T Minus Two Type Two Diabetes and Other Passions



There is a petition going around the Diabetes Online Community urging that Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes be renamed to reduce confusion. Lee Ann Thill wrote an excellent response to the petition, outlining the history of diabetes nomenclature and why she doesn't support the petition. (Lee Ann's post also contains a link to the petition, if you'd like to see it.)

I want to share something about this issue I've been sitting on since the last time there was a lot of discussion about this issue, maybe a couple of years ago. I want to stress that I don't intend this as a contribution to the discussion. It's not about a reason to pick a side, it's about the impact the discussion has had on me personally.

Many people are interested in the renaming effort because they weary of explaining how their Type 1 diabetes is different from Type 2 diabetes -- or, rather, the warped view of Type 2 the public is presented with. While "lifestyle choices" often (but not always) play a major role in the development of Type 2, there is a genetic factor, and other factors that are not yet understood. And, by no means all people with  Type 2 are able to 'reverse' their diabetes even if they ARE able to make dramatic changes in their "lifestyle". But authors of mass market paperbacks, magazine editors, snake oil salesmen, and even many public health advocates aren't interested in this more nuanced truth. "Lose weight to overcome diabetes!" or "Lose weight to avoid diabetes!", they seem to feel, is as complicated a message as the public can absorb.

This leaves people with Type 1 diabetes, who certainly never asked to have their own immune systems turn on them, in the awkward and painful position of having friends and family assume that they are at fault for their condition and could cure it with diet and exercise. As much as I can without actually experiencing it, I can understand how frustrating that would be. There are so many Type 1s I love, and I empathize.

For myself, I would find this discussion easier if I wasn't myself the prototype of what people think Type 2 looks like. I've often wished to see an effective advocate who contracted Type  2 without obesity or a sedentary lifestyle. Alas, I am far from that myself. When I was diagnosed, I was in my late 40's, worked a desk job, ate terribly, and was (and am) very significantly overweight. Check, check, check, and check - the very model of the stereotype. So, the night a community member tweeted "F--- fat diabetics!", I felt pretty sure I'd fit whatever that person had in mind.

Thus it was one day that I was reading a piece advocating the name change, with the author citing this frustration as a motivating factor.

That's when it hit me:

"This person wants the name of the condition changed", I realized, "because they don't want to be associated with people like me."

That hurt like Hades.

And it still does.


Comments (48) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I can only imagine how much this stings. I love you, Sir Bob.

  2. You will always be my friend Sir Bob… and this is a fantastic post

  3. I feel very much the same way, my friend. Lots of Love.

  4. I agree with both Lee Ann’s post and yours. It’s not about trying to modify history to fit peoples’ desires better, to simplify things. In the end, a name change won’t modify that each disease will still require explaining–it is, and it still will be about providing education to people of the realities of all types of diabetes so that they themselves can differentiate and be knowledgeable.

    I second Scott’s comment, Bob. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your world–because your diabetes story is JUST as valid as anybody else’s. No matter what the type, and no matter what your past: you are amazing.

  5. There isn’t a day goes by I regret having you by my side. Diabetes or no, I wish to have courage like yours. I’m so glad we’re friends and thank the connection that allowed us to meet.

  6. If keeping the name the same associates me with you, then I want the name to remain the same. (( hugs ))

  7. I deeply appreciate your perspective. It’s hard to see how this issue hurts you and other people I care about, people who are my allies. While I’ve felt conflicted about bringing additional attention to it, my hope is that the discussion in the community will lead people to think very carefully about the ramifications of these name change initiatives, and a more timely squashing of this latest effort. Cohesion and compassion are the keys to accomplishing greater things in our community. Thanks, Bob :)

