Who is a ‘normie’?
Basic answer – a person whose pancreas produces insulin AND their body knows how to use it.
Based on this basic answer anyone who has Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes or LADA is not a normie.
I’m a normie. I wish I wasn’t but only because I’d like to take what makes my kids non-normies from them as my own.
Before you get all in a huff and puff thinking I assigned the label to myself or others and therefore also assigned the non-normie (not normal) label to my kids and those with diabetes let me be very clear. I did not.
I have spent many years being careful not to call my kids ‘diabetics’ – not to label them as different or abnormal. I have always referred to my kids as ‘having diabetes’ as in ‘she/he has diabetes’ not ‘she/he is diabetic’.
Does it matter?
To many PWD (people with diabetes) it doesn’t matter, but to my daughter when she was first diagnosed at age 9 it did. My youngest (dxd at age 2 a couple of years prior to my daughters diagnosis) being only 4 when my oldest was diagnosed had not given it much thought – he was more concerned with his lego mini-figures and action figures adventures then how he would be defined by a disease.
My daughter at age 9 (and well beyond her years in reasoning and understanding the human condition) refused to say she was a diabetic. She was willing to own diabetes but not willing to let it own her. (Those were her words shortly after diagnosis – in many ways I wish I was exaggerating my daughters understanding of things because at 14 she is often smarter than me and can outthink me in a heartbeat). Thus we consciously choose not to label her as a diabetic. We had not referred to our youngest as a diabetic previously either but mostly because of the Children With Diabetes website that I found shortly after his diagnosis – the title of the organization stuck with me and thus I had a child with diabetes vs a diabetic child. It wasn’t a conscious choice before my daughter was diagnosed.
So now where is this ‘normie’ coming from?
It came from an over-night diabetes camp that my youngest attended a couple weeks ago, my daughter attended last week and that my middles is attending right now. It is a 5 night 6 day camp in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lush forests and glazier run offs at the base of one of the Unites States tallest mountains (which happens to also be a stratovolcano and when I googled the mountain to learn more I learned how incredibly dangerous an eruption of the volcano would actually be – I may not sleep tonight – some things are best left unknown).
Getting back to ‘normies’ and camp (while trying to forget about decade volcanos and lahars).
My youngest didn’t mention ‘normies’ at all when I retrieved him from camp. This may be because he didn’t think much of it or the terms wasn’t used by the elementary kids. Prior to getting custody of our kids the parents attend a closing camp fire event. Each cabin (group of same-sex kids that will be entering the same grade in school) performs a skit or song parody. The elementary kids all did a skit and each was about 20 seconds long. The high school kids mostly all performed a song parody. In a couple of the performances I heard the term ‘normie’.
I didn’t have to ask what ‘normie’ meant – the context of the label as well as the root word ‘norm’ gave it away. I didn’t think much of it. I know what an all diabetes camp means to my kids. While at camp they are the norm so those without diabetes would be outsiders and at this camp there are very few outsiders and those that are there are volunteers who likely have a connection to diabetes such as a child, spouse, or sibling with diabetes – all campers have diabetes.
On the way home from camp my daughter received a text. When reading the text she laughed out loud. I asked her what was so funny. She told me people like me wouldn’t understand. The reason I wouldn’t understand was because I am a normie. I never did learn what was so funny. It was an inside joke and I suspect likely something about parents of kids with D being overbearing schmucks. Despite my best efforts I admit to occasionally earning that label.
The moral of this story – no matter how hard I try I will never truly understand all that goes with not being a normie.