Living with type 1 diabetes means you’ll likely have to explain what it is to someone who doesn’t understand at some point.
On a weekly basis I meet people that ask about my pump (a pod on the back of your arm typically is a good conversation starter!), and with it comes the explanation of type 1 diabetes, the difference between type 1 and type 2, and a bit of education explaining there isn’t a “good or bad” kind of diabetes…all types require diligence.
The general public doesn’t have the right information for many reasons. The biggest offender unfortunately is the media. The news, TV shows and movies – all offer “information” that is often taken out of context, not adequately explained and poorly portrayed. It is obvious to those who live with diabetes that these programs haven’t done adequate research into the intricacies of life with diabetes. It would be great if they could simply start by visiting with a reputable source – an Endocrinologist or Certified Diabetes Educator, and then for a true-to-life example, visit with someone who actually lives with either type of diabetes.
The recent online explosion of comments regarding the poorly dramatized experience of a woman with type 1 diabetes in the BBC’s season finale of The Syndicate shows just how uneducated people without diabetes are – even if they are a writer for a big name show. It is one thing to take dramatic license with how you cast character roles and what you do with the plot, but to bring in a medical condition that is very real and has specific management criteria (how to treat a low vs a high BG) means you really should know what you are talking about OR ask someone who does so that the information is correct.
Show writer Kay Mellor states:
In this story Amy is a young woman who is diabetic but also quite manipulative and uses various ways to gain what she wants out of life. We have no idea if she is lying or telling the truth at any given time.
In this last episode we see that Amy had been through a traumatic time with her boyfriend and clearly feels unwell and confused, she could well have made an error saying her blood sugar was low.
I based the story of Amy around a young woman I spoke to who said when she’s been eating or drinking something sugary her blood level spikes