  8. I was assumed to be T2 when I was diagnosed, simply because of my age (45) and the fact that I am not slender. I have never been obese, but I’m just built round, and therefore must be T2, right? WRONG. I am tired of the typecasting of all T1 as being children and all T2 as being obese, lazy, gluttonous slobs when we all have our own places in what is actually a spectrum disease. We must all hang together, or we shall surely all hang separately. Better an effort to advocate against garbage like “reverse diabetes naturally!” that appears time after time in all kinds of publications, and get the whole diabetes community to work against the misconceptions that plague us ALL. There is a page on FB called something like Type 1? Type 2? Let’s Clarify (type in Let’s Clarify on the search bar, and it will take you to the page), and immediately, parents are moaning and groaning about all the misconceptions that their children suffer. While perpetuating those misconceptions about adults and T2s. Let’s get on their case! Sorry for being really curmudgeonly, but this has been getting to me all day today!

  9. If you are looking for a none fat, none unfit to really display that anyone could become a T2 just look at Sir Steve Redgrave. Don’t think there is a better example anywhere of a none stereotypical T2. We know there is a wide range of variety in types of T1 and T2, unfortunately though the media, and general public don’t. I’ve had days when I’ve been about to snap at folk who think I’m T1 due to being obese at some point, but it’s idiots who make these assumptions who need education.

  10. I’ve thought of this, too. I was just telling my husband the other day how the only reason i might support a name change would be to cause a media moment where maybe the public gets some information about each type of diabetes in light of the change. But, that can be done in another way so while there are some reasons the name change might help organize and re-educate people about the types of diabetes, I don’t see it as something we should see as a priority. Especially as the causes of each type of diabetes are blurred across all lines.

    On that note, I never get offended when someone thinks I have type 2 diabetes. Growing up, I had my parents as an example. When people asked my parents whether they had fed my sister and I too much candy, they never got offended. They had enough knowledge and self confidence to know that A) they didn’t feed us too much candy and that B) people just don’t know about things they don’t need to know about and we all have our areas of ignorance. They would just tell people that they didn’t know much about type 2 but that with type 1, we needed to take insulin because we didn’t produce any. Too many people get all emotional and worked up because of how others view them. Parents of children with diabetes, be strong and confident in what you know and don’t let ignorance get you down.

    And to you, Bob, thank you for this post. You’re absolutely right. Many people don’t want to be associated with people who are overweight. Perhaps mostly because they see how horrible society and the media is towards people who are overweight and they fear that coming down on them. Let them come down on me I’ll tell them to prove that THEY are perfect and have the “ideal” everything. HA!

    I didn’t suffer as a child because of people associating me with type 2 diabetes. I suffered because I had diabetes and I know that’s the same for you.

    And on a personal note, you are one of the coolest facebook friends I have. I’d be honored to have people compare me to you.

  11. . First off, I love you no matter what type of diabetes you may or
    may not have. I love you because you are a great friend with a powerful voice. The whole name change thing will not fix anything. It will not fix or cure any type of diabetes. It will not change the publics perception about diabetes. It will not stop uneducated people from tweeting evil mean things. It will not help those that cannot afford to pay for their oral medications, insulin or testing supplies.
    It will not stop our loved ones from worrying about us when we are sick, sleep or traveling. It will not stop people from dying. It will not stop or redirect funding. It will not stop us from pricking, poking or injecting.
    It will not stop us from carrying glucose tabs, insulin pumps, CGMs and glucose meters. I can go on and on about the things a name change would not change, but the one thing that hurts the most is that something like this could cause issues within the community. I saw the petition. I read it. I shook my head and closed the tab. Why? because I can think of 2,000 other things that require immediate attention, petitions, etc. and a name change isn’t one of them.


  12. Oh Bob! I gasped at the end. Yet at the beginning, as I started reading, the thought in the forefront of my mind was how YOU are the perfect voice for type 2. Of all the people I know, I think it is you who has educated me most about type 2 diabetes. The stereotypes that you went on to describe never occurred to me. Never, Bob.

    I adore you. Keep on educating, and writing. You make a difference.

