Despite growing diagnosis, it continues to be a disease that has yet to be defined as to exact cause and ultimate cure.
We do know that T1D:
- Is an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
- Is NOT caused by diet
- Is NOT due to lifestyle, activity or something a person did
- Is diagnosed in ALL AGES, not just children
- It REQUIRES insulin to live
- It is INVISIBLE
While I like to focus on hope and living well, the reality is that we have had situations where we have faced ignorance, prejudice and a lack of education of what this autoimmune disease is really about.
From the first day home from the hospital and a friend assumed that we were contagious due to blood borne pathogens and how our first private preschool attempt suggested that we would not be welcomed due to T1D care. Thankfully, we were able to use those moments to weed out seriously flawed relationships and to secure a warm, loving and nurturing environment at the local public school.
However, those are just two instances in the sea of many. What I continue to worry about is how my children will fare in the face of such obstacles. They carry the burden of T1D care and to add the social stigma, it could become too much.