First, let me apologize for not having blogged in some time. 2013 started off crazy busy, then there was the flu that took down my boys and me, followed by a week of catch up with life, followed by a great visit with friends from TX that included sneaker waves, boobie cars, and stupid dune yard people. I wish I could explain all of the shenanigans but some stuff is better left unexplained.
So what prompted a great need to blog
today a week ago? Ignorance and Youth. (yes I started this a week ago – someone please stop the merry-go-round – I’m getting dizzy)
My dear daughter has guitar lessons each Thursday evening. Unfortunately those lessons take place during the same hour that DSMA hosts DSMA Live a Blog Talk Radio show with amazing guests and hosts. Sorry I digress – although you should totally check out the show which is on Thursdays at 8pm central time. You can find links on the DSMA webpage.
Ok so each Thursday while my daughter is in her lesson I step next door to the coffee shop (you know the one). Nearly every Thursday the same baristas are working. The manager has learned my name as well as my favorite drink and she greets me kindly while pulling a venti cup for me while the younger gal rings up my order. Both are very friendly and my drink is always spot on delicious.
The young one – (oh to be young and have only 2 decades of footprints on the earth) is sweet and always smiling but alas she has no filter between her brain and her mouth. I’ve witnessed her naivety and her immaturity numerous times with regards to sharing too much personal information about her boyfriend and how painful her nose piercing was.
Her willingness to share a bit more than most, and her lack of awareness of the people (guests) around her never bothered me. I shrugged it off – she is young.
Until – last night while fixing up a number of blended mocha caramel frappa type drinks she refered to them as “diabetes in a cup”. She wasn’t talking to me but when I hear diabetes my ears perk up since it is a language I speak. I was reading an email while I waited for another employee to grind my coffee. She was talking to the other employee. That employee didn’t hear her (or chose to ignore her) because she said it again – “Yup, Diabetes in a cup”. Of course at the second mention of it I inquired as to what she was referring. She explained she was making drinks for her boyfriend and his mom since it was the end of her shift and they requested she bring them drinks. She explained the ingredients and again said – “so its diabetes in a cup”. (Im not sure the coffee company would be excited about her renaming items on the menu.)
At this I said, “I have two kids with diabetes.”
Of course she stopped in her tracks and looked at me like a 2-year-old caught reaching into a candy jar. Then she opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, clearly unsure of what to say before she finally said “oh I’m sorry”.
I told her they have Type 1 diabetes which isn’t caused by eating too much sugar. Which she replied with, “so they were born with it.”
I explained – No, not born with it. They developed it years later at different ages. They didn’t get it from eating the wrong things though. It’s an autoimmune disease. They didn’t do anything wrong to get it and I assure you I wasn’t giving my 2-year-old mocha caramel frappas. There are different types of diabetes but you should also know that some people get Type 2 diabetes without being overweight or eating poorly.
Of course then she told me her grandpa has diabetes.
Ok – out of curiosity I asked “Which kind?”
She didn’t know. I then asked if her grandpa uses insulin.
She said, “Oh no, it’s not that bad.” (Yes I cringed)
Thus I said, “ok well if he doesn’t use insulin which is a medicine that allows people with type 1 and many with type 2 to stay alive than I would guess he has Type 2”
Her response – “I don’t think so, he’s not fat.”
(Didn’t I already cover the fact that a person doesn’t have to be overweight to have diabetes – was she not listening – I’m educating her – she should listen)
During our conversation she was kind, polite, respectful. She apologized numerous times. Although at this point she was glancing at the now melting frappas sitting in the drink holder waiting to be taken to others. I wanted to let her off the hook but needed her to understand her words affect others.
I told her (after her 5th apology) – “I’m not mad. I know you didn’t mean anything by what you said. But I hope you will consider what you say in the future. For all you know someone else overhearing your remarks could have diabetes or love someone with diabetes.”
At this point she thanked me. Im not sure exactly what for. Perhaps for not tattling to her manager. Perhaps for educating her. Perhaps for imparting a real world lesson about filtering ones thoughts before allowing them to escape via the mouth. Perhaps for just letting her off the hook and allowing her to leave.
I hope she
heard listened to something of what I said. She is young and has so much to learn about – well everything. She is also kind and meant no harm and while I was angry about it initially I understand why she said what she said. The general public – (which until Feb 7th of 2007 included me) isn’t educated enough about diabetes. Commercials, adds, even crack pots like Dr. Oz don’t share facts effectively.
More education is needed about diabetes. Pediatric doctors and school health offices need posters hanging in the exam rooms that share the symptoms of Type 1 (this would save lives), primary care physicians need to provide nutritional counseling to adult patients (not after a person is found to be at risk but before) and Hollywood needs to learn about diabetes before including it in TV shows, reality shows, and movies. IMHO.
5 thoughts on “Diabetes In A Cup”
Loved the brave act and your voice!
aww shucks thanks. As far as brave act – well Ive never been one to stay quiet. I pity the fools who use the word “retard” in my presence. Im usually kind and polite when it is D related because ignorance is not the fault of those who speak inaccurately. As for those who use the “R” word – well they don’t get kind and polite.
Since Marcus was diagnosed I have had my ears perk up at the D word too. It is amazing how ignorant people can be about diabetes.
I WAS one of those ignorant people before his DX but that was because I didn’t know any better. I try to educate the people who say stupid stuff like that.
I caught myself “making a joke” similar to this a week or so ago and I instantly felt lower than dirt because I saw the look on my kids face when he heard me. Nothing is worse that knowing better and having your child disappointed in you. 😦
Don’t beat yourself up. Your little man knows you have his heart and his best interests in mind. Keep educating people – it is the best thing we can do.
I think it is interesting that you bring up the R word. I was thinking the same thing. I wonder how long it will take for us to make progress on the fact that diabetes is not slang, it is not a joke. I remember when people didn’t think twice about using the R word in the same way.