Monday, February 25, 2008
Back Away From The Idiot At The Party
As I read (and became once again incensed) yet another article that didn't differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, in a major womens periodical, I was reminded of an incident that occurred a few months ago.
I was at a friend’s birthday party -celebrating his big day, catching up with old friends and meeting new people.
The cupcakes were coconut, the wine was red, the beer was Belgian and the people (for the most part) were an interesting mix.
I can honestly say I was having a great time.
As I eyed the coconut cupcake that was calling my name, and tried to figure out it’s carb content in my head. A woman who I'd just met a few minutes earlier, noticed my pump and started to ask questions.
Here's the play by play:
Her: "Is that a cell phone?" Asked in a quizzical tone.
Me: "No it's an insulin pump." Said with confidence and pride.
Her: "Wow, does it like take your blood sugar?"
Me: " No, not this model." I was not about to go into what a CGM was, to detailed for a newbie.
Her: "Do you have to wear it all the time?" She asked in a doom filled tone.
Me: Yeah, pretty much, except when I shower, swim or have sex. ...And even then, wearing the pump is still an option."
Her: "Well, how exactly does it work?"
Me: I went into the whole electronic pancreas,blood sugar and counting of carbs speech - you know the one., I won't bore us by repeating it verbatim.
Her: "Oh cool. But..... I could never do that, I'm not good with needles and I love chocolate to much."
Me: "Well I eat chocolate when I want to, and as far as the needle and canula, you do what you have to so you can live a good life. It beats the alternative of not taking insulin. I like to live, you know? This is the best option for me until there's a cure."
Her: "Well, I couldn't do it. Have you thought about just cutting back on carbs and doing more exercise? I bet u could totally stop taking insulin if u did that."
Me: Seething and ready to slug her. I had to take a deep breath and count backwards
from ten before I continued to talk to this IDIOT.
10, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. " Look - I have type 1, I don't make ANY insulin. I could run marathons and I’d still have to inject daily."
Her: Sounding a bit indignant. "Well, I read that if diabetics did more exercise and ate less crap, you could eventually stop taking insulin."
Me: I had to remind myself that I was at my friends birthday, which was not the place to verbally annihilate a fellow guest, no matter how stupid she might be. "Look, you need to read more about the two types of diabetes. T1 and T2. It's all over the Internet; just Google " The difference between t1 diabetes & t2 diabetes" in quotes and do the research. Excuse me, I see someone I haven't talked to in months. Good talking with you."
I grabbed my cupcake and walked towards the living room. It was a no win situation that I had just removed myself from. We were at a birthday party of a mutual friend. She didn’t want to be wrong and on this particular subject, I knew I was right.
It was best to end the conversation and move on.
Yes, I was ready to kill her. Verbally, I could have destroyed her with my words based on fact and fused with a sardonic humor that had taken years to develop & fine tune. I've done it in the past, and I'm really quite good at it.
But I had to walk away for Jeff’s sake. It was not the time or the place to bring some misinformed idiot to tears –Boy, was she lucky.
People are miss informed about Diabetes because of what's in print and what they hear on TV.
Most of the time, we as diabetics can explain the differences between the two diseases and people will want to be educated and informed about both types.
Other times, that's just not the case. I put my friend ahead of the facts because I could tell "Idiot Chick" didn't want to listen.
Still, every time I think about it, I'm bothered by the fact that:
A. She didn't know the difference.
B. She didn't want to know the difference.