Really, “living with diabetes”?


I know a lot of people don’t like the term “diabetic.” They think it reduces us to our disease. So we have come to use in our speaking and writing the expression, “people with diabetes.” For short PWD.

Personally, I don’t care what you call me. Well, within reason. I know what diabetes is for me. For those who do call me a diabetic, or use the term in their writing, I just see it as a shortcut with words, not a shrinkage of who I am.

That said, we often use another term for those who have diabetes. I read it all the time, “living with diabetes.” As in, riva is living with diabetes. I suppose I should tell my husband we are not alone and maybe this diabetes should pay some rent.

Have we picked up this expression as a euphemism? Does it seem less harmful, less real, more gentle if I’m living with diabetes rather than I have diabetes.

Truth is, I have diabetes. If I were living with it I’m sure I would have asked it to vacate the apartment a long time ago. At least stay under the dresser or go out into the backyard, if I had one.

I don’t say I’m living with green eyes, or tinnitus or shoulder tension. I say I have green eyes, tinnitus and shoulder pain. Well, if anyone bothers to ask. I also have diabetes.

Here’s my final word on the subject: After the cure, I know I’ll say, “Yes, I had diabetes,” not, “Yes, I lived with diabetes.” For really, any sane person would immediately ask me why I didn’t ask it to leave.

3 thoughts on “Really, “living with diabetes”?

  1. Truly doesn’t bother me I know that is just a part of me. And, really, who has taught the general public not to use that term? No one.

  2. I am not a fan of the term diabetic when applied to people or used to group PWD together. To me it’s akin to saying “the leper(s)”. Maybe it’s just because when I’ve most often heard my daughter referred to as a diabetic it’s been out of the mouth of someone who uses it to almost de-humanize her and reduce her to simply a diabetic, rather than a person.

    As for the term “living with diabetes” I often see it in conjunction with someone who is really living their life, like a normal person, and not a “diabetic”. You know… They have all their appendages and are doing SOMETHING with their life beyond just having and managing their diabetes. I do agree with you on this one though. It’s ridiculous.

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