Admiring Our Differences

I have to confess, before finding the DOC, I really did not understand some of what people with Type 2 diabetes go thru. My only real experience with Type 2 was with my Aunt Ruth. She was diabetic as long as I can remember but she never really did anything differently. If you had dinner at her house, there were always several deserts to choose from. I don’t think you ever found anything green on her table. If you were a stranger around her, you would have no clue that she was diabetic.

Before she died, she was started on Lantus – one shot before bedtime. I stopped to see her one day and she was bragging about what her BS was that morning and asked me what mine was. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but if hers was 80, mine was 99 type scenario. Of course, she was elated because her fasting BS was better than mine. I then proceeded to ask her what it was before lunch, before dinner or before she went to bed – she did not know what those numbers were because she had only been told she needed to test first thing in the morning. I should add that prior to going on Lantus, she never had a meter so that she could check her BS. The next time I stopped, she had checked her BS before lunch and dinner and was surprised how much it had gone up.

Unfortunately, my aunt’s story is a common theme for Type 2s – their doctor tells them all they need to do is check their BS when they get up in the morning. DP is not just a Type 1 problem. It affects Type 2s also. If they don’t check their BS an hour or so after they get up, how do they know if they have a DP problem? If they aren’t checking their BS before and after meals, how do they know what different foods do to their BS? If they don’t know how foods affect their BS, they obviously can’t eliminate the problem foods from their diets.

Just like Type 1s, Type 2s have some of the same blood sugar problems. If we gain weight, we need more insulin. If we lose weight, we need less. Stress can cause our blood sugar to go up. Hot weather can cause our blood sugar to go low and cold weather can cause our blood sugar to go up. As a Type 1, I am able to adjust my insulin on a regular basis to account for all the non-food things that impact my BS. A Type 2 on pills can’t do that. They have to wait until they see their doctor and then they are at their doctor’s mercy to get their medicine changed. If the changes happened right after their last appointment, they might have to wait almost 3 months before they see their doctor again.

There was a woman on one message board that was very happy because she worked hard and was able to get her A1c in the 5s. Her doctor felt that an A1c in the 5s was dangerous and proceeded to lower the woman’s Type 2 meds. The woman was already eating low carb so other than looking for another doctor, there was not anything that she could do – until she found another doctor that accepted her goals of an A1c in the 5s, she was stuck with the higher BS. If a doctor does not like my A1cs in the 5s, they can complain, but as long as I control the syringe, there is not anything they can do about it.

We all have our struggles with diabetes regardless of what type we are, but if I have a problem, I can fix it without needing my doctor to adjust my medicine. I can stick my tongue out at my doctor if they don’t like my A1c. A Type 2 is stuck with whatever medicine and dose that their doctor is willing to give them. If they go out to dinner or to a party and decide to have a piece of cake, they are stuck with high BS for hours. If I want a piece of cake, I can adjust my insulin and hopefully end up with decent BS. A Type 2 can’t do that.

This post is my Monday, May 9th entry for the 2nd Annual Blog Week. You can check out more posts at Bitter~Sweet.

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12 thoughts on “Admiring Our Differences

  1. I am not sure how to phrase this without it sounding bad, but if I have to have diabetes, I would rather have Type 1 than Type 2 for the same reason you describe here. I’m not sure that I could be that controlled with my foot choices and appreciate the ability to adjust my insulin accordingly.

  2. Beautiful blog, Kelly — I wish everyone in the whole diabetes world would read it! Especially the Type 2’s who need the compassion and understanding that you bring to bear!

  3. Like you, Kelly, I think it’s important that we all take the time to understand and learn about the different d’s. All diabetes is a struggle.

  4. Thank you for this well-thought out post about T2 and the difficulties you see us having with being at the mercy of our doctors (and ourselves).

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