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[IP] Re: kids with diabetes being shunned

Hi, all -

I'm reading with dismay your reports of your children being excluded from
activities - even friendships - because of their diabetes, in addition to
threats by medical personnel of terrible consequences.  This is very

I have to say that as a child diabetic in the 50s, I never experienced any
of this.  I'll start with my doctor, who assured me that I would live
LONGER than other people because I'd have such a healthy lifestyle and that
I'd probably win the Miss America pageant (uh ....never happened : < ) ).
Of course, I read horrible stories of amputations, blindness, etc., even as
a child and that did bother me, but with the encouragement of doctor and
parents, tried not to dwell on it.

As far as school, there was no hassle from teachers or fellow students.  I
never considered myself and was never considered different from any other
student - just with a specific "condition" that needed MY attention - no
one else's.  As far as friends and friends' parents, there was no trouble
there, either.  They knew I had to "eat at certain times" and they always
accommodated that, if appropriate.  No big deal was made about it.  As far
as going low, I had my candy with me and ate it when I had to.  I didn't
broadcast the situation to everyone around me.  Of course, I was fortunate
in that my hypos were ones I could handle myself, even as an 8-year-old.

All this leads me to wonder what it is about the modern diabetic child that
causes such consternation.  Could it be all the paraphernalia that people
find so daunting?  I only had my candy with me, and if it was mealtime I
had a syringe and a vial of insulin (small and hidden until I went to the
bathroom to use it).  TODAY, however, a pumping diabetic child, in addition
to always carrying some form of glucose:
- is seen with a "machine" hooked onto her/him at all times, that sometimes
makes weird noises or has problems that must be dealt with
- may carry extra infusion sets, which can be bulky and/or look weird
(there's that word again) or intimidating to the uninitiated
- probably carries a glucose meter, strips, case for the meter, etc. and is
POSSIBLY SEEN TESTING, which causes attention to him/herself.  During my
childhood there were no meters, so ...no testing.
- could also have a glucagon kit and ketone strips
- am I forgetting anything?

Wow - that's a lot in comparison to what I carried around.  Of course, THIS
DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN TO EXCUSE the way these children are treated; that is
an abomination.  I'm just thinking that the fact that the disease is much
more visible  today than it was many years ago may contribute to the unease
that is evidently felt by too many people.

I wish I could suggest an easy way for them to get over it.   The bottom
line, of course, is that adults are afraid of the responsibility (possible
problems) , and other children are just plain mean.  I blame their parents
for that meanness.

Oh, I don't know, I'm just musing here.   It's not fair to these kids or
their parents, but we already know that.  I guess it's just like any other
type of discrimination:  what people don't understand frightens and
intimidates them.

Kids and parents, hold your heads high and do what you have to do.

Best wishes,
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