we could prove that we’re all different by all taking 5 units of fast acting insulin at 1700 BST today and eating a cheese sandwich made with 2 slices of wholemeal bread. Two hours later we can all record our glucose levels. If you are unconscious due to a hypo at this time or battling with high blood sugars you are permitted to record your result once you’ve regained consciousness. That should show just how different we all are. (For the record, because you can never be too careful where medicine and sarcasm are concerned, this is a joke, please don’t do it, I’m being facetious to prove a point not trying to set up a mass international hypo-athon!)
If I’m talking to other people with diabetes, I tend to say I’m diabetic because they know that I’m a person too, I don’t need to spell it out. Other than that I usually say that I have diabetes, it seems to infer that it isn’t the only thing about me. So what am I? I’ll probably just settle for being Alison, that seems to sum it up.