Today's topic.....lets talk about changes in one of two ways. Either what you'd most like to see change about diabetes. Or reflect back on some changes that you or your loved one has seen.
Finally....one that I can write with ease.
Lets see......I don't know what it is like in other parts of the world but here in the UK we have a real problem surrounding people's understanding of the different between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The blame I believe falls mainly at the feet of the media and really poor journalism. Let me give you an example, there is a newspaper front page headline today "Eating eggs reduces the risk of developing diabetes." Anyone with any knowledge on the subject will know that they are talking about type 2 diabetes as type 1 is an autoimmune condition. But, what about all those people that haven't that underpinning knowledge? Lets face it unless you deal with it on a daily basis you have no reason to know, and it would be ignorant of me to think that you should know, I mean what makes type 1 diabetes so special that the whole world should know about it? The problem is though is that assumptions are made about people with type 1 and how they came to develop it.
"You must have given your child too many sweets"
"They are overweight"
"They don't get enough exercise"
"You didn't breast feed your baby".
You get the idea, as if us parents of diabetic children don't feel bad enough!
Now if I'm honest I don't often get upset by such comments but I know plenty of people that do. If anyone says anything to me that is factually incorrect I will inform them otherwise, it's not their fault they have been misinformed.
There are calls to change the names but I personally don't think that will do much. What it needs is a little more thought when reporting. It's only a few extra words and it will make the whole world of difference.
The only real thing that I would love to see changed is for people to become more aware of the symptoms, and realise how deadly undiagnosed type 1 diabetes really is. If you were to ask any parent in the UK what the symptoms of meningitis were they would be able to tell you. It's in the red book that is given to new parents when they have their baby. It's the main condition that parents here are scared of, and it kills, but so does type 1 diabetes. Statistics also show that more children are diagnosed with type 1 each year than meningitis and its on the increase in children under the age of 5. It's a scary thought.