The Blog

Snapshot_20130227_2When I began graduate school in Fall 2011, more experienced graduate students explained the life I was about to begin in terms of juggling: you had your job, your graduate work, some shreds of a personal life, and somehow you had to keep all of those balls up in the air. Then on January 24, 2012, I was tossed another ball–Type 1 diabetes. And I’ve always been clumsy.

I created The Clumsy Juggler to chronicle my attempts at balancing this disease with my busy life as a grad student and still find time to read for fun. Click here and read all about it!

The ‘Betes

English: The blue circle is the global symbol ...

The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The full medical name for diabetes is diabetes mellitus, a fancy term that literally means “sweet pee,” the most notable symptom of diabetes. The catch-all term actually refers to several related but separate diseases that affect the body’s ability to process sugar and therefore cause high blood sugar levels. I have type 1 diabetes, a rapid onset autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system attacks your body’s insulin-producing cells. Weight, diet, and activity level are not risk factors for type 1. You can read more about type 1 diabetes here.

The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. If someone in your family has diabetes but you’re not sure what type, chances are it’s type 2. While people who are overweight and sedentary are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, weight and activity level are risk factors, not causes, of the disease. You can read more about type 2 diabetes here.

Other forms of diabetes include

There’s even a form of diabetes that has nothing to do with blood sugar: diabetes insipidus.  You can read about DI here.
Puzzled by all the technical terms? You can browse a list of common terms at the American Diabetes Association website.

The Disclaimer

I am not a juggler. I am not a nurse, a doctor, or a Certified Diabetes Educator. I’m an English teacher and education student. If you want qualified advice on grammar or writing, ask me. If you want qualified advice about diabetes, ask a doctor.


4 responses »

  1. Hi, I have diabetes also and I’ve known for about 6 years now (type 2 though). I also have cystic fibrosis and in my blog I’m always saying ‘a few months ago I was diagnosed’ or ‘as an adult’ or ‘recently diagnosed.’ I’ve never actually written the date I was diagnosed, but I found out on January 24th 2012. I had to share that with you since I thought that was totally ironic that you found out on that day too about your diabetes! And since type 1 diabetes is also kind of rare to be diagnosed with as an adult. I would have found out about my CF prior to 1/24/12 but I kept canceling and rescheduling my pulmonology appointment because I was scared. The coincidence may not be that interesting but I think it is! Anyway if you want to check out my blog here it is:

    Thanks for sharing about your diabetes!

    • That is interesting! Thanks for sharing. It’s actually not all that uncommon to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult, although until fairly recently doctors automatically diagnosed anyone older than 18 with type 2 diabetes. That kind of misdiagnosis would be very scary, since people with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin in order to live.

      I would have found out about my diabetes sooner as well if I had made an appointment with the doctor when I first recognized the symptoms. I went through a month of denial before I finally went to the doctor. I’m glad we both got over our denial and went!

  2. Yea I’m still in denial sometimes but I feel much happier knowing about it! Good to know about the diabetes. I guess I just thought its uncommon to be diagnosed as an adult because I thought people with type 1 were born without insulin. I’m sure that’s not true but I don’t know much about type 1. I’ve heard controversial things from doctors like they tell me that I’m at risk for type 1 when I’m older because my pancreas will stop producing anything. But then other doctors tell me its completely impossible to go from type 2 to type 1 and it won’t happen. Personally I think anything is possible unfortunately and take doctors advice with a grain of salt. Good luck with everything!

    • From what I understand, they’re both sort of right. I have type 1 because my pancreas stopped producing all at once because my immune system attacked it. Even if you stop producing insulin, you’ll still be type 2 because your immune system didn’t attack your pancreas. It’ll just wear out. It’s confusing though, because doctors have learned a lot about diabetes in recent years and it takes a while for general knowledge to catch up. You’re right–you can’t always trust doctors!

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