The questions that we get asked about our diabetes have a negative effect on our emotions. Facing questions day after day we begin to get depressed and believe that something is truly wrong with us. Having started a new job recently I was truly worried about some of the questions that I would face from other employees. The good news is that I see these people each and everyday which makes it a lot easier to give more detailed answers. One of the questions I'm asked frequently is "Can you eat that?" My boss had bought donuts for break and as I grabbed one (my training has been going well and I felt athlete wise that it was ok) I was asked "Can you eat that? I don't want to see you on the floor later!!" I laughed and explained "I'll be just fine as long as I cover the food with insulin and test my blood sugar." As time has gone on the diabetes myth questions have slowly gone away and they have been replaced with real questions. "How do you know how much insulin to take to cover your lunch?" I will answer questions like that all day long.
Unfortunately all of us do not have the luxury of being able to answer questions in great detail when they are asked quickly in the community. Team Novo Nordisk is doing its best to change how people communicate when it comes to discussing diabetes. When the team first began racing with diabetes and tv commentary would say "Team Novo Nordisk riders suffer from diabetes" Think about that comment, SUFFER!! I suffer on the bike when I'm climbing a mountain. I don't suffer from diabetes. Team Novo Nordisk has met and will meet with all broadcasters before any race and shared a guide that they put together that changes how they communicate when it comes to the team and diabetes. Now commentators will say "Team Novo Nordisk riders are living with Type 1 diabetes." That small change instantly makes diabetes better. Changing how we communicate when it comes to diabetes is the first step in changing the diabetes stigma.