Age: 27 Year Diagnosed: 1994 Location: New York City, NY
"My current roommate found out that I have diabetes when we were moving in and the box that was carrying all of my purses broke at the bottom. Every single test strip had fallen out of my purses and accumulated on the bottom of the box, so when the box broke there was a mountain of about 100 of them on our brand new rug. We both looked down at the mountain of bloodied test strips and there were a couple beats of silence. Then I was like, "Yeah, so...I have diabetes". And she was like, "I know, I creeped on your Instagram." And then I said a little thankful prayer for social media.
I guess overall I wish the general public didn't feel as if they're all endocrinologists. The majority of times I get annoyed is when random people are telling me what to do as opposed to asking me about Type 1. A lot of people think they can hide behind this excuse of "caring about me" while telling me how to manage my diabetes. I always find that so atrocious - that some random person I only see every so often feels as though they know more about treating my chronic disease than I do. Whenever people do make those kinds of comments, I ask them when they received their medical training because I didn't realize they were endocrinologists. Either that or I start to grill them. If you're going to tell ME that I can't eat a gluten-free cupcake because of something you read online or saw on television (which is most likely information not based on factual evidence), then please tell me how many carbs you believe to be in the cupcake, what my BG was 15 minutes ago, how much insulin I should have given for the cupcake, then maybe your recommendations for what I should do if I accidentally under or over treated, etc. That usually shuts them up because they realize they have no idea what they are talking about. If it's someone I have a jovial relationship with I'll usually say, "Oh!! My bad...I forget that I've been dealing with this for over 22 years!!" and they'll be like, "Point taken, do your thing." It's a bit frustrating - this idea that diabetes is a joke, and only something you get if you're fat or eat too much candy, and it's turned diabetes into a disease that people feel they can give their two cents on instead of asking a simple question, like, "Hey, I thought you weren't allowed to eat cupcakes." Am I wrong?
If you don't like your endo, find a new one! Having a good relationship with your endo can make a world of difference. Don't be ashamed to start researching different approaches to care if your endo is stuck in the mud, so to speak. I've discussed so many different approaches to my care with my endo and it has been so helpful because I finally feel like I've found an approach to diabetes management that truly works best for me. I would also recommend reaching out to other Type 1's. I didn't have any friends with diabetes for 22 years, and making my Instagram account has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I love having friends with diabetes and I can imagine how helpful it would be to meet other diabetics if you were recently diagnosed Also, if any of your friends, family or loved ones don't want to take the opportunity to learn about your diabetes and how to help you, cut those ties and tell them to go screw themselves. And, if you need to take a break from diabetes social media - do it. Everyone deals with their diabetes in their own way. Some people like to talk about it and others wish it was never brought up. I've been on both sides at different times, and they are both fine ways to deal diabetes as long as you are taking care of yourself."