3 Jun 2015

Writing Resources: What Not To Say to a Diabetic

Welcome to part one of my new Writing Resources project. If you’re not entirely sure as to what this is about, I’ve linked the original post here so you can learn a little more about the project and about me.

Part one is going to be focusing on Diabetes. In particular, Type One Diabetes. I’ve been Diabetic for almost six years now and obviously, it plays a big part in my daily life so I thought it was the best place to start. Because I’ve been dealing with this for six years, I have a lot to mention and so I’m thinking this is going to be broken into parts rather than just one ridiculously long post. I’ll come back and add the links to any other parts when they go up.

In this post, I just wanted to go through the basics—the general gist of Diabetes and how to write it into your novel/play/poem/screenplay/whatever. I mentioned this in the introduction, but I want to reiterate it here…this is not going to be scientific at all. These are my personal experiences, so this isn’t representative of all Diabetics in the world, this is just me.

Firstly, the biggest pet peeve in the world for any Type One Diabetic is dumb questions. Trust me, you get a lot of dumb questions/comments. The most typical one is the ‘But you’re not fat’, ‘Or you could just go on a diet’ or ‘Oh, my grandma has that’. And yes, maybe your grandma does have it but there are more than one type of Diabetes. Type One is the type that requires needles, constant monitoring and is in no way prevented by the amount of exercise you do or what you eat. If you’re pancreas decides it’s going to stop working on you, there is nothing you can do about it. It’s important that you understand that telling me that I’m ‘not fat’ is not going to help me or suddenly cure me.

Secondly, there is no cure. I will be injecting myself for the rest of my life, or until there is a cure. I know how harsh this might sound, but when you get diagnosed, you have quickly learn that you will be stuck with this forever. You know what? That’s okay. I’ve dealt with that already.

Which leads me to the next point—the ‘I don’t think I could do that’ comment. I get it, the idea of injecting yourself or pricking your fingers sounds terrifying. The thing is…we don’t really get a choice. Either we do these things, or we die. When those are your two options, you’ll learn to inject very quickly.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Diabetes relies heavily on the consumption of the right amount of carbs. Basically, I’m really happy that you can last all day on that smoothie you just had but I’m going to need food at least four times in the time it takes walk the city. Most importantly, don’t tell me what I can and cannot eat. You aren’t my endocrinologist (fancy word for a doctor that deals with diabetes and stuff) or my nutritionist, so please stop.

So this basically became a rant about things you shouldn’t say to a Diabetic. I hope it helped some of you, if not for a novel then just in general. In my next post, I’ll be talking more about the insulin/medication side of Diabetes and how that affects our daily lives but also, our mental and physical wellbeing.

Thank you all for sticking around!