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[IP] Re: The diabetic label

Unfortunately, I don't accept the rhetoric that "I am not my disease."  

Let me say that I find labels to be VERY beneficial in society...which is odd 
 since labels have become so politically incorrect. But, I see a label as a way
 to categorize a person...a way to grasp a hold of an aspect of a person. Being
a diabetic does, in fact, define certain aspects of my life.  By saying I'm a 
 diabetic, it lets other know that I don't just live my life without concern for
what I eat.  It lets them know that I am dependant on this little machine to 
test my BGL, as well as insulin through pump or injections.  The label is 
useful, not harmful...though, as with ANY label, it can be used negatively as 

 Also, realize that calling someone a diabetic is NOT calling them a disease. To
do that, I would have to say, "I am diabetes".  Doing that would limit my life 
to just the disease.  But the term diabetic MEANS a PERSON with diabetes.  No 
 matter how you wish to phrase it...Joshua IS a diabetic by the very nature that
he is a boy who has diabetes.  But, the label of diabetic is not mutually 
exclusively.  WHen people sayd, "Joshua is a diabetic", it is said with a 
 reason...a purpose in communicating that he has diabetes. Those people are NOT
seeing him exclusively as that.  

 I see my own life the same way. Labels help someone to better understand who I
am.  Sure, I could say that "I'm just a person."  But, so is everyone else in 
the world.  That doesn't tell anyone anything about me.  Pretty soon, people 
will start defining labels on their own in order to help classify me as a 
person.  I can either help with that classification by providing pre-defined 
labels, or let them make guesses based solely on outward appearances.  

So, someone who sees me might label me as a average-height white male, in his 
 30's with a short beard, short hair, hazel eyes, etc. These things say nothing
 about who I AM...simply what I look like. I can help the labeling process...and
 therefore help a person better understand who I am...by providing my own
I am a diabetic, yes...but I'm also a son, and brother to 6 siblings...I'm a 
husband and father of 3 (soon to be 4) kids.  I'm a musician...specifically, 
 vocalist and pianist who also is a songwriter. I'm a software engineer. I'm a
Christian with a strong faith.  I'm also a sinner in need of that faith.  

So, each of those labels, alone, do not define me.  But, each label helps to 
better understand who I am. By definition, I am a diabetic.  By definition, 
Joshua is a diabetic.  Any playing with words or disgust with the term won't 
change that.  In the end, he will still, by definition, be a diabetic.

 I also find it unwise to start requiring everyone else to see the person in the
same way that you do.  For example, a doctor really doesn't need to know that 
I'm a musician.  While being a musician defines who I am...it plays no role in 
 the care he can provide for me as a doctor. I would be wrong to insist that my
doctor see me for more than what is necessary to treat me.  Sure, it is NICE 
 when doctors take interest in us as people...but I don't require it, nor expect

I guess I'm saying this to say:  I respectively disagree with agreeing to 
disagree.  ;-)

> Ryan -
> <<I hate to break to everyone...but you are all diabetics! (Well, okay...not 
> everyone...but everyone here with diabetes.)>>
 > I respectfully beg to differ. As my daughter says: "Joshua is a little boy,
 > not a disease" (I'm agreeing with my daughter, mark it on your calendar.) He
> a kid 1st.  He has a disease.  I don't agree with defining him based on his 
> disease.
 > It's all semantics anyway. It doesn't really bother me. I just don't like the
> term.
> So, we agree to disagree, yes?
> Shelley
> --
> Mom to Joshua, 3, dx'd. @ 20 mos.-Pumping Cozmo 6/03 & Jessie, 22
> western Massachusetts
> --
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