Some Type 1 Diabetics might disagree with me and I might ruffle some feathers but I have to admit that I have beef with the ADA (American Diabetes Association). Having said that, I do think the ADA is great. They are doing a lot of great advocating for diabetes and provide a lot of great information. I was jealous that I missed their Scientific Sessions conference a few weeks back. I followed the conference on Twitter and it did seem like they provided a lot of great information in their sessions.
My beef with the ADA though is that their slogan is to “STOP DIABETES.” I have diabetes but I can’t stop my diabetes. I wish I could. How easy would life be if I could just stop it. I would love to stop worrying about counting carbs. I would love to stop pricking my finger or inserting my CGM sensor or my infusion set. I would love to stop the guilt I have from having a bad day with my blood sugars and eating. I would love to STOP DIABETES. However, I can’t. Nothing I can do can stop it. It’s here in my life; it’s not going away. The only way I can STOP DIABETES would be to time travel to the future, five years from now, when there is a cure. But since time travel doesn’t exist as far as I know, I can’t STOP my diabetes.
I used to live in Northern Virginia and would go to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel often because they had a restaurant there that I liked (Finn and Porter has amazing sushi!). This hotel was also near ADA’s headquarters and they would have meetings at this hotel fairly often. I would go for dinner and I would see the ADA signs to Stop Diabetes. This used to ruffle my feathers. We moved away from the area so I wasn’t around the Stop Diabetes campaigns all that often anymore. But then I went into a Subway and I noticed that they also have signs up from the ADA to “Stop Diabetes.” I’m not sure if this is every Subway or just the one that I went to but again it angered me.
Sure, the majority of diabetics are Type 2 and they probably can stop their diabetes. To be honest, I don’t know all that much really about Type 2 other than the basics and possible stereotypes that may or may not be right. Maybe Type 2 diabetics can stop their diabetes. If that’s the case, that’s awesome. If it’s not the case, why does the ADA continue to have that as their slogan? I went to the ADA website and they have statistics for diabetes but they don’t determine how many are Type 1 versus Type 2. They do say on a different page that Type 1 is only 5% of all diabetes cases. Type 1 and Type 2 are different. You can’t stop Type 1. Putting the two diseases together doesn’t make any sense and if you are an organization representing both Type 1 and Type 2 but have your slogan as something that only relates to one of the types. Sure 5% isn’t much, but it is over 1 million people. 1 million people who can’t stop their diabetes.
I know people have petitions to have the Type 1 diabetes name changed or diabetes in general changed to have Type 1 and Type 2 differentiated more and I am torn on my opinion. I see both sides of the arguments. The only thing that makes me feel slightly more towards the change side is ADA’s campaign to “Stop Diabetes.” I feel that it is not educational to people that don’t know about Type 1. Their slogan might lead people to think that I can control my own destiny and I can stop this disease that impacts my everyday life. The only thing I can change is the control the disease has over me; I can’t control it enough to actually stop it.
Thanks for letting me vent. I doubt anything will change but hopefully people know that Type 1 Diabetes can’t be stopped (insert Miley Cyrus song). Below are just a few images from their website where they want to “STOP Diabetes.”