Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 2: Quote Inspiration

See? I told you it wasn't an April Fool's Day joke.....

Today's Prompt: Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively), and write about it.

Don't be scared by today's prompt. No, I'm not going to get all gushy and reach-for-the-stars-y. No. Today, I'm going to tell you how inaccurate a quote is? Ready? If you've been a reader of this blog, you may have seen this before. Here it is:

"Because of advances in technology, we now consider you conditioned and not diseased." - A nurse trying to comfort me right after my Type 1 Diagnosis.

Why was this wrong? She said it like I had won the lottery. "Congratulations! We've given you a different label. Isn't that great?" At the time, I didn't quite understand what she was implying. Trust me; if I had known, I might have given her a brief education. Living with diabetes, whether it is considered a condition or a disease, is quite hard to differentiate.

Now that I have experienced living with Type 1 Diabetes, I can only ask myself "WTF is the difference between a 'condition' and a 'disease'? It feels the same to me.

Merriam Webster defines disease as "a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms".

Condition is defined as "a usually defective state of health".


I know that diabetes technology has advanced from archaic to seemingly high tech in the past few decades. The first insulin injection to a human was given in 1922- just 90 years ago. But even with the improvements, it doesn't change that diabetes is with me and on my mind for most of my waking hours and haunting me while I sleep.

When I wake up, I test my blood sugar.
When I want to eat, I test my blood sugar.
When I eat, I take an insulin injection.
After I eat, I test my blood sugar.
When I want to exercise, I test my blood sugar.
When I feel funny, I test my blood sugar.
When my blood sugar is high, I take insulin.
When my blood sugar is low, I eat sugar.
It's a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs.

Yes, I am thankful that there are things to help me manage and treat diabetes, but it is a 24/7/365 constant that I'm always fixing and correcting and balancing. Knowing that it's considered a condition instead of a disease seems like a relatively minor differentiation. Until there is a cure, I'm going to call this thing I fight every day a disease. Seems a little more heroic to me, and to be honest, I sometimes feel like everybody with Type 1 deserves a medal for managing their disease.


  1. Hear hear!

    I love the medal idea and I agree with the ridiculousness of labels. I'm diseased, I'm conditioned, I'm a diabetic or I have diabetes. Whatever you want to call it, it takes over every single corner of your life. Painting it tangerine tango with purple flowers doesn't change that (although it would certainly make it prettier!)

  2. P.S. I just applied to be a Global Hero. Cross your fingers!

  3. Um, yes. Looks like the definition of 'disease' is a 'condition'. Also, if you don't closely manage diabetes, there are dire consequences (sadly happened to my coworker's husband). "A rose by any other name..." right?