Diseased

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…

Staying LEVEL {And a Giveaway}

Today is World Diabetes Day. I’m wearing blue, are you?

For those who have, or love someone with, diabetes I have some goodies to share!

Remember awhile ago when I shared with you about the LEVEL Life glucose gels? (Way back in March)

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Well the company, which is actually named LEVEL Foods has expanded its product lines with protein shakes and bars that help keep blood sugar level. I love this graphic from levelfoods.com showing how the gels raise low blood sugar and how the shakes and bars support healthy levels.

 

When I was offered the opportunity to try these new products out, I responded right away that I’d love to! Not long after, my box arrived. Coincidentally, I had some level issues of my own when I opened my box.

 What was in my box? Two flavors of protein shakes, two flavors of protein bars and a package of Strawberry Banana glucose gel. The Strawberry Banana ended up being my favorite flavor when I tested all of the gels.

The Shakes Continue reading

Serious Business

“I never realized your diagnosis was so dramatic.”

“It didn’t really hit me how sick you were until I saw you at your dad’s funeral. You looked so small.”

My offline friends have said those things to me when they realized how serious diabetes is.

When I say that in August of 2011 I nearly died, I’m being 100% serious.

My immune system attacked my pancreas and I basically experienced organ failure. The best part is… the symptoms were all there and we didn’t catch them. My doctor didn’t catch them! She’d already called in a prescription for nausea medication to the pharmacy while waiting on the results of the pregnancy test that ultimately saved my life.

When those test results came back and Dr. P walked back into the room with her face very serious and sat down next to me on the exam table, I knew something was wrong, but not how wrong. Before anything else she wanted to know if I was there alone. I wasn’t. They sent a nurse to the waiting room to get my mother-in-law, who also knew that there was something seriously wrong. When she and I were talking about it recently she said to me, “I’m surprised they even let me drive you to the hospital instead of sending you in an ambulance.”

I was hospitalized for three days, I was hooked up to monitors, tubes and tested regularly. But when people hear I was diagnosed with diabetes, they didn’t (and still don’t) realize how serious it was.

I’m lucky that I was diagnosed. I’m blessed to have a husband who made me call the doctor instead of letting me sleep. I’m grateful to be alive.

Diabetes is serious. Sometimes I joke about it or I try to make living with diabetes look easy, but I work harder to stay healthy while living with type 1 than I work on anything else in my life. Diabetes doesn’t give vacation time. Continue reading