Alexis Pollak (I Run on Insulin) is a diabetes advocate and when I stumbled across her interview on Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance Blog, I had to share this great statement about the myths and stereotypes of people with diabetes:
As a diabetes advocate, how often do you bump against people’s misconceptions of the disease? What are the biggest challenges you face up to?
I face misconceptions all the time – I work, blog, and volunteer in the diabetes world, and I’m very public about having diabetes which means I hear A LOT of stereotypes. The one that frustrates me the most is the idea that this disease is as easy as taking injections and avoiding sugar. It’s not! Diabetes is a full time, 24/7 job that you didn’t ask for. It’s testing, calculating, carb counting, titrating and worrying all day long, for the rest of your life. People don’t understand how much work it is, and they think that if you just eat a certain way and take an injection that all is well. In fact, the mental energy spent on this disease is the biggest burden of it.
Well said! We do a lot of work to keep our disease invisible, to keep it from causing low blood sugars that affect the people around us, or to keep it from causing high blood sugars that make us moody. We do all this work that often goes unnoticed and I like to draw attention to the work when I can, not because I want someone to say, “poor me” but because I want us all who are working hard, to pat ourselves on the back every now and then. Good job!