On our FFL2014 registration form, I checked the box for diabetes. For me. This was controversial. (To myself.)
In that moment of box-checking, I paused: although I do not have what I think of as real diabetes, I do technically have what my guy at Joslin calls Type 1 diabetes, and I shouldn’t hide it, so I thought I should definitely choose YES.
But then I thought: I don’t belong in a green bracelet socially, even if I belong cellular-ly. So I should definitely choose NO.
But then I thought: if I weren’t me, wouldn’t I think this “me” person should be in a green bracelet, representing one of the many varieties of Type 1, and even though this variety happens to be incredibly easy?
Type 1 diabetes is much better off being presented to the world as black/white. You have it or you don’t. Your pancreas is kaput or it’s not, so shut up haters, there was nothing we could have done differently. But even within my family
Totally Type 1: Bubs
Technically Type 1: me
Statistically predicted with 90% accuracy Type 1 within five years: Jack
Totally not Type 1: Joe
Compared to Bubs, I’ve got nothing. Compared to my seven-sugar-in-the-raw latte with a side of New York Super Fudge Chunk husband, I totally have diabetes. Compared to my possibly-on-the-verge-of-T1 son, I have it, but…meh.
But then I imagined: what if everything revolves around me, and someone at FFL notices my green bracelet, but sees I have–relatively speaking–very minimal medical gear and not a care in the world? And what if they ask me what’s up with the green bracelet? And what if I say, “Well, I technically have Type 1 diabetes, but I don’t need insulin as long as I don’t eat many carbs.” And what if they think that sounds like Halle Berry, but not in a sexy-cute way?
So I read about Halle Berry’s diabetes, widely perceived (DOC-wise) as a fiasco of misinformation. Writers I like and trust said things like…
Kelly said A TYPE ONE DIABETIC WHO DOES NOT TAKE INSULIN IS COMMITTING SUICIDE. And Diabetes is all-encompassing. And by calling it a little disease, she does a huge disservice to the millions living with type 1, type 1.5 (LADA), and type 2.
Mike said: If Halle is completely off insulin, she does not now nor ever had type 1, no matter what she claims.
And (different category of like/trust, but…) even Perez Hilton called HB’s D bullshit: No matter how much weight you lose or what you cut out of you diet, you can not change Type 1 diabetes, which is what Berry claims she’s been able to do.