Friday, August 10, 2007

Older When Diagnosed With Type I

Type I diabetes was previously referred to as "Juvenile diabetes". Even with the change in the identification many still view Type I as being something you get when you are a child or a very young adult. It is fairly rare for someone my age (44 when diagnosed) to be diagnosed with that form of the disease but it does happen and I'm proof. I was misdiagnosed based solely on my age for a couple of days with type II before they realized I was not responding to oral treatments and they got all the test results. A friend was at the hospital visiting me the night that they changed my diagnosis to Type I and she made a gasp and said "oh no you have the serious kind you poor thing". First of all any type of diabetes is the "serious" kind. Second, I view myself very fortunate after reading from so many online who have had this since childhood. I was spared all the heartache of being a youth and growing up in this cruel world while battling this disease.

However getting diagnosed at this age has its own hurdles and social issues because when I share that I am newly diagnosed with type I often I get the look of disbelief. I've even had someone say to me that the doctors must be wrong because only children get that type. If I just share that I have type I then they usually ask how young was I when diagnosed and then comes the explanation and the look of confusion. Just as children are now being diagnosed with Type II there are adults who can and do get diagnosed with Type I.

In my opinion there needs to be a widespread effort to enhance public awareness of the new terms used for these forms of the disease as well as the changing data of those who are diagnosed. Technology has came a long way as far as media is concerned and we need to use it to our benefit so those children who are diagnosed with type II and those adults who get diagnosed with Type I don't have to suffer in the social realm from the old stereotypes.


Donna said...

Just thought I would direct you to Cara's blog, She has been trying to educate people on the differences between type 1 & 2 and doing a great job. I'm sure you would enjoy reading her posts.
On a personal note, I was diagnosed as a child 37 years ago. It wasn't fun. But it has been interesting seeing all the advancements in the treatment over the years. Don't get me wrong - I wish there was a cure for all of us. But so much has been done in the last 37 years - I just keep hoping & praying a cure is in sight.

Denise said...

Thank You Donna, I appreciare the link and will go check it out. I'm sure being diagnosed at such a young age wasn't fun and was very challenging. I can't imagine going through what I do today when I was young. I want that cure so bad for all of us and hope that it will be a reality in my lifetime. Thank you for visiting my blog and please keep in touch.