Instagram fluttering with images of chocolate chip sundaes with whipped cream on top, surely a treat for the eyes and the tongue. But strangely captioned with the tag “#Diabetes”. A little insensitive, don’t you think? I know I sound a bit critical but can you put your ‘exciting’ life on hold and imagine the rush of feelings flowing through an 18-year-old diabetic who happens to come across this post? This is exactly what 18-year-old, Madeline Milzark from Missouri, who has been struggling with type 1 diabetes for the past 10 years, feels like when she sees such blatant insensitivity.
Close your eyes and visualize this: not knowing if you’ll wake up the next day, getting stabbed by syringes, continuously having to monitor your blood sugar levels daily, unable to afford insulin pumps due to ridiculously high insurance rates, as Madeline puts it, “I used to have an insulin pump but it broke and insurance prices are ridiculous.” According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the cost for a minor insulin pump ranges between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds.
Diabetes is a life-long disease and can be categorized among three types: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 is typically found and diagnosed in the early stages of your life. Type 2 occurs in the later stages of your life and gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy.
“It’s a disease that isn’t picky when it chooses who to attack, it doesn’t care if you’re 2 months old or if you’re 73,” commented a rather passionate Madeline trying to break stereotypes concerning diabetes. It isn’t just about overcoming your temptations for sugary snacks, it’s way more complex than that and a battle for those victimized by the disease.
“Diabetes management requires individualized, patient-centered, and culturally appropriate strategies,” commented the American Diabetes Association (ADA) following the guidelines they laid out for 2016.
You should never judge a book by its cover. No matter how happy, glamourous or ‘organized’ one might seem, you never truly know how many hardships they endure in their everyday life.