Thursday, June 4, 2009

Type 1 Diabetes Bullies - London’s Calling - And They Want You To Get A Clue!!

When I was little and newly diagnosed, there were a few classmates who called me “Diabetes Head.” Which was a stupid name and made absolutely no sense. I cried at home, but laughed it off at school, and may or not have mentioned something about said classmates mothers being whores who wore combat boots in the process.

Most of my classmates were good about it,& I’m working on a future post about that time in my life, and what my classmates thought and taught me all these years later, but that’s for another time.

When I was in college, my friends always looked out for me, not because I had diabetes, but because that’s what friends did. Still, I think they worried a lot. SO much so, that they were in peoples face at the first spark of idiots regarding diabetes.

Now as a full-fledged adult, I usually get the same reaction when people find out I’m a diabetic. I wrote about recently in my post, “What the F Do You Mean I look Good for Being A Diabetic?"

Stereotypes regarding Diabetes SUCK.
We are often told we are to fat; eat too much sugar and HFCS. Our parents are chastised for poor parenting skills.We get dirty looks every time we bolus for a cupcake.

Many feel that a life with diabetes is “Steel Magnolias” and that we’ve basically dug our own grave so to speak.

People have looked me in the eye and said "I hope you learned from your sisters mistakes!"

Potential dates have been turned away in the process

We get “the look,” when we tell folks about our diabetes.

You know the one. It’s a cross between pity,and “Well, you asked for it,” look.

NO, we didn’t ask for it. But we accept it and we live great lives despite diabetes and the idiots who spread diabetes misconceptions.

These misconceptions lurk at every turn. At work; at school, in a restaurant, or on the train- anywhere the public sees us. People either consider you tragic, or marvel that your living any life at all.
Our diabetic buds across the pond (Diabetes UK) sent me an email this morning telling me about a video they produced on the subject, called “Setting The Record Straight.”

It's posted above can be found on both their website & You Tube

The script was based on comments that real type 1 kids hear everyday.
Kid or not, it hits home. Take a minute to watch and send the video to someone who might need a Type 1 Diabetes “refresher course!”

wrote a great post about the video and diabetes stereotypes over at SUM this morning and also eferred to some wonderful examples on the subject
by both Sara & a George, who tweeted about D misconceptions. Be sure to check them out!

Today on Twitter, I was reminded just how easily the diabetes stereotypes are spread. Coincidence that I'd just received an email from Diabetes UK or fact? YOU BE THE JUDGE.

I had looked up #HFCS on Twitter’s Trending Topics and there were a massive number of tweets regarding the subject. Scrolling along, I found that someone had tweeted something along the line of” “wanna be a diabetic? Eat #HFCS.”
And then there was a tinyurl to an article linking the two. Now, I know that HFCS causes obesity in this country, which can lead to type 2 Diabetes and I know that in her heart, this “tweeter” was in the right place. I HATE HFCS! But I also know t2 is genetic and that all Diabetics (t1 & t2 alike) are constantly being told “if you just cut out all the refined sugars and flour in your diet, you’d be off insulin in a month!”

I tweeted her back and said “#Diabetes is not character flaw & we have 2 fight that #stereotype EVERYDAY. I could run marathons everyday & still need insulin.”

I continued to Tweet her about my family history & eating habits because she actually thought that might have something to do with it. Then I tweeted about diabetes stereotypes and sent her a direct link to the Diabetes UK video. Guess what? She retweeted the diabetes FACTS, and I was happy that another person learned something about what being a diabetic means.


Crystal said...

You rock Kelly.
Set 'em straight!!

Having trouble viewing the vid (not you or your blog, won't come up on the UK site either....figures....maybe I knows I am Not in the mood for it...)

Any who.
Rock on.
Stereotypes be damned! And that is why I work from home and Hide form the public because I don't have a permit to carry a firearm.
I mean....

Here's to continuing to Educate those that Need it.

k2 said...

Don't hide, the world need to see your face and hear your voice!
And your nutty sense of humor is certainly a plus!

Scott K. Johnson said...

The first part of that video was hard for me to watch and remain emotionally centered, which surprised me.

It's tough growing up. But it's tougher growing up and having to figure out diabetes too.

k2 said...

Well said! Fitting in as a teen is difficult, and even more so when you add diabetes to the mix.
The phrase "Diabetes Head" kept going thru my mind as I watched the video.
It's amazing that hurtful things said in the school yard so long ago can still be remembered when your reminded of it!