For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has had type 2 diabetes. It freaked me out every time she gave herself an insulin injection. I hate needles and it made me hurt to see her give herself a shot in the stomach. I was also hesitant to kiss her goodnight because I thought I might be able to catch diabetes. After hearing someone say something positive about a blood sugar number of 75, I believed that to be the target level.
Then the commercials with Wilford Brimley came out and he called it “diabetus” and I got confused, wondering if maybe my whole family had been pronouncing it wrong all along.
As I got older, I learned that diabetes is in fact, not contagious (in the manner of the flu). That reduced my concerns and I learned some things about diabetes as I learned how to handle diabetic emergencies when I was a lifeguard.
Now that I have diabetes, I have a much different perspective. I know the differences between type 1 and type 2 as well as gestational and I’ve just recently learned about the existence of type 1.5. I’ve also learned that there’s a range for blood glucose readings, and that sometimes I won’t be within range and I can’t beat myself up for that.
I’ve also learned that the majority of people don’t know nearly as much about diabetes as I did before I was diagnosed. There are almost 19 million people with diagnosed diabetes, it’s probably important to at least know a little about it.
Oh yeah and it’s pronounced: dye-uh-BEE-teez