Good Morning Readers,
Today, I am going to let you in on the truth behind some myths or common misconceptions of Type 1 Diabetes. Just like with all health related posts, I am not a medical professional and encourage anyone to seek medical attention if you feel you are unwell.
#1. It is just Juvenile Diabetes/You outgrow the window of being diagnosed when you turn 14.
Most cases of Type 1 are diagnosed before the age of 14. I was told that once you are older than the age of 14, there is no chance that you will be diabetic. Obviously, that is not true. I was diagnosed at the age of 24. Doctors are still unsure of exactly what happened in my life to cause it. It is still labeled as “Juvenile Diabetes” as most cases of diabetes in children are type 1, but there are some situations where they are diagnosed with type 2.
#2. We can’t eat sweets, drink soda or eat candy as a Type 1 Diabetic.
To a certain extent, we shouldn’t eat sweets or drink sugary beverages as casually as someone without Diabetes. At the same time, that does not mean we can’t enjoy a sweet every now and then. For me, being told I had to pay more attention to carbohydrates made me want cake, cookies, cupcakes and all kinds of baked goods. I have learned over time that just because I am Diabetic, that doesn’t mean I am completely restricted from the bakery section of the grocery store. It does effect my meals the rest of the day, but it doesn’t put my sugar out of control.
#3. We become used to the pain/stings of injections/infusion sets.
After a year and a half of doing between 6-15 finger sticks a day, I still flinch every time. I shed tears sometimes. I need to have my sensor inserted into the back of my arm. My husband does it for me because I can’t reach and put the tape on well enough to secure it for a week. I have cried from the sensor after a solid year of it being attached to my arms. I am almost certain that no matter how many times I do this, it will always hurt. Some things hurt more than others, but for the most part there is pain.
#4. Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia happen at the drop of a hat without warning.
Again, to a certain extent this is true. What I have learned is that there are specific signs, symptoms and moments that are telling to what your blood sugar is doing. I know I am experiencing Hyperglycemia (my sugar is high) when all I want to do is take a nap or just lay down. I know I am experiencing Hypoglycemia (my sugar is low) when it feels like I’m drunk. Sometimes, I have almost dropped my daughter because I don’t feel the low until I pick her up. It does change with certain situations such as working out, cleaning, the amount of water you drink, taking a walk, laying down, sitting for a long time and sleeping. I can’t count the amount of nights I only slept 3 hours because of my pump telling me I was low at 1 in the morning. I could eat the same foods everyday, at the same times, and do the same amount of activity everyday and still experience different blood sugar readings. After a while, you do recognize how your body reacts to the highs and lows, but it does take time.
#5. We have to live a sober lifestyle.
I genuinely thought that I couldn’t drink alcohol after I was diagnosed. Granted, I was sober at the time anyway, but I thought my partying days were over. I learned from my medical providers that I could still drink if I wanted to, I just had to accurately count the carbohydrates and dose my insulin according to that amount. Another thing I learned is that liquor does not have carbs, but that doesn’t mean it won’t effect your blood sugar. Just because something doesn’t have carbs listed on the nutrition label, we still have to keep an eye on our sugars and how they react in the moment.
Again, I only know first hand from my own experiences and you should speak to your medical providers if you have Diabetes.
Hopefully, I have removed the curtain on some of the misconceptions of individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. There are so many myths about both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes that we may never truly know all the answers. All we can do is live life to the greatest extent possible and not let it hold us back. Leave a comment below letting me know if you believed any of these myths and how your views have changed since reading this.
Until next time,
Stick it out, Stick together and take everything One Stick at a Time XOXO