I think the title says it all, diabetes comes with a lot of myths and stories, and it’s clear that people don’t know very much about this disease. Which boggles my mind because there is a multitude of information about any and everything you want to know. Now, I know lot of people have done posts similar to this but I thought I would add my own little take on this whole thing. Truthfully, what sparked this post was a comment I received while catching up through Facebook with an old high school friend, and though I laughed it off I’ll say that it definitely left a sour taste in my mouth.
Not verbatim but here’s how the conversation went:
Me: Hey (insert girls name here) it’s been awhile. How are things?
Her: Everything’s great, finishing up school and working a lot. You know how it goes.
Me: Yeah, life can get very hectic. :)
Her: Exactly. How’s your family..your husband and the little one?
Me: Great! Things are great. My daughter keeps me on my toes. Haha.
Her: That’s good though.
[Cue awkward silence]
Her: Are you still diabetic?
Me: Um, yeah. Haha. I just can’t kick the habit, I guess.
Her: Haha, oh okay.
For the most part that is where I decided to end this conversation..
Are you still diabetic? The phrase rung in my ears like an annoying buzz and I felt my face heat up. Of course I’m still diabetic, it’s not some lifestyle change I made a few years ago. Following some fad that all the other kids were into at the time. It’s a chronic illness, something I’ll have forever, unless they find a cure, and I most certainly didn’t choose to have it. My pancreas hates me and decided to show me what was what. The question infuriated me. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but sometimes it’s very hard not to come off as sarcastic and be upset about the silliness people come up with.
So I thought it would be humorous to jot down a few of the comments I have heard, personally, about diabetes..
- You can’t have any sugar whatsoever or you’ll die, right?
- Are you upset that one day you’re going to lose your feet or possibly your legs?
- I thought diabetes was for morbidly obese individuals.
- Eat lots of salads, then you wont have diabetes.
- My grandma had diabetes..she’s dead now.
- (Someone asked my husband about my diabetes and then proceeded to say that her sisters had diabetes forever and she thought she was type 4 now)
- Type one diabetes..that’s the good kind, right?
- You have to use needles for insulin..you can’t just drink it?
- I would absolutely die if I had to live with diabetes.
- (And my all time favorite comment I’ve ever gotten) So you’re Hispanic, right? Is that why you’re diabetic?
Number ten I still have no idea how me being Hispanic correlates with being diabetic, because last I checked diabetes didn’t care about gender or race. I thought that one was very interesting and I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or just walk away. The truth in this situation is that yes, I can have sugar, in small amounts and after taking insulin, and no I can’t just drink it. I’m upset that people assume I am going to lose limbs, I plan to keep all my body parts but thanks for bringing that one up. No, diabetes doesn’t just strike “fat” people. It loves everyone equally. Salads are not a cure and I am sorry to hear about said grandma but that doesn’t make me feel better about this. Type four diabetes, that must be the good kind.. :)
I shake my head at some of these but all you can really do is, instead of getting upset with people, try to take the time to educate them. They wont know unless someone tells them. Or they decide to find out for themselves.