  13. Anyone not wanting to be ‘associated’ with you would be missing out on a good friend.

    Some how to me that is the point. Advocacy is not about making one’s world smaller and not being associated with others. Quite the opposite. It is joining in the broadest possible way to embrace many.

  14. I’m with KSparl. It’s an honor to be associated with people like you.

  15. I don’t care about what the advocates for type 2 look like. I just want more people like you speaking up for them. Even and especially when they fit what people have in mind. The mama bear in me is so angry that you’re made to feel the way I know this makes you feel. I will always be your advocate, friend.

  16. I’ll be associated with you any day of the week, Bob. I’m thankful for what you do, and who you are.

  17. Bob, thank you for being a voice for all your fellow type 2 patients. I don’t agree with this petition, I would never sign it. Even if I were dealing with type 1 or any other kind of ID diabetes. Division just makes our advocacy efforts harder, and when I think about diabetes I don’t think about types, I think of people.

  18. If there’s a petition out there to keep me associated with you, then that’s the one I will sign in a heartbeat without hesitation. You are my friend and the epitome of a great guy, and what you do for this entire Diabetes Community is something that can’t be replaced or talked up enough. I’ll gladly keep things the way they are and be happy to explain the differences if it means you won’t be put into the position of feeling that sting again. Bob, thank for being who you are. Thanks for being a friend.

  19. Bob-
    You are amazing and wonderful and you make me smile…. and think…. and learn…. and want to always do my best – because that’s what you do.
    I am proud to not only call you my friend, but my fellow Diabetes Advocate and person living with diabetes. I am so very proud to be associated with you!

  20. I raised funds and advocated for type 2 before I even knew what type 1 was. My grandfather and both of his parents were insulin dependent type 2 – and my grandfather lived to be nearly 90. My grandfather was a big proponent of healthy lifestyles, and did his best to pass that on to my family in the hopes that his granddaughters wouldn’t get type 2 – and we haven’t, but his great-granddaughter was diagnosed with type 1 three years ago. Both are challenging, both require a lot of diligence and work. There are similarities and differences. Thank you for your post. It was spot on.

  21. My 3-year-old was recently diagnosed as type 1 and in my grief I made some stupid remarks about type 2. A week later my mother was diagnosed as type 2. In retrospect, I can’t believe myself, that I misplaced my anger on a group of people that don’t deserve this anymore than my daughter. Now (it’s only been 4 months) I have two wonderful diabetics in my life and I realize that people’s ignorance about my daughter’s condition is (1) not their fault (2) easy to gently correct and (3) really the least of my worries. I am more than willing to have my baby associated with you and am sorry for ever feeling otherwise, even for one stupid moment.

  22. I have received several emails about that petition but didn’t even look at it. I have a lot of T2 friends and my own brother is T2. I certainly don’t want to disassociate myself from anyone that I know with T2.

    A few months ago, I read that there is a growing number of T1s that are overweight. There are also a lot of T1s that now have double-diabetes because of the insulin resistance caused by being overweight. Is the next petition going to be to disassociate from those people also? I have been thru periods of crappy eating habits and weight gain myself so I don’t think T2s have the patent on that stuff.

    The people that want to disassociate themselves from you really aren’t the kind of people worth worrying about. There are too many good people like all the ones that have responded in this post that are the kind of people that I prefer to have around me. I am glad that you are sharing your story!

  23. I plan to share this post with everyone I know in the diabetes community, and anyone outside of it that will listen and read. Thank you, for the eloquence and bravery of this post, and for calling this movement what it is. I admit that early on I signed the petition, making clear I supported a name change only for insurance purposes to delineate between approved plan of care and allocation of things like test strips.

    As I’ve watched the movement grow, read responses in support of the change, I found that I could no longer join with a group that simply wants to separate themselves from the much maligned and judged type 2 diabetic population. It frustrates me to no end that the media continues to verbalize lifestyle choices as *the cause* of type 2. There is a correlation, yes – but that is NOT causality. Being overweight, sedentary etc can indeed result in increased insulin resistance, but again – they’re not the cause. If that were the case every overweight, sedentary citizen across the globe would have type 2 diabetes, and that is clearly not the case. In fact, recent research shows that it could be genetic factors of type 2 diabetes that make weight loss difficult, among other things.

