Things Not To Say To Type 1’s or Parents of Type 1's
When my son was first diagnosed there was an outpouring of relatives, friends, acquaintances and even their acquaintances, offering their sympathies and well wishes. That was all much appreciated and we thank everyone one of them (and YOU if you are reading this and were one of them). But then came….dun dun dunnnnn…unsolicited and inaccurate advice or even insults.
LET’S GET SOME FACTS STRAIGHT
Many come to us mom’s of Type 1’s claiming to have heard about this cure that their aunt so-in-so told them about or something they found on the web. I know that everyone means well, hopefully!, haha, but I’m sorry to inform everyone that there is NO cure yet for Type 1 Diabetes at this time. Type 2 can be reversed but is very different. Not plexus, cinnamon, prayer, okra (yep I’ve been told that one), vitamins, healthy diet or exercise can cure it. Insulin is the only thing that can keep a Type 1 alive. Now, that doesn’t mean that eating a healthy diet and exercising and other things can help with blood sugar levels and complications but TRUST ME, if there was a cure, Type One mamas would know about it!
There is nothing more insulting than for someone to imply that the disease you or your child has was caused by something you did. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that just happens and no amount of sugar or couch potato-ing can cause it! My child was a healthy, active and a fairly good eater and it happened to him. Why? Because it can happen to anyone. So please, don’t even insinuate that it was something a parent or person did that brought this horrible disease onto them.
Type 1 Diabetes is awful. Cancer is unbelievably awful and I would never compare the two. Both diseases come with their challenges and heartaches. People die everyday from both. I believe what someone is trying to say when they suggest this, is that at least we have a disease that is treatable. We are thankful for that and thank you for the sentiment, but I think a better approach is to just acknowledge the challenges that we go through and offer support where possible. Every situation could ALWAYS be worse and I get that, but sometimes statements seem to discredit our feelings.
Guess what? My Type 1 child eats cookies, ice cream and even candy! GASP! Ha, it’s ok! Type 1’s can eat anything they want just like everybody else! The difference is we have to know how many carbohydrates are in everything they eat so that we can correctly dose with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in safe range. Non type 1’s have a working pancreas that helps control blood sugar and type 1’s inject insulin for the same effect.
I swear I get asked this daily. Sadly, Type 1 diabetes is never under “control.” We do our best to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range but soooooo many unforeseen factors affect this. Exercise, stress, amount of sleep, hormones, sickness, not being able to actually be a PANCREAS and because Purple Monkey Dishwasher! hahaha (get it!? sometimes it makes ZERO sense). Every day is different. The body has many variables, just like life, and with the knowledge we have learned, we have to make educated guesses on the amount of insulin and carbs to intake hoping that the stars align and blood sugars respond how we think they should. So, the answer to that question is NO. But we control it as best as we can.