[quote user="Kelly"]Could it be because type II can sometimes be managed with diet and weight loss and type I has an indefinate outcome to taking insulin for the rest of my life?[/quote]
I think you got it right, there. Plus, it's probably viewed as worse than it currently really is because treatment used to not be nearly as good. Remember Steel Magnolias? While wayyyyy over dramatized and a little out of date even when it was released, it wasn't fabricated (in fact, she was based on the playwrite's own sister). The fact is that type I was probably a lot more volatile to live with before thingsa like home glucose testing and rapid-acting insulin became available. And once upon a time, there was only one kind of insulin, regular, which meant they couldn't imitate the pancreas's continuous "basal" release of insulin like we can with either a pump of long-acting (or intermediate-acting) insulin. And before that, before they could extract insulin from animals, this disease was a death sentence.
In the meantime, some people with type 2 (but not all!) can control their blood sugar through diet and lifestyle. And of those who can't, most can deal with it through oral medication (until, eventually, their pancreas wears out and they need insulin).
So, I'm not surprised that people see type 1 as "the bad diabetes." Not only are msot peopel horrified by the whole shots-of-insulin-for-the-rest-of-your-life thing, but the disease has a history that is far, far more grim than it's present and future. But type 2? Eh, those people can just go hop on a bike, right? (Yeah, it's that simple, sure.)
I really liked the perspective of my very first CDE. Since I was 30, my GP and I were assuming that test results would reveal I was type 2. Scared though I was, I held up hope while waiting for those test results. Even if they started me on a medication, my plan was kick my ass into gear, exercise, eat low carb, and control my diabetes through lifestyle if at all possible. I was going to take control! But when the results came back showing likely type 1, and the doctor prescribed insulin and was explaining what to expect at the insulin therapy class she was referring me to, I felt control slipping away. There was nothing I could do. I would always need insulin. I would always have diabetes. Nothing I could do would change that. (And yes, I knew that people who control T2 diabetes through lifestyle still have diabetes, but I wasn't being logical at the time!)
I was terrifed.
But when I sat down to talk to my first CDE, she started off by saying, "I have type I diabetes, and I have all my fingers and toes. I've never had a single major complication. You can do this. As far as I'm concerned, you're lucky it's type I." (At this point, I interrupted her with a very skeptical, "Really?") "Yes, really. I say that because most people who get type 2 walk around with the disease for years before finding out, and the high blood sugar is causing irreparable damage to their bodies. But with type 1, you find out almost right away and you can start doing something about it and probably avoid those complications."
Suddenly, I felt like I had some control back. My own view that I had "the bad diabetes" shifted a little. And since then, I don't think of it that way. I have some things a lot harder than a type 2 would, but they have some things harder than I do. It's all a trade off. Neither of these are the "good" kind of diabetes!!!
Jeez. *steps down from soapbox*