Dealing with this disease day in and day out is downright exhausting at times. Today was a rough day in that the diabetes jokes just poured out through social media, and after a full morning at the hospital, it really hit a nerve.
On most days, I can let it roll off my back. I can shrug my shoulders and say “there are ignorant people everywhere” and that people make fun of everything. But today and on really emotional days, it’s tough. It’s the last thing I need to see or hear. And if you know anything about diabetes, it’s a disease that you must care for every day, every hour. There are no breaks.
I know people are miseducated. I know how easy it is to make diabetes jabs behind a screen. However this is what I want to say to all the people who made references to Halloween candy and diabetes:
“Today I spent my entire morning at the hospital. Do you like going to the hospital? I sat in a waiting room with some really sick people. Then sat again to get blood work done. I’ve done this so many times now, and it seems to never end.
It’s been a year and some since I’ve been diagnosed with type one diabetes and I can say without exaggeration that for me this time has been the toughest of my life.
Do you know the kind of guilt a parent goes through when their child is diagnosed with diabetes? Even though it’s not their fault at all? I wish you’d think of that when you write an ignorant comment about diabetes. Try to put yourself in the shoes of parents who have a newly diagnosed child with diabetes. Then think about what it’s like for them to see jokes about Halloween, sugar, and diabetes. Then think about a young child dealing with people making these jokes at them every Halloween.
It has nothing to do with eating too much sugar. And when people say sugar causes diabetes even in a joking way, it continues the cycle of uneducated people misinforming the public.
And I guess you can say, it’s all in lighthearted fun. But tell me if it’s funny if God forbid your child gets diagnosed. Or your family member or friend is in a diabetic coma.
Some diseases are just easy targets. But you should know there is no cure. I live with that reality every day. Show a little compassion. Because if ever there is a chance a disease you may have is the butt of jokes, I guarantee you won’t find it all that funny.”
Now that I’ve gotten that out. It’s time to focus on the positive.
Dealing with these jokes has been a blessing in disguise. Since being diagnosed I’ve become much more aware of what I say, and when I hear people have different diseases, I ask lots of questions, show compassion and ask how I can support them. If we all did that a little more I think the world would be a much better place.
Goodnight and let’s welcome Diabetes Awareness Month in about an hour!