After 10 years with ‘the beetus’ (diabetes), I’ve heard a lot of things, mostly de-motivational things, when it comes to my care and diagnosis. And over those 10 years, there are some that resurface that I try not to let bother me, but ultimately cause my brain to give this face:
So here is that infamous list and my responses, yes that I actually give.
- “… I’d be the worst diabetic; I could never stab myself with a needle!”
Yeah, well it wasn’t my top choices of diseases, but death is a pretty big motivator. So when it came to life or death, and it does every moment of every day, I go with life.
- “Diet soda is so bad for you.” I’m aware. But sometimes I really long to not have to give myself an injection. So if drinking diet means I avoid another shot, that’s what I choose.
- “If you eat/drink/use *insert natural remedy here*, you can cure your diabetes.” My pancreas is a dead organ floating in my body, and has been for 10 years. There is no natural cure (or any cure for that matter) that has cured any dead organ, not even a pancreas. There are ways to reduce insulin consumption, but not be insulin-free and ‘cured’.
- “I hate getting that finger prick at the doctors.” Welcome to my life, but unlike getting it once a year at the doctors, I have to do it at least six time a day. I have calluses so thick on my fingers that I have to rotate fingers, hands, and arms. I am literally a human pin cushion.
- “Does that hurt?” (In relation to injections and finger pricks) Well, it doesn’t tickle. “Do you get used to it?” No. I am stabbing myself with, at times, a 4” long and 1/16” thick needle. It’s never painless, and I never get used to it, even after 10 years.
- “Why don’t you get a medical tattoo rather than wearing your medical bracelet around?” Simple. I have to inject myself with needles to stay alive, why would I want to do it for fun?
- “How’s the diabetes going?” What I want to say: What kind of question is that? We don’t ask someone with cancer “how’s the cancer”, or a person who is deaf “how’s the deafness going” so, why ask about how my diabetes is doing. First off that’s rude. Don’t address me by my disease and don’t think that my disease is a topic of conversation. Second, is any disease good, or going good? No. It’s a disease. What I actually say: Well, like any disease, there are good days and bad days.
I know that when these people ask, they don’t intend to come off as rude or ignorant, nor is it their job to actually know the facts. I like to use my disease as a teaching tool, but there is actually a line of someone wanting to know more and are willing to learn, and being omnipotent or crass. Here is a diagram to tell the difference
With any disease, be courteous to how you address and inquire about their condition. You may not intend to be rude or arrogant but things of this matter can be a touchy subject. Everyone has different takes on their disease, so proceed with caution!