Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Diabetes Personality

I know I'm Type A.

I know I sweat the small stuff.

And I know I'm detail-oriented.

Was I like this before I had diabetes, or did the D make me this way?

My A1cs are good, and I'm on top of what I eat and when I see the docs. As I've said before, besides the diabetes and the cancer scare and everything else, I'm really healthy.

I think this is due to the diabetes personality. I'm convinced that the disease requires you to become a great juggler. Of time, of medications, of paraphernalia like meters and insulins and pump supplies and test strips. Of paperwork and insurance claims and doctors visits. The more you can juggle all the details, the more likely your blood sugars are likely to be within range.

And since I've gone on the pump, and gotten really serious about being diabetic, my sugars have been the best they've been in years. (Of course, the difference between when I was diagnosed, in 1977, and when I went on the pump, in 2000, is immense.) I've also thought more about this disease more in the past, say, ten years than I ever did as a child. I think that's due to the diabetes personality solidifying as I realized I needed to take more responsibility for my health and take it more seriously than I ever really did as a child or young adult.

Do YOU think there's a diabetes personality? Or even more specifically, a type-1 D personality?


Kassie said...

I believe there are personalities that have more success than others (with the parts they can control). Me, I'm an idea girl. I have the big ideas, then I hope other people will run with them. I also love events and deadlines - maintenance stuff is not my forte.

I think these are my personality challenges when it comes to D!

Kerri. said...

I can admit that I'm very Type A. And very Type 1 Diabetic. I used to wonder if it was my diagnosis that made me so fixated on the organization of my kitchen cupboards as well as my medical supplies. It's to the benefit of my health that I'm fastidious about the details of things. But is it my disease that has caused me to be this way?

Then I watched my father fold his socks into perfectly round balls and subsequently "file them" in the appropriate drawer. By color. And style. Into the precise little sock-grid he had created.

Oh dear.

Lyrehca said...


I'm laughing about the sock grid. I *wish* I could maintain a sock grid in my sock drawers.

And as another sign of the detail wonk I am, I notice your links list on Six Until Me has selected blogs with two asterixes at the end of them.... what do those mean?

Happy birthday, by the way! And Hi to you, Kassie!

Nicole P said...

Weird. Diabetes and work are the only two parts of my life where I'm fully organized and able to juggle very well.

My bedroom is a mess, my cabinets and most of the rest of the house are cluttered, my car looks like I live in it, and I can't keep personal dates (birthdays, event dates, etc.) straight for the life of me. But, my desk is neat at work (relatively speaking, I guess) and my diabetes is in perfect order 98% of the time...

I guess this would make me a pick and choose personality. I have my Type A moments and then I have my Type A MESS moments.

Kerri. said...


The asteriks indicate blogs that have been updated within the last six hours. (Six Until Asteriks, I guess.) I have my links manipulated through Blog Rolling so the updates are automatic.

And thanks for the birthday wishes!

Anonymous said...
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Kelsey said...

I too, am very much a Type A personality and detail oriented.

For the first thirteen years of my life, without diabetes, I was already shaping up to be a high intensity personality, so diabetes didn't completely make me this way. However, I've learned that focusing on the details with diabetes provides great results.

Also, the focus that I've practiced with diabetes has transferred to other areas of my life, like trying to finish my thesis while working full time. If I wasn't organized and on-top of things, there's no way I could juggle so much!

In short, I think my already type A, detail oriented ways have been intensified by having diabetes.

Anonymous said...

If there is a diabetes personality, especially for type 1 diabetes, it has to deal with trust. Even the most organized person with diabetes has to check blood sugars. We can be "perfect" in our diet, exercise, and insulin and still have "abnormal blood sugars. I have to trust that I will be all right regardless, that I can trust my body, myself, my doctor, etc... This can be challenging depending on what your doctors tell you and if you feel critical of yourself. I have had diabetes 36 years and have been a pharmacist and a yoga teacher. My diabetes personality is Type A that can trust; finding a way to trust life, my body, and my mind while practicing the self discipline of daily routines and responding to what my body needs.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few months ago. Since then, I have been in an ongoing very stressful work situation. I seem to have a shorter fuse than before, much less patience and tolerance for people who are rude or insensitive to others.Since then, I've recalled a phrase from years ago about the "diabetes personality," usually implying s/o who is short-tempered, cranky, etc.

There are other factors as well, coming out of a year long very active lifestyle, and experiencing burnout bigtime as well as a mistaken diagnosis which scared me until it was corrected. Also, recently diagnosed w/angina so I don't know whether all of these factors are playing into my irritablity or whether there actually is a "diabetic personality," and if so, how can one deal w/ it?

Would love to hear from s/o out there?



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