Positive nuggets

Recently we went to a relative’s house and they had a friend over. She was older, maybe in her 60s. Nice lady, but as she was making the tea, and I saw her pouring sugar in the pitcher (instead of the Splenda that was sitting on the counter next to the sugar)… I felt obligated to tell her I was diabetic, after the 3rd time she offered me a glass. I don’t typically just announce it (especially if it could potentially make someone feel bad), but depending on the circumstances, sometimes it’s necessary.

As soon as I told her … she says “Oh, well I’m sure you know this already, but since you have diabetes, you have to be careful taking pain medications. I have a friend who has a niece… ” (you know where this is going, don’t you?) And the jist of the story was the niece took pain meds for something and because she was diabetic, it basically killed her liver and kidneys, to the point of needing transplants.

I’m honestly not sure how much of a connection there is with pain meds and diabetes, I haven’t done the research on that yet … but my point of the story is how common it is for diabetics to encounter people and the first thing they want to tell you is a story of someone who either died, or had something amputated, because of their diabetes. Please don’t do that. We’re all very well aware of the complications from this disease…. and 9 times out of 10, the story they’re telling us is of an elderly person who likely had Type 2 and it was either a long time ago when they did not have the technology available that we have now, or they did not take very good care of themselves.

So if you are one of my non-diabetic friends reading this … I hope that the nugget you’ll take with you is to share a positive story about diabetes. If you encounter someone down the road that lives with it, instead of telling that person a morbid story about an aunt/uncle/grandparent that died from it, or had their foot cut off, you can tell them about your friend, Shannon, who has lived with it for over 20 years, wears an insulin pump and CGM, has had 2 successful pregnancies, and 3 handsome little boys. 🙂

About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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13 Responses to Positive nuggets

  1. Not sure the exact medical/scientific information, but I don’t think diabetes really had much to do with the pain medication-caused liver issues, unless it was taken for neuropathy. I know that long-term use of certain pain medication can beat up on the liver, diabetes or not.

    I also get sick of the stories, unfortunately people tend to forget about the pwds they know who are in good health because it’s not dramatic. I’ve found out that some people in my life use me as the example of the “diabetic who takes care of herself” and I have mixed feelings about that as well. It’s weird for someone to say, “thanks for taking care of yourself” and I feel guilty thinking about a pwd who may be struggling and gets regaled with the tale of the good diabetic.

    Regardless, knowing pwds like you who have lived with diabetes 10 times as long as I have and been through a lot with it is inspiring to me when I’m the one who’s struggling.

    • Shannon says:

      Good points, Rachel. By commending us for taking care of ourself … it’s saying that the alternative is not taking care of yourself, and we all know how that option plays out. :/ We do what we do because we have to, not because we want to be commended for it.

  2. Scott E says:

    Yes, your story is a good one to tell. I just may use that someday…

    • Shannon says:

      Thanks, Scott! You have your own stories to tell, too, ya know. You are always inspiring me in one way or another!! Either that or you’re always able to answer my silly questions on Twitter. lol

  3. Lucy says:

    Shannon your blog I great! I used to be the person who tries to relate by telling those horrible stories and you have converted me to a less ignorant person. Thank you! 🙂

  4. a1conceive says:

    I hate those stories. What is the point of them? People can be so dumb. 😦

    • Shannon says:

      I don’t think people mean to be malicious … I think they just don’t know anything about diabetes except for those kinds of relatable stories. That’s what I hope to help change. 🙂

      • a1conceive says:

        I just wish instead of always going to the negative, people were more positive. “My uncle has diabetes, he’s been living with it for 50 years, hasn’t slowed him down one bit!” Why don’t we hear that? I know people aren’t trying to be hurtful, it’s just human nature I suppose.

  5. StephenS says:

    Well said Shannon… thanks

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