During last week’s Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (#DSMA) session on twitter, one of the discussion topics centered around Type 2 diabetics and insulin treatment. Should type 2’s start taking insulin earlier? Should it be avoided at all cost? Does the need for insulin mean the person is a failure for not getting their diabetes under control? Like many others in the DOC, I have my own opinions on the subject, and I voiced some of them during the chat.
First, I am a person with type 2 diabetes, and at present, I am not taking insulin as part of my treatment regimen. I have been given insulin injections during two separate hospital stays in the last year or so, though, so I do at least have a faint idea as to what it’s like.
Now, just because I’m not on insulin right now doesn’t mean that I won’t be in the future. I’m not being negative or pessimistic, I’m looking at this realistically. I’ve struggled with oral medications not working, and I know that insulin may be in the cards. And while I’m not actively pursuing insulin use at this time, I’m definitely open to the idea if and when it becomes necessary.
And if I do end up on insulin, it will not be because of some failure on my part. I put everything I have into fighting my diabetes and keeping it under control. Insulin therapy does NOT indicate failure. It will simply mean that my body needs help getting its’ job done. And there is no shame in needing help. The real shame would be in not doing anything at all.
As I said the during the chat, “If taking insulin means I might live a little longer, by all means, pass the vial my way. It’s called doing what’s needed to survive.” And that’s what it all really boils down to; Each and every one of us doing what is necessary for our own survival. What is right for me, may not be right for you. And that’s OK. The important thing is to figure out what will work for you, put a plan in motion, and then stick with it.
And if you learn something along the way, be sure to share it with someone. It just might make surviving a little easier for someone else.