#IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes… has no magic wand!

We have great, fantastic, unbelievable gadgets and devices that help, but all of those are operated by us. We drive our own medical devices.

My name is Grainne (sounds like Tanya:-D) and I live on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 20, so I’ve always been responsible for my own care. My mother didn’t have to be taught how to manage my diabetes because I wasn’t even living at home.

She saw what I let her see. That I was doing fine taking care of myself and didn’t need any help. Yeah, I know, I have a little more common sense now and a little less stubborn, I swear!

Today, my “Mam” is not as young as she once was and has a hard time keeping track of her five offspring, their spouses and the grandkids. But she is one of the people who shares a common reaction everytime I take out my insulin pump.

People who “ooh” and “aahh” over it like it’s a magic box. I think they still think that it automatically knows how much insulin to give me at any given time.

I try to explain exactly what it is and that I operate it, but they just can’t comprehend.

I suppose when I describe what my insulin pump is and that it’s like my own mobile IV drip I do make it sound like it’s a magic box complete with a magic nurse inside.

Sometimes, I will try to explain that I still have to do all of the calculations on my pump that I did when I was on multiple daily injections (MDI). The only real difference that it has made in my life with D is that I don’t have to prick my skin 4-5 times per day to inject and there is more of a chance of me getting better outcomes from the work I put in.

A lot of times, I’ve lost the attention of the person I’m addressing at this point. I need to work on my people stills more. It’s frustrating that I still haven’t figured out a way to explain diabetes in a way that a person who does not have diabetes will “get it”.

We have come a long way in the last 30 or so years, since glass syringes, sterilization and the strip that you dipped in your own pee (ick). (Thank goodness I wasn’t diagnosed back then.)

But, we are not where we want to be yet!

And we will keep trying to teach people who do not have diabetes about why we want a cure.

Thank you Kelly for inviting me to guest blog. It was a huge honour and it was a great pleasure to meet you at Friends for Life in Florida.

Grainne Flynn  was diagnosed with t1 as an adult and has lived with t1 for 22 years. West coast of Ireland born and bred, she’s one of the core organizers of the first of it’s kind event in Ireland called: Thrive-abetes; the Thrive with Type 1 Diabetes Conference.

Grianne writes a blog called Diabetes People in Ireland; volunteers with the national association for people with D in Ireland, Diabetes Ireland, and facilitates Diabetes support groups in Co. Clare.

Grianne is a passionate diabetes advocate and in her “spare” time, she is a stay-at-home Mum of two school-aged children;-)

Follow Grianne on twitter @Thriveabetes

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