My name is Sue and I have Type 2 diabetes. Before being diagnosed, I had already dealt with gestational diabetes with all five pregnancies.
Five things I would like you to know about my Type 2 diabetes*:
- I do not have diabetes because of poor diet or because I ate too much sugar. Yes, I like my sweets and occasional junk food, but overall I have a healthy diet. If diet was the only cause for Type 2, we'd have a lot more people with diabetes (PWD).
- I do not have diabetes because of my weight. Yes, like a majority of Americans I have a few pounds to lose. However I am considered slightly overweight, not obese. I do not look like the stereotypical Type 2.
- My blood sugar goes low. I actually had someone say to me, "How can your blood sugar go low? I thought diabetes was high blood sugar." I have Type 2 which is also known as insulin resistance. My body doesn't like using the insulin in my body to break down the glucose, causing high blood sugar. However there are times of increased activity, like the quick tidy many of us do when we know someone is coming over and the kids left a mess in the living room, that my body decides to actually use the over supply of insulin to break down the glucose for energy, causing my blood sugar to crash.
- I don't have the "good kind" of diabetes. Yes, I do feel blessed that I don't have to worry about insulin injections and insulin to carb ratios, but Type 2 diabetes is dangerous, too. My grandfather lost both of his legs compliments of diabetes. I have two numb toes that may or may not be related to diabetes (I have a doctor appointment coming up to talk about it. Don't worry, Mom!) I have an increased risk of many other medical conditions. What's "good" about that?
- It's not my fault. It's not my parents' fault. It is what it is. There's nothing I did to get Type 2. I highly doubt I could have done anything to prevent it either. It is my fault if I let diabetes win without a fight. I wake up every day determined to do the best I can to take care of myself. Do I slip? Of course! I've had days where I've knowingly eaten too many carbs. I've had days where I've sat in the chair more than I've moved around the room. Those poor choices aren't what caused my diabetes. No one will know for sure what caused it. I assume it's genetics and five pregnancies, but honestly only God knows for certain.
*Please remember YDMV (your diabetes may vary) which is why I said "my" Type 2 diabetes. What is true for me might not be true for another person with Type 2 and vice versa.