Someone asked me what I put in Joey’s Easter Basket. “Since he is a “diabetic,” and can’t have sugar it must be hard.” When confronted with this type of comment I have a few choices. I can be nice and respond by saying, “yes, it’s hard.” Or I can tell them how absurd the comment is, or I can use the opportunity as a teaching moment, which is what I do 99% of the time.
I can’t blame people for assuming that people who have type 1 can’t eat sugar. Diabetes in general is so misunderstood, probably the most misunderstood of any chronic illness. When people hear the word “diabetes” they automatically think of someone who is overweight, unhealthy, lazy, that’s who has diabetes. I wish back when type 1 was discovered they would have given it a different name. I guess because both T1 and T2 are associated with insulin, they somehow got lumped together under the same name.
Even Juvenile diabetes was never explained. Only now because 1 in 3 kids will have it, and because the T1d community is very active in spreading awareness, are people starting to understand the difference. We are trying to make the public aware of the symptoms so no child has to suffer or die at the onset. Because type 1 diabetes symptoms mimic the flu, many kids are misdiagnosed, until they end up in the hospital.
We want doctors and their staff to have type 1 diabetes in their mindset every time a sick child comes in to their office! If a kid has lost weight, or has any of the symptoms of type 1, a test should be done. End of story.
The symptoms are important for everyone to know so I’m going to list them at the end of this post.
So, here is what I said to the person who asked what I put in Joey’s Easter basket: “because Joey has type 1 diabetes, which means his pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, he can have sugar/carbs, but he has to cover all of the carbs with a shot of insulin.” I also explained that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, so has nothing to do with insulin resistance, like type 2 diabetes. And that unless a cure is found, Joey will have to give himself insulin for the rest of his life.
Please pass this post along with the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
1. Hungry, like starving! Joey would cry that he needed food NOW!
2. Thirsty. Joey asked me to have a glass of water ready on the counter when he came home from school.
3. Weight loss. Joey lost 8 lbs, but with his baggy clothes I didn’t notice.
4. Lethargic. Joey started taking naps after school.
5. Bed wetting. Joey peed his pants on the morning he was diagnosed, he was wrestling with his brother.
6. Frequent urination.
7. Moody or irritable.
8. Blurred vision.
If your child has these symptoms, take them to the doctor and ASK for a blood sugar test, it doesn’t hurt and can save your child’s life!