I got to thinking today of the situations that too many Type 1 diabetics find themselves in daily, of the questions that hound their minds on a weekly basis and the struggles that they encounter regularly. As a fellow Type 1 diabetic for almost 27 years, I fully understand and I keep abreast of the topics and the news that involve this disease.
But, I have to be careful when it comes to news about diabetes when it is supplied by the mainstream outlets. Because eight times out of ten, it pertains to Type 2 diabetes and there is little to no distinction made between the two, even though they are completely different diseases. It is a problem that has bothered me for years and so I decided to create a subsection of my blog devoted solely to Type 1 diabetes.
I was a newspaper journalist for eight years and a freelance reporter for three. I always wanted to do an in depth article on Type 1 diabetes and when I found out about a possible cure years ago (one of numerous), I jumped on the chance to write about it. In the article I wrote, I distinctly made the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. I never referred to Type 1 as just "diabetes." I called it Type 1. The editor of the newspaper, however, changed it diabetes throughout the article. I tried to explain to him that there is more than one type of diabetes and that Type 1 is not the one that is running rampant among the waistlines of the American public. But, he said that the readers did not care. My hands were tied and the article went out as it was - diabetes. Never mind that the possible cure was strictly for Type 1 and had nothing to do with Type 2. It infuriated me.
And this is my chance - my chance to put the skills I gained over the years to good use on a topic that I am truly passionate about; to get my questions answered and hopefully the questions of other Type 1's out there; and to make that distinction that I know Type 1 diabetics desperately desire to read.
Type 1 diabetics constitute 5 percent of the diabetic population in this country. That's it. Five percent. And we are frequently overshadowed by Type 2 because it is so prevalent. We are frequently ignored. We are frequently given the stigma that Type 2 diabetics carry with them. When news of Type 1 diabetes does come across the TV or radio channels, they are only small blurbs; tiny snippets in most newspapers. It is certainly not the major headlines that Type 2 get
Yes, this is a small blog and no, I do not have a great many readers. But, if I can just get a few non-diabetics to recognize the difference between Type 1 and Type 2, then it's worth it. And more importantly - if I can find answers to questions that will help just one or two Type 1 diabetics, to give them some form of hope, then it's more than worth it.