I woke up this morning with low blood sugar and a pounding headache. At first, I thought I was only tired and went back to sleep. When I woke up again I was still tired and had a headache, so I stayed in bed for an hour more. Then I decided to get up to take a headache pill, realised I was a bit shaky and checked my blood sugar. Low/Hypo. I already then knew that this Saturday will have a slow start. My body is on a well deserved rest after been working hard on preventing my low blood sugar all night. Either way, it takes time for the body to get back to normal. I won’t have any energy and the headache will stay for a few hours. This is an everyday (and night) battle for a diabetic. To be able to function in a normal way you have to control your blood sugar. A small change in your blood sugar can mean a big change in the way you act and feel. I’m used to it though, I kind of don’t have a choice 🙂 But it got me thinking…
Political Correctness has entered the diabetic world (?), at least in Sweden.
There are so many do’s and don’ts, right’s and wrongs, in the world today, but also a lot of double standards. What is political correct, or not, depends on today’s societal issues and whatever the flavour of the day happens to be… Some of the P.C. clearly needs to be there, for people who’s just… A bit behind? Can’t think for themselves? I really don’t understand why, and sometimes it can upset me knowing how evil/dumb people can be. Is it really that hard to understand what can hurt people and what don’t, what’s right and what isn’t? But who decides what isn’t P.C.? Way back when, I know there was a lot of disapproval when they decided to stop using formal titles in Sweden. But no one went “Oh that’s not really P.C. is it?” Is it because of how people are today, that we need grownups to tell other grownups what to say and what not to say? Have the human being, mostly in the western world, become that sensitive? When did that happen? Stupidity, sorry, and the lack of everyday knowledge, that we see so much of today, scares me. The plan of getting people to become clueless and not to be able to make up their own minds about things, has worked. Clearly!
Why do a lot of P.C. people tell others that they are wrong, if they don’t share the same opinion? I get that a lot. This might be one of my bad sides but, probably because I can argue both sides and if someone is far left, I go far right. I know, annoying 😉 But I’m after a discussion, which can be a challenge with some narrow-minded people… You can’t (obviously you can, but you know what I mean) walk around and tell people they are wrong just because you don’t share the same opinions. Who’s decided that freedom of speech needs rules? “Yes, you can, and you should, express your opinion. No, not that. That’s not P.C.” And I’m not talking about the obvious ones, just the really stupid no-brainer ones. It even seems like it’s a sport to some people, this P.C. thing. To me, it’s just about common sense.
I’m going to tell you about one of the really stupid ones that I just can’t, or even want to try to, understand. I don’t even understand how someone has even thought about having a meeting (I’m guessing there has been a meeting) to decide “this is not P.C.” Or have had the time to even put it on a to-do-list. Diabetes is/can be a touchy subject for me. It didn’t used to be when I was a kid and everyone knew the difference between type 1 and 2, which is very important to have the knowledge about by the way. So this one affects me, in a kind of reverse political correct way. No one should tell me how I choose to express myself when it comes to my disease. I know that not everyone agrees with me, but I’m going to give my thoughts about it nevertheless.
My mum got type 1 diabetes two years ago. Yes, that’s right. My, at that time, 65 year old mum. Being a control freak, that didn’t make it easy for her. And understanding how it has been for me all these years, where she just couldn’t understand why I didn’t control my diabetes, wasn’t easy for her either. Let me just say, you can’t really understand how it is if you don’t have it, so I have ABSOLUTELY no hard feelings. But her being “new” to the diabetes world, agrees with this idea someone has come up with. And it’s fine. I wouldn’t want to start an argument with anyone about having different point of views, even though I can get a bit heated when in a discussion.
I don’t know if this is a worldwide thing, but in Sweden it’s no longer ok to say “I am diabetic”. It’s not P.C. apparently. You should say “I have diabetes”. Excuse me? Sorry? Who on earth had time to sit down and come up with that?! The thought behind it is, if I got it correctly, that “I am not my disease”. It’s something that you have, not something that defines you.
Well… Having had diabetes for more than 23 years, I would say I bloody well am diabetic! I am my disease. I can’t remember how it was without it, or how it is to just let go and stop planning things. I can’t just go and have a few drinks and then go to bed. Then I could die. If I wasn’t my disease, if I didn’t think about it all day long, I could go into a really bad condition. “Tried” it ones, ketoacidosis. I was seventeen years old and the doctors told my parents that it depended on how strong my body was, if I would survive or not. To then tell me “it’s not who you are, it’s something you have” and say it’s not politically correct… Pardon? Let me decide that. I have it, and at the same time I am it. Plus! How do you function if you get offended by the word “am”? That’s being a bit too sensitive, right? Why would I even care about something that ridiculous in this world of ours, full of much bigger problems?
Let me explain a little how it is to live with diabetes, in a simple way. And then I’ll try to explain, in an even more simple way, the differences between type 1 and type 2. That, by the way, are two different diseases with the same name.
How it is to live with diabetes: It’s like having a newborn baby on your arm at all times. At all times! You can’t just give it to someone either, to offload. Not during the day, and not during the night. It’s yours to keep. Forever. And you are the only one responsible for everything happening to that “baby”. Your body doesn’t stop function during the night, and your diabetes don’t stop existing either. If you’re going to do some heavy workout, for example, you can’t just go “cool, yes, let’s meet up in an hour”. You need to plan it, and preferably already one or more days before the actual workout. Some doesn’t even need a heavy workout but still needs to plan it in advance. All bodies are different, and the same goes with the diabetes. It’s all about calculating. How much insulin do you need for different types of food? Add the workout. How much insulin do you need if you eat that type of food and go for a run? It’s not that easy either. Your body (blood sugar) reacts differently to different types of workout. Your body reacts differently to different types of food too. If I decide to eat fat food for dinner, that’s my night and the next morning ruined. Ruined as in my sugars go through the roof. So I have to monitor it and keep injecting for hours after the dinner. And don’t get me started on how it is being pregnant! It’s a disease you can’t see on the outside, but it kills you from the inside. That sounds really harsh, but it’s kind of what it does. It’s a chronic disease (no, blueberries won’t help!) and it’s a deadly disease. Insulin treatment has only been used effectively since 1921. Before that they had diabetes hospitals, where diabetics stayed to die.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2: This will be short and easy to understand. I’m going to compare it with a business. Let’s say the pancreas is a company. If the employees are on strike, they won’t (are not allowed to, anyway…) work. But if their work conditions change, they’ll go back to work. That’s type 2, the pancreas will work if you change its conditions so it can do the job. You need a daily routine, you need to exercise and you need to cut the carbs. Of course you need more… What about type 1? Then the company has gone bankrupt, it’s over. There are no employees to do the work, and there is no employer with a factory for them to work in. The pancreas is beyond help. It’s dead, and won’t come back to life. Type 1 needs life long commitment, insulin, exercise and we need to eat carbs (and that’s very important!).