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Monday, 22 July 2013

When People say stupid stuff

One of the things I struggle with most when dealing with diabetes is how much of a 'public' disease it is. Everyone has a view on diabetes. Sometimes its very hard to make people see ours - that the person WITH diabetes - as the most important view of all.

Diabetes requires a lot of micromanagement, and endless doctors, educator, endo podiatry, optometry and more appointments. Every one of these health professionals have their own view on how we should be treating our diabetes. They are all right and they are all wrong. I'm ok with these viewpoints because I seek them out. I want to know their opinions, and when I don't agree I feel like I can discuss this with them.

What I don't want is unsolicited opinions. They are never beneficial. They are usually judgemental and rudimenatry views established from watching too many 'A Current Affairs' stories on the 'diabetes epidemic' - you know the ones I'm talking about; where they talk about type 2 the whole time and bad eating habits, but then show the little kid with type 1 running around in a field of daisies at the end.

I've seen a lot of them on food posts lately  - someone bakes a yummy, sugar laden cake and you can bet that in the comments somewhere the typical 'diabetes in bowl' will spring up, fully laden with pain, hurt, resentment and embarrassment for the diabetics actually reading it. It belittles and makes a joke of a serious disease.

I get a few from people out loud. I was happily counting my carbs at a cafe the other day (I do this outloud as I tend to be able to keep track more), when I got the comment "That's no way to live". Actually, for me, it is the ONLY way to live. Thank you and mind your own effing business.

So why do people think they can have an opinion on diabetes and parade it around without living with the disease itself? Please, please don't. (This is probably going to sound rude, so I apologise in advadance.) Why diabetes? Is it not a serious, lifelong condition? You would never hear anybody say anything about cancer or any other disease, except to acknowledge that the person with cancer is suffering and to offer words of support and encouragement. Even if the person has lung cancer caused by smoking. Do we get public support? Sometimes, but those voices are far overshadowed by the ill-informed loudmouths. We get told it's our own fault, and we should live with it. So we should obviously suffer everyone's hideously misinformed opinions (which some people like to express quite loudly when they know they have a diabetic in earshot, or just to your face). STOP STOP STOP!!!! We have feelings. Even though we know it isn't our fault (Type 1) we still feel ashamed, some of us still hide our disease (at a detriment to our own health), because of all the public misconceptions and the ridicule we might encounter. Even in the case of lifestyle-induced type 2 diabetes, they don't deserve that embarassment. Can you honestly say you do everything perfect all the time? Some people just like chocolate, so effing what???? Why is that so horrible? You will never know how they got to that stage. Everyone has a vice!

We have this disease for life. I'm pretty good at brushing ridiculous remarks off my shoulders, calling the perpetrator an uneducated twat, and moving on. Some days though, when you've had a few hypos, when your blood sugar has been givin you hell all day and you feel like dogballs, its not so easy and you might go home absolutley in tears about it. It is for life, and if you hear that sort of suff every single day, it can wear you down.

Encourage us, please.

And if you're the one writing stupid stuff, watch this, take a pointer and do it better next time.


  1. I find the shallow comments, even the ignorant ones, are the easy ones to brush off. It's when someone really KNOWS what they're talking about - perhaps they have diabetes themselves - but still passes judgement (like "that's no way to live", or "you should do it this way", or "this type of diet is better"...) that bugs me.

    One part of diabetes is about following rules. Another part - a BIG part - is to adapt those rules to fit our lives. Both need to be flexible in order to find the happy medium that works for us.