The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.

William Osler

Maybe it’s because I spend 90% of my days writing, or because I like to talk, or because I manage the images that people have of brands, or maybe it’s something entirely different, but I’m really sensitive to the way that people use words. So sensitive in fact that I can become physically uncomfortable when people use words poorly or in a way that is misrepresentative.

I’m especially sensitive to the way the people use words to describe me, or my broken body. In the same way that I don’t like the word “sugar” being used to describe diabetes, I don’t like the word “disease” being used to describe diabetes.

Not that the word disease isn’t scientifically accurate, it does appear in the medical definition of Type 1 Diabetes, I just don’t feel like I have a disease. I don’t feel like I’m sick. Most of the time I don’t even feel like I have a “health condition.”

If anything, I feel like I survived organ failure (which is how a relative of mine described type 1 when I was first diagnosed). Most of the time I feel healthy.

When I was a kid, I was afraid of catching diabetes (type 2) from my grandmother. I didn’t know that it wasn’t contagious. I feel like using the word “disease” makes it sound like diabetes is contagious or makes one worthy of ostracism.

At the end of the day though, no matter what I feel like, I have an autoimmune disease.

I’m diseased. <——- I don’t like that way that sounds. 

As I write this, I have to wonder if use of the word “disease” portrays diabetes of all types as a serious medical condition, worthy of trying to cure…