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Non-diabetic readers – this is a d heavy post but feel free to contribute anyway.

Let’s say you were daily around the same group of people. Let’s say in this group there were several Type 1 diabetics and several Type 2. Actually an abnormally large group of Type 1s considering the general population. Most of them are even pumping or about to restart pumping after a prolonged break. The idea of a support group has been thrown around many times and I am fully in ‘support’ of that idea.

Here’s the problem. A large part of me wants to make this a group for only Type 1s. I didn’t realize this until one of the Type 2s brought up the group to me again today. This person is a VERY noncompliant diabetic. VERY noncompliant. She could probably use support, but people have provided it in the past with no real results. She could probably better use more diabetes education. But to put it bluntly, I don’t want to provide it. When we were talking today, she kept talking about all that we have in common and all I can think of is all that we have different.

I have nothing against Type 2 diabetics. I have several in my family and I understand the struggles that they deal with on a daily basis. That is not what this is about.

Is it wrong that I want a support group and not a diabetes education class?


5 responses

  1. No. I think there is a need for both. Some people need a Type 2 group, some a combined Diabetes support group, and then what you are talking about.

    What you need may be different and even some of your fellow T1’s may not feel the way you do. Don’t ever think the way you feel is wrong about this. It is quite personal and you need what you need.

  2. I can definitely relate to this (I’m type 1 too). I sometimes have the feeling that type 2 diabetics just don’t understand life with type 1. But if it is a type 2 on the pump, then I guess that they can understand some of our struggles…

    I have to remind myself that type 2 isn’t “easy” cause it is easy to slip into that frame of mind.

    One thing to consider… many people with type 2 who are on multiple daily injections or a pump may have Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults, which makes them much more like type 1’s that 2’s.

    I can understand your feelings and get why this would be a hard decision….

  3. While there are some elements which are common to both type 1s and type 2s, there are also many differences, ranging from typical total daily dosages to counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia (indeed, the incidence of hypos is also a major issue for type 1s, but is often worried about — many times without much merit — for type 2s). I am in agreement with the preceding commenter that there needs to be a support group for both.

    One thought: First, you can make it known that you are organizing a type 1 support group which may address issues which are very specific to that particular disease but may not be terribly relevant for many type 2s. You can say that if someone with type 2 wishes to join, they are free to do so, but they need to keep that issue in mind. For example, in most type 1 support group meetings I have ever encountered, no one typically talks about food or diet tips, as weight loss just isn’t an issue for them, but discussions on hypoglycemia is always a discussion item. A person with type 2 needs to consider that the risk of hypos for most people with type 2 (even those using insulin) is 1 / 25th of the risk for people with type 1, and that is due to the fact that in people with type 1, they can no longer produce glucagon (as the alpha cells which produce that hormone are damaged by the autoimmune attack on the Islets of Langerhans) so those elements of discussion might raise unnecessary concerns for someone with type 2. It is not about exclusion, but focusing on topics which are unique to their disease etiology.

    You might also consider telling this person the reason, but you can offer them support and perhaps the wisdom of your experience in starting a type 1 support group that the person with type 2 might find very useful in starting a type 2 support group. They might appreciate learning from your experience on that!

  4. As a Type 1 and a pump user, I don’t think you are wrong to want a Type 1 only group.

    One way you could get around this since you said that most of the type 1’s are pumpers create it as a pump support group (and also allow those who are considering getting a pump in as well).

    Although this won’t restrict it to Type 1’s only, it seems to me that any Type 2’s that use a pump are serious about their diabetes care.

  5. UGH…I know a T2 like that also…shes a coworker of mine, actually the bosses wife!

    Drives me insane! She’s comes to talk to me about/get advice on what’s going on with her which ends in me repeating the SAME exact conversation that I’ve had with her for the 5 years I’ve worked here. It’s absolutely exhausting!

    She does NOT check her BG, she does NOT take her meds or insulin as directed, skips doc’s appointments, has numerous complications and tires to ignore them also. Her BG’s run pretty consistently in the high 200’s/low 300’s from what I can tell from the very few times she checks her BG – which is normally only when I’m standing there.

    So no…I wouldn’t want to join a support group with her or anyone else similar.

    And as far as support groups in general….I would only be interested in a T1 group. Despite the few similarities btw 1’s and 2’s there are HUGE differences.

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