Could I Be Anything Else?

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It’s Friday! And I’m getting ready for vacation! Woo! Since I’m so far behind on packing and so forth, I may not get to post my last two entries. Oh well. But I wanted to address today’s prompt, and maybe one other as a bonus.

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

Yikes. This one is heavy. I debated about throwing in a wildcard response today because I just can’t bring myself to think about it. I have friends with chronic asthma, have worked with children with autism, and watched my grandmother, mother and husband all undergo cancer treatments at the same time. Given that I am also at risk for a multitude of other health oddities such as heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, thyroid disorders, kidney failure, etc… I don’t know if I’d want to switch places or add to my current ailment.

But let me look at it this way. What if I were a Type 2 diabetic? Assuming I started with nothing and wasn’t granted the 30 years of knowledge during this switch, what would that be like? Would I have this due to stepping into the wrong end of the gene pool? Was it because my diet is terrible and it was just meant to happen? Am I a child or older adult? Am I going to be put on pills or can I control my blood sugars with just diet and exercise? Am I overweight? Underweight? And do I care?

See, with T1, I can’t blame diet or obesity or any other scapegoat that the media wants to feed us. Type 2 diabetes is, sadly, the  “illness du jour” that is plaguing society with generalizations and misinformation about all Types. It’s the butt of jokes on the internet, used as a representation of how unhealthy our country is eating. It’s a thorn in the sides of T1s who constantly hear “well… you should just eat better” comments at the mention of diabetes of any sort.

With T2, you’d almost need a thicker skin because you’re scanned by the critical eye, judged for your “poor choices,” and your lives are turned into a three ring circus on reality TV and documentaries. While it’s getting a fair amount of attention, I don’t know if I’d want to be in that kind of a spotlight – one that helps define what’s wrong with the American diet, even if your own personal diet is just fine. So I count my blessings that I’m simply “just a T1.”

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