November is Diabetes Awareness Month. So in an effoort to help everyone be more aware of Diabetes I am following the lead of a few blogs I follow and posting some very important facts and information about Type 1 Diabetes.
It is so hard on kids with Diabetes when people are so misinformed! My daughter is 15 years old and still gets very angry when people try to tell her maybe she should eat better and get more exercise! I do everything within my power to kindly and calmly say, "I am sorry, but you are referring to Type 2 Diabetes. No matter how my daughter eats or what kind of activity level she has her Pancreas will never make Insulin", and then take a deep breath and try not to roll my eyes.
My daughter's 3rd grade teacher actually reported me to CPS for allowing my daughter to eat sugar from time to time! And then in 5th grade the school nurse reported me because my daughter had bruising on her stomach. (I would like to see what your tummy looks like after sticking a 2 inch needle into it ever 2 to 3 days - for her insulin pump). Both times of course all I had to do was allow CPS to talk with our Endo proving she was under medical care and it was done, but I was a single mother at the time and aldready had enough stress in our lives.
A couple of important facts: No amount of exercise or diet restrictions would have or will have any affect on whether or not a Type 1 Diabetic is Diabetic or not. Their Pancreas has stopped making Insulin and will never produce Insulin again. Without Insulin a Type 1 Diabetic would die.
IT IS NOT ANYTHING THEY DID WRONG!
So when parents tell their children things like, "thats why we don't let you eat sugar honey" or say to my child "you really should take better care of yourself. Get more exercise and eat better, then you won't have to do shots" it not only frustrates me but hurts my daughters feelings, even though I have tried to explain over and over to her that they are just ignorant. Ignorance can hurt people around you.
So here are some links (which I borrowed from a friends blog- but since awareness is the key I think its ok)with some important information about Diabetes...
From the Mayo clinic's website...
"The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Scientists do know that in most people with type 1 diabetes, their body's own immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics may play a role in this process, and exposure to certain viruses may trigger the disease. "
And this from eHealthMD...
"Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's defense system attacks some of the body's own cells. In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, and therefore they are no longer capable of making insulin.
We don't know exactly why this happens, but we do know that some people are born with a tendency to develop diabetes. Then something "triggers" the onset of the disease. It may be a virus that triggers the onset, or it may be something in the environment. There is nothing a parent can do to prevent this from happening."
My wonderful daughter Macy was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic when she was 7 years old.
She is stronger than anyone else I know.
She only wants to be a normal teenager (as all teenagers want) and it kills me that I can't just wave a magic wand and fix it all.