    I, too, am considered obese. Due to a back injury I struggle to move, exercise, or incorporate aerobics into my life. My diet lacks sufficient vegetables, and sometimes, after a night of fighting errant blood sugars with my daughter or my son’s mood swings compliments of a TBI, I am just too darn tired to care about a healthy meal. And, I emotional eat. Yet, I do not have type 2. According to my docs I am not even pre-diabetic, though I certainly fit the picture and body type. I’ve experienced hypoglycemic events since late elementary school without explanation, and when they occur in public, the assumption is that the *fat chick* has diabetus and needs (or secretly wants) some candy.

    FWIW, I do know two recently diagnosed type 2s that don’t fit the stereotype in anyway. Both have a strong family history. One is a runner, and the other an avid volleyball player. Neither of these men want to share their diagnosis, but I’m working on them. I desperately want them to rally against the stereotype and own their disease, but they are afraid of the judgement that comes with acknowledging type 2. You, on the other hand, have proven to be a most perfect advocate. I wish my friends could be half the man you are.

  24. Wow. Thanks for sharing your perspective on this issue. Comments like that have got to hurt. I think that the biggest issue isn’t the fact that people can’t distinguish between T1 and T2: it’s that they don’t understand diabetes at all, even when it does conform to stereotypes. What is the benefit in judging people, even when they have made poor decisions? Goodness knows that my eating and exercise habits haven’t always been the best. People just don’t judge me for them because I still looked fine because I was young and still had a good metabolism. Maybe if we spent more time considering our own health habits and less time judging the way others look, we would have fewer diabetes myths floating around the internet.

  25. One of my T1 friends was explaining on Facebook that at the end of a long bike or run, she was 142. To me (and to her!) that was a rousing success. One of her T2 friends said that was awfully high.

    THAT is what I don’t want to be associated with.

    That said, I don’t think we necessarily need new terms. We need understanding, especially between ourselves.

    • Karen, that’s why I never comment on a BG or A1c posted to social media unless I know how the person feels about it. Sometimes I’ve seen a tweet like “A1c 8.2!” and I wait for more to be said – that number could be real progress for one person and a catastraphe for another. If I finished a long hike at 142, I’d wonder what in blue blazes it had been before the hike!

      To me, the commenter in your story was more guilty of rudeness than ignorance.

  26. I can’t shake something I heard, I think around when I was diagnosed (T1), that EVERYone, if they live long enough, will develop T2 diabetes. The whole blame/shame game is especially inconceivable to me given this fact. It’s like people try to claim that the disease is the fault of “those people” to soothe their fear of it. Truth is, bodies wear out. We don’t all have the same longevity of certain parts, but we’ve got the same parts and the same potential for breakdowns.
    This is not, of course, a scientific exploration of the myriad causes of T2. I know that no one is 100% sure what brings it on. What I mean is that I think we ought to focus on how we’re in this together. More understanding and compassion are in order. Changing terms isn’t going to magically educate anyone about the intricacies.
    If I could associate with more fine people like you, Bob (diabetes of any type or not), my life would be better for it.

    • Just want you to know, Heather, that it’s not true that everyone will develop T2 if they live long enough. There are plenty of documented cases of people in their 90’s and 100’s who do not have diabetes of any kind. In order to have T2, there must be something genetically wrong, which is then triggered by the environment (sound familiar?). The problem is that in both T1 and T2, no one knows what the real triggers are. Lots of hypotheses, but nothing proven. And there is also a hypothesis that in T2, there is an autoimmune reaction involving adipose tissue that makes weight gain almost inevitable, unless you are in a position of severe lack of nutrition. Time to stop blaming the T2s (NOT saying you’re doing that), and figuring out what is really causing it.

