If you’re on social media, you’ll be more than familiar with the ridiculous clickbait style articles that tell you about ‘things you should know’. These lists are often targeted to specific age groups (20 things all women in their twenties should know), gender (5 things men should do on a date) or include things to make you feel like you’re falling behind (23 things your daughter should know by the times she’s 13 years – subtext: and if she doesn’t, you’re a lousy parent).

The aim of these articles is to make the reader feel inadequate and feel that they are failing at things because they are 34 years old and haven’t worked out the 10 things every woman should know about orgasms.

I steer clear of any of these lists and simply don’t give in to the desire to click. So, here’s my list of 16 things every person with diabetes should know:

  1. Diabetes sucks.
  2. Diabetes can also be interesting and eye opening.
  3. Finding a healthcare professional who understands you and what you need will make navigating the system easier. And it’s perfectly okay if you want someone to ‘tell you what to do’ rather than someone who is more consultative. Horses for courses.
  4. Cinnamon doesn’t cure diabetes and anyone who says it does is a big lying liar. And possibly a bit simple.
  5. There is no unsuitable response to the question ‘should you be eating that’. Gentle violence is acceptable, as are tongue lashings, death stares and bursting into tears.
  6. Further to number 5 – yes, you can eat that.
  7. Cupcakes with sprinkles make as suitable a lunch for a person with diabetes as a person without diabetes.
  8. It’s perfectly okay to squeal when you see another person pulling out an insulin pump, giving themselves a shot of insulin, or checking their BGL. Even if you don’t know them.
  9. You do not need to explain your diabetes to anyone. That includes how you choose to manage it, how you feel about it, what you say about it. Your diabetes; your rules.
  10. I’ll just say that again: Your diabetes; your rules.
  11. There is no room for judgement. From anyone about anyone. (Except for people who wear leggings as pants. I’m all for judging them. And the Kardashians.)
  12. Unicorns are real – I rode mine to work this morning.
  13. Feeling sad or happy or down or ecstatic or miserable or pissed off about diabetes are all reasonable emotions – even within the same five minute period.
  14. It’s okay to grieve. Life with diabetes is different.
  15. There is no substitute for a friend with diabetes saying ‘I get it’.
  16. Lists about diabetes are stupid
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