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[IP] RE: Diabetes Excuse

Sherry Compton wrote:
I remember several times growing up 
when I
would be upset or moody like any other teenager.
Hormone city.  But if 
I was
weepy or upset, I'd always be asked, "are you low or
something? Go 

When I was diagnosed (6yrs. old) at Children's
Hospital of Philly, I distinctly remember my doctor
telling my parents that I was a child first and a
diabetic second.  My parents took this heart and
certainly never let me forget it.  I wasn't allowed to
use diabetes as an excuse and in return, I think that
people I encountered throughout my life NEVER saw
diabetes as a weakness (at least through my example). 
 There was another diabetic in my class when I was
diagnosed.  Throughout grade school, she wasn’t
allowed to go to roller skating parties or ever play
an after school sport…she wasn’t even allowed to go to
slumber parties.  My parents choose a different path
for which I am eternally grateful.   I went to every
skating party, slumber party, and played every sport
(whether I liked it or not).  Granted, my mom
showed-up at the roller rink to give me a shot, and my
Dad was usually the coach of my team, but diabetes
never stopped me and also never got me out of
There was always someone, who knew someone (for some
reason it was often  a grandmother or aunt) who was
diabetic that either was extremely ill and didn’t take
care of themselves or died some horrific
multi-diabetic-complication induced death.  I guess I
made it my personal mission to change that person’s
perception of diabetes.  
Maybe it was a desire to please my parents or just a
stubbornness to never use diabetes as a “crutch” but
now as an adult, I view myself as a person first (a
lot of kid still in there too) and a diabetic second. 
Two years ago I went to dinner with some of my buddies
from college.  We were told it would be  40 minutes
for a table.  One of my closest friends whispered to
me that I should “use my diabetes” and get us a table.
 He explained that his boss was diabetic and they did
it all the time to get a table at lunch.  I was
appalled, hey; if I wore a really tight dress and
hiked my skirt up a bit maybe we could get a table
faster too.  Why not flash the maitre’d , we might get
a free meal?  What about the maitre’d?  Does he now
know that diabetics are usually smart enough to carry
something on them so this doesn’t happen, or does he
feel sorry for me?  And since I’m not having a
reaction and there are other people legitimately
waiting, doesn’t that make me a liar? (Yes, Catholic
school guilt messes-up your head).  
Although everyone lives their life differently, I am
disheartened when I hear diabetics who use their
disease as a means for a scam.  I think back on all
the times I explained to a boyfriend’s parents that
although I’m diabetic, it doesn’t mean that I will
end-up like their grandmother or aunt.  I take care of
myself and ’m not some weakling.  I don’t need people
to treat me like I’m fragile.   I want people to
understand that when I’m ranting and raving, I’m mad,
not “you seem very upset, you should eat something”. 
I just can’t justify let-me-tell-you-off, and when I’m
sorry, I’ll just say, “Oops, I’m diabetic”.  
The pump is an amazing form of technology.  If you
make it ring and whistle, to get out of a situation
then you’ve just let your audience needlessly worry if
you’re ok, and wonder what’s wrong with those
problematic pumps?  And the guy standing across from
you witnessing this charade tells someone else who’s
considering the pump about the poor guy he saw today
who’s pump was freaking-out…etc, etc.  Get the
picture?  Sorry to go on and on, I guess this topic
hits close to my heart.  Please, just think twice
before playing the little boy who cried wolf.  

-Alecia (I think I should take it easy with the coffee

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