  27. So, Friend Bob,
    I read this, this morning and just wanted to give you a big ole hug.
    I’m not signing a petition.
    People will always believe what they see on TV, read in magazines. I don’t think we can change that.
    Your T2 voice is so important. There aren’t many out there. Your blog is the first place I send anyone who is dx’d T2 or pre-d.
    Looking forward to continuing our association and – seeing you when I next get to Kansas City! (Which makes me laugh as I wonder, how many people know there are two Kansas Cities?)

  28. There are many reasons I don’t feel we need to waste our energy changing the names of diabetes. The biggest reason is probably because even though we have different types, we are all in this together. None of us asked for this. None of us did it to ourselves. None of us can get rid of it if we “just do this” or “just do that”. We have enough to deal with, and we certainly don’t need to be divided over something as stupid as a name. I have diabetes. You have diabetes. I wish neither of us did. But I am always in your corner and I will defend you to anyone who doesn’t give you the respect and admiration you deserve. A big virtual hug to you . . . . . and a real one next time I am lucky enough to see you again!

  29. Bob,
    Jeanette Collier and I created the current petition that you mention. We realize that you are sharing very personal feelings and we do not personally know you, but nonetheless, we were very moved by your post. We want you to know that we are sorry that our movement has hurt you so much. We are truly sorry for the old feelings it has stirred up inside of you. We are sorry for rude comments made by mean-spirited people. We, too, are disgusted by the prevalent misconceptions surrounding T2. It is not fair that these misconceptions exist, but it is even more unfair to judge a person by them. For that matter, it would be unfair to judge a person by them even if they were true. Whether or not a person is overweight, sedentary and/or eats a poor diet is no reflection on the person he or she is; and just because a person eats healthy and is very disciplined in their diet and exercise, doesn’t make them a better person than someone who doesn’t- it doesn’t make them a good person at all. It’s what’s inside that determines a person’s character and worth. It’s apparent from the tone and content of your post that you are a person of very high character. And the comments of support here are a strong testament to the fact that you are very well-liked. No one should ever have to feel the way you have felt; unfortunately, those misconceptions are causing pain to many within the D community- T2 adults, T1 adults, T2 children, and T1 children alike. The intent of our campaign is to unite us all in ending widespread confusion and stomping out the very misconceptions and stigma that have caused so much pain for so many adults and children in the D community.

    You stated that your post is not intended as a contribution to the discussion of our petition. I will respect that and I will not use this as an opportunity to get into the details of why our petition is so very different from all prior attempts. I would just like to tell you a little bit about our character by explaining that our petition is not about T1 being subjected to the stigma of T2. Its about the misconceptions surrounding both types. In a way, it IS about the stigma attached to T2, but not in the sense one might think. It’s about that stigma being applied to both T1 and T2 and how that inhibits education, awareness and fundraising towards better treatment and a cure for all types of diabetes. It is about the confusion caused by designating both conditions with just a number and how unique names for each type of diabetes that reflect the true nature of each condition will lay the foundation for better education about our diseases. We believe that better education is the root to all of our goals.

    In closing, I can not argue that there are various reason that people have signed our petition and I can see how some of those reasons could continue to be hurtful to you. But, I can tell you that Jeanette and I were not motivated by the reasons that have hurt you in the past. We were motivated by the reasons I mentioned above, as well as the others outlined in our petition. We have truly done this in the spirit of us all being in this together. Please know that we are in no way attempting to invalidate your feelings. Quite the contrary, we are appalled with the forces that have caused you to feel the way you do; and while we can not understand exactly how you feel, we can completely understand why you would feel the way you do. We will continue to move forward with our cause in the hopes that down the road a clarity in names will lead to a clarity in education which will help dispel the stigma that is so hurtful in so many ways to so many- T1 and T2 alike.

