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Inspiration Exchange


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 to read the rest of Ashley's story.