“Do you have the bad kind?”

If you have diabetes, you have heard the same questions and comments over and over again:

Do you have the bad kind?

But you don’t look diabetic!

Should you be eating that?

And you have likely used some of the obvious responses:

What is the bad kind of diabetes?

What does a diabetic look like?

I can eat whatever I want.

So, why do people continue to treat people with diabetes (PWD) differently based on a medical diagnosis that they don’t understand?

People want to help. Sometimes people do not know any better. Often people believe that everything they have heard about diabetes is the same for each person. But the reality is that we are all different biological beings. There is no right answer, aside from the fact that people should refrain from asking invasive questions.

With this in mind, what would be a good approach for answering these questions?

The approach that seems to work the best for me is to be honest. “Do you have the bad kind?” can be spun into a learning moment.

            “Well, there is not a good or a bad kind. I would argue having any type of diabetes is bad with some silver linings. Would you like to learn more about Type [1, 2, Gestational, LADA, etc…] and how it affects me every day?”

This approach isn’t for everyone. What works for you? Let me know in the comments or via email sonjac@nevada.unr.edu. I would love to hear your input, and may feature your comments in an upcoming blog!

Come back tomorrow for another blog post and information about my new Twitter account!

Published by

Sonja Cunningham

20 years survived with T1D, 2021 Executive MBA candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno

One thought on ““Do you have the bad kind?””

  1. Nope, I have the good kind. I use syringes, and put in insulin everyday. I have high blood sugar that makes me pee like a like an open fire hydrant, sometimes I eat like no tomorrow, and if I am lucky I might go blind, lose kidney function and die early. Thank God I have the good kind. If you knwo someone with the good kind please let me know I woudl love to meet them.

    Liked by 1 person

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