    Jamie and Jeanette

  30. I understand what Jamie and Jeanette’s aims are in starting this petition; I just don’t think it would have the outcome they intend. Name changes don’t solve fundamental problems; they just mask them for a while. I am old enough to remember when we said “Negroes” for a certain segment of the population. I’m not sure whether “colored people” came before or after. Then there were “blacks” and now there are “African Americans”. Bill Cosby just wrote an essay that was opposed to that name as well. Did the name changes do anything to solve the fundamental problems faced by people whose ancestors had been brought here as slave? Not on your life. The only thing that has helped, although not completely solved their problems is the legislative and popular will of the American people. It’s people actually DOING something to make change happen, not the name you call the problem. We need to be active in calling attention to and eliminating the bad information that is available in every grocery store, not whine about who is called what name, no matter what that name may be. And while parents of children with T1 and adult T1s are well-organized, and very able to speak for themselves, the vast majority of diabetics who have T2 are merely made to feel bad about themselves, and no one is taking up their battle. If I could do anything, it would be to form a focus group on T2, with Bob as leader, and get the movement started. Descend like a roaring tiger on grocery-store magazine rack publications as priority one. Do you think we could do that?

    • Alas, to put it in Star Wars terms, I’m not the leader you are seeking. It’s a good idea, but requires a different kind of advocate than I’m comfortable being. Thank you, though. :)

  31. I’ll stand by you, Bob… no matter what.

  32. As a T1 who LOVES my T2 friends, I want you to know that I don’t mind at all being associated with you. :) This isn’t about a name change. This is about the horrible stereo-types and misinformation going around about T2 and how it effects people with T1. Education is the key. Not a name change to separate us even more. (((hugs)))

  33. My take on this issue for the “Other” type of Diabetes: http://landileigh.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/forgotten-again/

    Hope that we can all be advocates for our “types” of diabetes.


  34. I came here via D’Mine, and I wanted to thank you for your post. While I am a Type 1, I am an obese Type 1 and am made very aware of how negative the distinction is. Diabetes of both kinds runs through my family – My parents are T2, my siblings are T1. I don’t care what kind you have, it’s still an awful disease that needs more research and education. It’s more similar than different, and research into diagnosing and curing diabetes will help all involved.

  35. I initially supported renaming efforts, not because I necessarily saw an urgent need for it, but because of how much time is invested in explaining the two diseases, how they’re similar and how they’re different. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be seen as being associated with a particular person or group of people, but because I spend so very much time explaining things (something no one volunteered for) … over, and over, and over, and over. For example, each time we go to Congress to renew the Special Diabetes Research Program, about 30 minutes of the testimony before lawmakers is spent on explaining the etiology of the disease, and I thought “Is this explanation REALLY necessary?”; that time could be better spent on explaining why the funds are needed for funding and telling their stories, but instead we spend half the time allocated explaining why a special diabetes research program is needed in the first place. However, you make a great point in calling attention to how that might seem to others — you raise an important issue (your posts usually do make us think differently about any topic you address, which I’d say is a compliment).

    When all is said and done, diabetes of all varieties are vastly under-funded by our tax dollars. For example, an organization called the FAIR Foundation [http://www.fairfoundation.org/] the money allocated per patient death, or per patient with diabetes of any type is vastly outnumbered by two (or maybe) three diseases: AIDS, breast cancer and by some measures, West Nile Virus. Diabetes of all varieties receives a few thousand dollars versus a few HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars. I believe anyone with diabetes should see that as a resource allocation problem, and we should work together to ensure we receive our fair share of money; hence we have many areas of common ground and rather than bickering about what we call things, perhaps our collective focus should be on finding the areas of common ground we all share, and addressing those things … together!

