What am I?

By | 26 August, 2009
A diabetic, a PWD and a pug (diabetes-free)

A diabetic, a PWD and a pug (diabetes-free)

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.

Category: Living with diabetes Tags: , ,

About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

13 thoughts on “What am I?

  1. Ckoei

    Etymologically speaking, we cease to be “diabetic” as soon as we start insulin therapy. Hopefully we’re all as “diabetic” as an 8-legged tick is flea-like! I consider myself to be a sweet seesawyer: never up there long enough to start “sweetpeeing”.

    (And today, as part of my 15th SSS-day celebrations, I fittingly tipped from 3.3 to 15. . .and at 17:00 SAT had to use 5U as correction. The search for a longer plank/ lower pivotal brick continues)

  2. CALpumper aka Crystal

    Dang, the ‘cross the pond time zone….I missed a cheese sandwich. Sigh.

    Great post Alison. Thanks for sharing. Love the sarcasm, keep it up.
    You are you. Awesome.

    I live with and do my best to manage my diabetes. Other than that, I am me (if I ever figure out what that is or means, I’ll try to remember to share).

  3. Mark

    I’ve been around long enough to be called many things. 😀 Aside, I’m just your lager drinking, loving fool who enjoys all the “d” fun in life.

  4. Tim

    Ckoei :

    Etymologically speaking, we cease to be “diabetic” as soon as we start insulin therapy.

    He he! I admire your pedantry 🙂

  5. Ckoei

    @Tim Especially compared to whisky, which is just lazy&flat beer pretending to be spirited.

  6. Tim

    @Ckoei No, no, no; you’ve got it all wrong. Whisky is wonderful. Aside from the Japanese whisky I had the other day…

  7. Dave

    Personally I’ve always hated the word ‘disease’ when used to describe it. Or maybe that’s me for years challenging the concept that I am ‘different’. And that’s ‘different’ in a bad way, not ‘different’ in a quirky kinda fun way.

    And reading the original post did everyone come through the five units and a cheese sandwich experiment or were some contributors not seen after this entry?

  8. Alison Post author

    Mmnn, disease does sound somehow dirty and catching which isn’t very pleasant.

    I fear a few may have perished in the great cheese sandwich experiment, but you know, not all research ends positively, that’s just a fact of life 😉

  9. Annette A

    @seasiderdave – yes, I dislike the term ‘disease’ as well. I have a condition, a syndrome, maybe even (and this is stretching it a bit) a chronic illness. But disease sounds like something you can catch and cure. And neither applies. (And I know what the dictonaries define disease as and it does actually fit exactly, I just dont like it.)

  10. Nig

    I remember having a discussion about all this with my sister-in-law (a nurse) about 15 years ago. Her bit of the NHS had been told to “modernise” their use of language – diabetics were now “people with diabetes”, diabetes was not a disease but a “condition” and there were several other attempts to redefine perfectly useful words in an attempt to avoid upsetting people!!
    I told her I had a disease called diabetes which meant that I was diabetic and/or a diabetic.

    @tim – given the effects it has on eyes, kidneys, limbs etc. I think “riddled with” is perfectly reasonable 🙂


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