Welcome?

If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There Will Be Questions

As a Type 1, or the caretaker of a Type 1, you will get a lot of questions about the disease.  In general, this is good as people are curious about health. They usually don't mean anything by it, but there will be times when you will really not feel like entertaining questions.  I think this is perfectly normal and healthy.  What to say on the days where you are frustrated by those questions - I still do not know.

You will most often be asked if a special diet is needed as the general population is most familiar with Type 2. Unfortunately, the management of Type 1 is not that easy as we are insulin dependent.  Meaning, the pancreas does not work.

I often use a carrot vs carrot cake analogy.  It doesn't matter.  A Type 1 still needs insulin for what they eat.  For sure, you need to have the proper carb to insulin ratios, and be aware of the other gazillion factors that can change things.   It is not always straight forward, but this is my quick way to give some perspective in non medical terms.

For every five times you are asked this question, you will get at least one off the wall question.  They are usually not meant to be hurtful, but sometimes I do take a deep breath before answering.

- What is in the pack?  Is that a cell phone?  I know this is Dubai, but he is only six!
- Does he still wear an oxygen mask?  No.  He never did.
- While it was not presented as a question, alarming all security staff at the entrance to a consulate that my child is wired with a device rather than just discretely wiping it down to check for explosives was a tough one.
- He will outgrow it, right?  Unfortunately, no.
- You must have eaten too many sweets when you were pregnant.  Forget the fact that I ate pretty healthy and exercised, but no, that doesn't cause Type 1 diabetes.
- Does it run in your family?  Genetics can play a factor.  There are families with more than one Type 1 child.  We do not have any Type 1 history in our family.
- Which one of you (me or my husband) is a carrier?
- What is that?  For his ears? (in regards to his insulin pump)
- We now happen to have a cat that is Type 2.  Someone asked me recently if this was related to my son's diabetes.  Diabetes is not transferable from animals to humans or vice versa - nor is it transferable from human to human.
- One of my son's sweet friends once asked if he kept carrots in his pump pack.  This was after he asked what it was, and the response was "This is my pump.  It keeps me healthy".
- A journalist from a local newspaper once asked me if I felt there needed to be more awareness about Type 1.  Its a tough question.  My answer was yes and no.  Of course awareness is important, but the kind of awareness is more important. I suggested that she work on raising more awareness about Type 2 as that is a growing crisis for this region.  Perhaps this is why I was not mentioned in the article.

Most of the questions were normal, and genuine.  Except for the pregnancy one.  The guy thought he was funny.  Silence is golden.

I try to answer honestly and openly.  If a question seems hard to answer, just stick to the facts as you know it. In most cases it will keep it at a manageable level if you are having one of those days. Depending on who it is, and how you feel you can decide how much of your cat's eating habits you want to share.

Megan, our diabetic cat

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