    • Even if two of the types had different names, you’d still spend the same amount of time explaining them — names don’t really guarantee the understanding of the intricacies involved. And I totally agree that the issue is to increase funding for diabetes research — most of it applies to most types of diabetes, anyway. I appreciate the work you’re doing, Scott, and please keep it up! :-)

  36. This is probably not the place to say this, but I’m going to go for it anyway. I love you, Sir Bob!!! At the risk of violating several laws of physics I say, I am with you, I am beside you, & I am behind you. I say F*** the person who said “F*** fat diabetics!” because I am one too. I say people should stop wasting their time advocating for a name change & spend that time correcting the errors the media are making. We have to make the media be accountable for what they say. They won’t police themselves that’s for dang sure.

    We are ALL in this together!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  37. I have been s L o W to understand this issue. Look at all this love!

    When my son was newly diagnosed with Type 1, we had numerous bad-feeling experiences with Type 2 people giving advice about weaning him off of insulin (one even suggested my skinny 8 year old get gastric bypass surgery.) It felt really bad.

    Now I see it’s not a Type 1/Type 2 issue. I was lumping all Type 2-types together with the dumdums who chimed in with lifestyle hints. Now I think it’s more a polite/rude or informed/uninformed thing. No matter what we call our Thing, there will always be people to say annoying things.

    Maybe like what I am doing right now?

    • No, you’re not being annoying at all! You are being perceptive, because as with EVERY controversial matter, there are those who comment with an informed perspective, and those who comment with strange stereotypes and lack of facts. Yes, it’s irritating when people ask whether gastric bypass will help your son, but if you step back a bit you realize that they are extremely uneducated, and while they actually want to help, they haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. So you have 2 choices — one is to take the time to educate them, if they’re people you care about, or simply say “no” and walk away. Then, of course, there are the people who are so convinced of their ignorance that they are uneducable, in which case, you stop trying, and cross them off your list. If they are that pig-headed in this case, what are the chances that they are pig-headed altogether? You don’t need them as friends, and you don’t need to expose your son to them. If they are strangers, you don’t need to ever see them again, and if you had thought they were friends, you don’t have to include them in that list any more. What I’m trying to say, is educate the educable, and ignore and avoid the uneducable. That’s the best we as individuals can do.

    • Thank you, Katy. I’ve been thinking about your comment since I saw it after you posted it, and I’m with you on the “rude” thing. I can’t imagine telling a mother of a young boy that he needs surgery, even if it was a reasonable suggestion. You’ve added a little spice to a post I think I’m cooking on why people feel free to give each other medical advice.

  38. Found your site through Lee Ann’s “Butter Compartment” and I’m glad I did! I would be proud to be associated with you. Thanks for sharing so much, you are a true inspiration!

  39. There is something you do not appear to understand and I suspect that unless you have Type 1 diabetes or have a family member with it, you simply can’t understand… we (people with Type 1 diabetes) struggle with things that put our immediate safety at risk; severe hypoglycemia is dangerous. And people who have had DM Type 1 for many many years can have hypoglycemia unawareness – I sometimes don’t even know I’m low until my blood sugar is in the 40s or 50s. It can cause car accidents; it can cause you to fall down a flight of stairs; it can cause death. It requires immediate and urgent attention. Most people with type 2 don’t have to deal with this. We need the public to understand what we deal with and what it means to the people around us (e.g., how urgent it is, what needs to be done, etc.). As it stands now, the public just thinks we have to avoid sugar and that about does it. If the two diseases were delineated in the public’s mind, I’d feel a whole lot safer. Yes, stigma has a lot to do with it, but that certainly isn’t the only argument to change the name.

    • Judy, thank you for your comment. However, are you aware that NONE of the situations you mention is unique to Type 1? Full insulin dependence is not all that uncommon among Type 2s, and many more require some insulin as part of their treatment. Severe hypoglycemia is a danger for anyone taking insulin: the route by which a person get there is not relevant. (Some Type 2s who aren’n on insulin experience hypos as well.

    • Judy, While I can appreciate your concern, type 2’s are also susceptible to severe lows because many of them use insulin or take medications that can lower blood sugar. Severe hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unawareness are not unique to type 1 diabetes.

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