Monday, July 9, 2012
Solo bike rides in the rain are very cleansing. During one of these “cleanse rides”, I started thinking about Diabetes misconceptions. So many blog entries are born during solo rides. Words just flow so much better when I’m out riding. Then I get home and struggle to remember how I wanted to say what I needed to say. Here goes…
Dealing with the many Diabetes misconceptions out there is such an against the current battle. In a way, the Type 2 epidemic is almost a hindrance to Type 1 awareness and understanding of the disease. There are many, many Diabetes misconceptions out there. Here are a few… And don’t feel bad if you believe (or hopefully after reading this post believed) these to be true. The purpose of this post is to educate and inform.
1 - Type 1 Diabetes is controllable with insulin. I remember being told this when Adele was diagnosed and it took me years to realize that it was in fact untrue. To me, the part of this concept that is false is the word “controllable”. To be in control of your motor vehicle means that you can make it go exactly where you want it to go and you can stop it in a safe amount of time if necessary to avoid an accident. If all drivers were in control of their respective vehicles at all times, all accidents except maybe mechanical failures would thus be prevented. Now given this analogy, if Type 1 gamers were able to “control” their Diabetes, all life-threatening complications could be avoided since blood glucose levels could always be within the normal range. That’s not always the case. Even when we do every single thing right, there is always something out of our control that negatively affects this so-called “control”.
Technological and medical advances bring us closer to being able to achieve true control, but we’re not there yet. Getting back to our driver analogy, the control achieved by the Type 1 Diabetic would be that of a drunk driver. Your vehicle is often swerving from one side of the road to the other and the best you can do is try to keep it from falling into the ditch.
I hate it when newly diagnosed gamers are told that Type 1 is “controllable”. I spent nearly 10 years taking this literally and getting down on myself when I wasn’t able to maintain normal blood glucose values. Injected insulin keeps the Diabetic alive, it doesn’t normalize blood glucose at ALL times like in non –Diabetics.
2 - Once you get the hang of it and you get to “know your body”, Type 1 Diabetes becomes easier to manage. It never becomes easier. Eventually, you know what you need to do, but you still never really know what you’re doing. Even after close to 10 years of gaming, we’re really just winging it day in and day out. So, when you ask me if Adele’s blood sugar is going to be okay for a few hours in order for her to do something that she really wants to do, the best answer that I can give you is: “I’ve done everything in my power to maximize the chances that her blood glucose will be within normal range during this period, but I cannot guarantee that this will be the case” or in other words “I really don’t know”.
So there you have it. Two Diabetes myths explained… When you really think about it, the guesswork involved in Type 1 gaming is really insane considering the possible risks. Then again, I don't make up the game rules, I just try to live with them...