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.


Chris said...

I know that I would have had an issue keeping my mouth shut. When you think you are right about something and someone else is intimately familar with the subject, don't be an idiot! listen to what they have to say. They are likely more knowledgeable than you.

I commend you at holding your tongue. I know it was tough.

k2 said...

Chris -


It took every fiber of my being to walk away from that conversation and I've replayed the incident in my head many times since.

Usually, I speak my mind -especially if I know I'm right.

And especially if the subject is about diabetes.

But it would have been a merry-go-round of fact based zingers on my part, against her poorly researched fiction that she took to be gospel.

My friend was turning 35 and I didn't want an argument among his friends to be what he remembered about that might.

Still....It was really hard to walk away.
Kelly K

Karen said...

You should give yourself a big pat on the back for taking the high road and being as gracious as you were to that &%^&^%*&. Obviously, anyone who HAS a disease knows much more about it that someone who read an article on it. I'm seething just reading your post!!

k2 said...

Karen -

Thanks so much for the kind words.
I really do appreciate them.

I admit that taking the highroad is tough! Trust me the Low Road has been taken plenty of times, when this subject was brought up on previous occasions with similar dim-witted personalities.
But I always seem to run into idiot know- it-alls at a friends big event, be it a baby shower or a birthday. I walk away because I value my friends.
Kelly K

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly.

The big D is the leading cause of new blindness, but this sad fact is also very true: "There are none so blind as those who WILL not see."

Looks like you ran into one of those at the party.

k2 said...

Jeff -

Amen to Brother!

Kelly K

Diane J Standiford said...

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
Albert Einstein

If I had a penny for every stupid MS comment I could buy Brazil.

Yes, the worst part is these dummies don't want to learn the truth.

k2 said...

Diane -

Oh, if only we could charge money every time a someone asked us a stupid question regarding our disease!!

Kelly K

Cara said...

Ug! I'd have wanted to slug her too! I don't know if I could have been as nice as you. :(
I hate it when people start talking about stuff they don't know anything about. I guess the worst part isn't that they don't know anything, it's that they don't want to know.
So if you don't want to know, don't ask, right?????
Can that be a public service announcement?

k2 said...

Cara -
Only because of my friend was I able to keep my cool.

I like your public service announcement - It works for me!
Kelly K

Unknown said...

Ugh, at least she didn't say my favorite diabetes-related line:

"Oh, a pump?" Then the person makes a concerned/pitying face. "Is your diabetes really THAT BAD? Poor thing."

The only "poor thing" in that situation is the person making the comments, because they're unaware that I am about to give them a verbal judo chop to the guts!

k2 said...

Yeah,"u mast have diabetes real bad" line really kills me 2! I've given a few Judo jabs myself when that lines been used!

People can be SO dumb!

ang-la said...

OmG i hate each and everyone of them... how abut in the office when all you can drink in your life is diet soda or water.. I have one of those people diet soda and that nutra sweet stuff is no good for you! God i am the one taking a breath then i am like well if i wanna live thats all i can drink!

Guys I feel your pain!

k2 said...

Don't hate them - feel sorry for them!
it takes a lot less energy.
Hang in there sister!