Expectations

Most of my blog (especially back when it started) has centred on the stupid things people have said to me about my diabetes. I remember a time shortly after diagnosis where every single day without fail, someone would come up to me and say something ignorant, hurtful or outright rude about my diabetes.
It wasn’t because they were trying to be cruel, it was because they didn’t understand what it was.
I got very good at simultaneously informing them of what type 1 was, and exactly where they could stick their ill-informed opinions.

I heard all sorts, like
- You ate too much sugar
- Why are you eating that?
- At least it’s not cancer (Word to the wise, don’t say this to anyone, ever.)
- Ew. Blood.
- Ew. Needles.
- I’d die if I had that

And so on.

Of course at the time of writing I was still very sensitive to these things, even though I’d had type 1 for a few years when I started this blog. They frustrated me, but then they gave me an endless source of amusement.

Yes, they still make me laugh (and sometimes want to jab people with a fingerpicker and see how they like it), but now my outlook has changed.

I expected too much. Well, to a point.
If I told you more than twice and you still didn’t get that it wasn’t about food then I had a right to find you irritating.

After all, before I left the house on the morning I was diagnosed, my mum was sifting through the fridge thinking of bin-ing anything that was sweet. We knew my blood sugar was high, we thought it must be type 2 diabetes since I wasn’t a very young child, and we thought sugar caused it. I actually asked my mum before we left for the doctors and then the hospital “it isn’t the needle type is it?”. She said no (whoops!).

By the end of the day we understood that I had type 1, and my milo was saved from the bin.

I learnt about type 1 in a mega crash course over a week which involved going in to the hospital before breakfast and staying until just before dinner so that I could learn, eat, and give insulin under supervision. Of course I picked it up quickly, these people were teaching me how to survive.
My close friends understood it because I sat them down and taught them a quicker version of everything I knew. I did the same thing when I started uni (because I’m totally the life of the party when I begin the “I have a chronic illness and if X happens can you please do Y” lecture).

But everyone else? They aren’t supposed to be experts! I quickly learnt that and switched to educating instead of glaring.

I've known one of my best friends for the vast majority of my life. We’re close now, but when I was diagnosed we weren’t- simply because in high school we had different friendship groups. She said one of these stupid things to me shortly after I was diagnosed, and it was then that I understood that it wasn’t made to hurt me. It was simply a lack of knowledge.

Now this lovely person knows all sorts about diabetes and other chronic illnesses, and i didn’t even give her the “I have diabetes” lecture! She will make an amazing chronic/terminal illness psychologist (if that's still what she wants to do when she graduates of course!).

To sum up my long and waffling post, I’ll put it this way.
If you think before you speak I’ll appreciate it. If you ask questions I will answer them.

If you take the time to try and understand what type 1 is, I don’t care if you say stupid things sometimes (just PLEASE don’t pose with sugar packets in front of a coke can saying “diabetes”, I can't forgive you for that).
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