Vaccinations…and Brittle Diabetes?

Seth and I are headed to Africa in December; last Friday I had my appointment at the travel clinic to go over our itinerary, get vaccinations, and medications.

Going through the questions with the nurse, went something like this:

Nurse: I see you’re taking insulin? Me: Yes. Nurse: Are you wearing a pump? Me: Yes. Nurse: How do you like it? Me: (what?) I like it, it provides a lot more freedom for me. Nurse: Yeah, that’s what my mom says, she really likes hers. Me: Oh, does your mom have type 1 diabetes? Nurse: No, she has type 2, but she’s insulin dependent, and (wait for it), really brittle. Me: Oh. Nurse: But the pump is really cool, it does everything for her. I’ve seen it when she tests her blood sugar, and it tells the pump everything to do, she doesn’t even have to do anything or look at it. Do you have that kind? Me: (does that exist?) No.

Everybody knows somebody with diabetes, but everybody’s diabetes is different. Mine, is not your mom’s. I can’t help but think, if I’d had another chronic condition, that the nurse would’ve been so open and inquisitive into my condition. If I were in remission from cancer, would he have asked me personal questions about my cancer, and tell me about his mom’s?

Probably not.

Why is diabetes different?

7 thoughts on “Vaccinations…and Brittle Diabetes?

  1. But, you know, as far as random and personal commenting go, that nurse was much more polite than most of the others I’ve encountered. I think it might be ok to try and relate to someone’s situation through your own personal ones; the issue for me arises when said commentators refuse any of the FACTS you give them. Then it becomes an issue of self-righteous place-putting, and I get all twitchy and shoe-craving.

    • For sure, Heej. It was by far, not the worst thing I’ve heard, just struck me as interesting, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since! I could’ve gone the route of explaining that there is no such thing as a pump that does everything, but…like you said, futile!

  2. because everybody hears about it and sees all the ads aimed at Type 2, and they think that makes them an expert. They also don’t think Diabetes is serious or life threatening, and that somehow it is our own fault and easily fixable. It is so frustrating!
    We get our own version of these type of comments, because he doesn’t pump and chooses to do shots. Ugh!

  3. A lot of people I know don’t even know there are 2 different kinds. I’ve asked people, “type 1 or 2?” and they usually say they don’t know or there is a long pause before they say “the too much sugar one” or something ignorant like that. I don’t think there is a lot of awareness about BOTH kinds, just type 2 it seems like. With cancer, everyone knows someone can have cancer of just about any kind, but with diabetes it’s different. I think it’s because the word “diabetes” has been used alone for so long instead of saying “type 1 diabetes” or “type 2 diabetes”. I don’t ever hear people say the type before the word “diabetes”. With cancer it seems like people say the type before the word “cancer” because they assume people will ask them eventually!

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