Diabetic and proud – by Helen Whitehouse
I know that this year’s Diabetes Week focuses on this question quite a lot, and I expect that the range of answers and reasons are wide spread and very different. So, what are my reasons?
Well about two years ago, I decided that I wanted my ears double pierced, so, after a long persuasive conversation with my mother, we decided to go to a local jewelry shop to have them done in the summer holidays. As expected, it was swamped with small children clamouring to have their ears done for summer. I queued up for seemingly hours, hours, before a woman handed me a clipboard and a form, told me to fill it in. Age? 12. Sex? Female. Any Pre-existing conditions? Erm… Diabetes. Well, they sent me away…
I felt seriously downtrodden. The first time it has ever, ever prevented me from doing anything. So, I decided to go to another branch and blatantly lie. Bad, yes, but I knew it was for legal reasons, risks are more if the piercing gets infected… But I wanted it done! I was a determined 12 year old!
But what about lying for other reasons? Luckily, when I first was diagosed a gobby friend had already told the population of Hoyland but also, I was pretty proud of myself. I had come through it, learned to inject, grown up I suppose. As time went on a bit however, I began to despise the pitying looks I got when I whipped my pen out, when I did a blood test; when people asked me if I really should be eating that biscuit because “you’re diabetic you know?!”.
I hated being singled out. I knew I was just as capable as my friends, so I began to inadvertently hide. I did my injections alone, avoided having hypos, didn’t automatically tell people. But it’s not good y’know! I learnt that people need to accept me for me, diabetic, so that we can eliminate misconceptions and prejudices in society.
I am me, and if you dont like it then there’s nothing I can do.