Yesterday I rushed home from the Eye Doctor (dialated eyes and all) because Oprah was having a show about "Diabetes: The Silent Killer." I will be honest, I figured the show would be all about Type 2....and unfortunately, I was right. It absolutely broke my heart. Oprah and Dr. Oz are contributing to what I like to refer as the "Type 1 Guilt Trip." By ambiguously referring to "Diabetes" without making clear distinctions the stereotype about "all Diabetics" is perpetuated. To say the least I was extremely upset after watching the show, knowing that now an even greater number of Americans are mis-informed. They think I brought this on myself, that I can reverse it with the proper diet and excercise, that I am bankrupting the healthcare companies because of my laziness to control my disease. You may think I am just making all of this up, but the truth is I have first-hand experience with friends, coworkers, family and acquaintances regarding these very feelings. More than once these feelings have caused tears. And the tears aren't just from my selfish pride, they are tears because less and less people will donate money to find a cure for Type 1, which means I will always be a slave to the shots, finger pricks and constant monitoring...not to mention the guilt associated with those who think I deserve all this because "I brought this on myself."
My sentiments are echoed throughout the Type 1 Community. I urge you to read Kerri's blog today, it is an eloquent message about Oprah's show and the feelings associated with the perpetuation of the "diabetes" stereotype.