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October 30 2018 | Life | By Ashley N

Type 2 Diabetes: Embracing the Grey

What do you associate with the words “type 2 diabetes”? An overweight person, sitting in front of the television eating a packet of potato chips? You are not alone.

I bet you wouldn’t be thinking of a healthy weight, physically active 19-year-old girl who grew up with a balanced diet.

5 years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I found out about my high blood sugar levels by chance and had no classic indicators associated with type 1 diabetes. Medically, I didn’t tick the boxes required for a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, so I must have type 2 diabetes.

However, I didn’t fit neatly into a type 2 diabetes diagnosis either. This became clear when my blood sugar levels only improved after starting multiple daily injections a year after I was diagnosed. My diabetes was the triangle peg that wouldn’t fit into the square and round holes that are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Although this didn’t bother me, many health professionals, online groups, diabetes services and programs refused to accept this and therefore, me.

Doctors tended to forget that I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and recommended me self-management courses and even starting an insulin pump. Sadly, I was always denied access to these simply because of the type of diabetes I was classified under.

I tried connecting online with other young people with diabetes but wasn’t allowed to join in as many of these groups only include people with type 1 diabetes. Open forums often saw people with type 2 diabetes being bullied due to the stigma and misinformation associated with the condition. I couldn’t find a safe space for young adults with type 2 diabetes, like myself, to connect. I felt alone and isolated. My family and friends supported me as best they could, but they really didn’t know what to do or say.

Go to https://bit.ly/2QbMDeQ to read the rest of Ashley's story.

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