Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dear Lady In The Gym Locker Room

Dear Lady in the Gym Locker Room:


Every single Sunday I see you staring at me with a sense of pity and distain.

You watch as I test my blood sugar before Aqua Bootcamp and shake your head.

You peer from behind the locker and make sure I don’t get my tainted drop of blood on the locker room bench.

Now the fact that I keep my meter and strips tucked in my gym bag at ALL times – even when testing-as not to leave a test strip trail, never seems to matter to you.

Because I heard you whispering and cackling last week to the other women in the locker room about my testing.

I always feel your gaze as I unclip my insulin pump, stick it in a zip lock bag, tuck it in my sneaker, close and lock my locker tight like a drum.

Last week was my first time back to class in a month and I was excited!

But there you were, lurking in the locker room, trying to “catch” me in some sort of diabetes illegal act.

I decided called you to the curb and asked you if you had any questions, because I was more than happy to give you the 4-1-1 on the B-E-T-E-S.

You stuttered a bit and became flustered, and mentioned something about sanitary conditions and me testing my blood. Then you crossed the line by saying: We're in a locker room not an emergency room.

With that, the gloves were off and I told you that testing my blood sugar was more sanitary than coughing up a lung and not covering your mouth, which seems to be quite a habit of yours.

You didn’t like that at all.

You wanted to know why I couldn’t test in a bathroom stall.

I responded with: The same reason you don’t you cough in a bathroom stall.

You demanded to know why I HAD to test so much.

I demanded to know why you were being so nosey and close-minded.

The whole time I never raised my voice, and stood my ground FIRM.

I then mentioned the fact that if she’d like, we could take the subject up with the gyms Director,because I’d be more than willing to discuss my diabetes etiquette and rights as a PWD with him.

Others in the locker room listened, watching our verbal tennis match like it was freaking Wimbledon.

Finally, one older woman named Jean stated: Kelly does what she needs to do in life– just like the rest of us.

Another chicklet chimed in: She’s doing something right, look at her!

With that, I said “thank-you” to all my friends, and we disbanded as a group and walked towards the pool entrance.

I walked through the doors and dove in the deep end, trying to wash away my frustration in the process.

Untethered and annoyed, I kicked ass for 1 hour 45 minutes (with the last 50 minutes being in the deep end BTW) in Aqua Boot camp.

And every single time I did side kicks in the pool, I made pretend I was kicking you in your gut!

When it was time for cardio water boxing, every jab was aimed at your head!

BTW, thanks for the inspiration, when Class was over, my blood sugar was 69!

Your stupidity was certainly a great motivator!

I missed this week’s class due to a bout with a stomach bug,

But like the Terminator, “I’LL BE BACK” next Sunday, and I will test, test, and test again. Look all you want, but that fact won’t change.

See you next week!


George said...

I am glad you stood your ground but it makes me sick that this even had to happen.

You rock.

Michael Hoskins said...

I concur with George - it makes my blood boil that these close-minded people put a damper on our diabetes openness. But way to go for standing firm and giving her what she deserves. I particularly liked the coughing points - classic smartass! Inspiring.

Crystal said...

Hate that this happened K2 but man, you ROCK! Stand firm Diazon!!! She got Served! :-)

Karen said...

Oh my goodness!!! WTF She's hacking all over the place and she has an issue with you placing a teeny drop of blood on your strip? People never cease to amaze me - in a bad way. But I'm so glad you caller her out, stood your ground, and got support from your gym friends. And now from your D-OC friends!!!

Jaimieh said...

wow...I'm not sure I would have stayed as calm, cool & collected as you did lol...you rock for sticking up to that bi-otch...some people have absolutely not A clue!

Scott said...

Wow, I'm both irritated this happened, but soooooo glad you put this biotch in her place!

R.L.Scovens said...

I'm basically a new diabetic and these sorts of things haven't happened to me yet. You handled it well!! Not sure I'll be as graceful..

Jennifer said...

Wow! I'm impressed. I have caught people at restaurants looking at us when I check my son. I'm not sure if I would have had the spine to say something. Way to stand up for yourself!

Jennifer said...

I have caught people staring at my son and I when I check him. I'm not sure I would have the spine to say something. Way to go standing up for yourself!

Penny said...

You go girl! Proud of you.
Thanks for continuing to educate the public about testing and the D and doing your best.
Rock on.

Kelly said...

YOU ARE AWESOME. Thanks for posting this, I'm inspired by your blog, as always.

Kelly said...

Warrior. :)
I'm glaad you are on my side.

Meri said...

I am totally giving you a standing ovation! Bravo! Bravo! Thank you for saying something. Thank you for all of us!! A friend of mine has been in the hospital with her father for a week. She and her daughter, both t1, were getting breakfast in the cafeteria. Answering questions about her JDRF shirts, she told the casheir they were t1. The nurse behind her in line then said, "Well then who are the donuts for?" WRONG person to say that to! She layed into her. I am proud of her...and you too K2!

Hannah said...

Get 'er, girl! It's not like you spend your class bleeding all over that lady's stuff. What a meanie, she deserved the calm tirade. She probably deserved an angry tirade.

Casey said...

Wow. I am impressed with your composure. Pump Bump anyone? ;P

Melissa said...

I've gotten looks from others while taking care of my diabetes business in public too. Thanks for providing some education to this woman. You go girl!!!

Michelle said...

Wow....its hard to believe its 2010 and the uneducated still roam freely....a gym teacher once said to me that it wasn't his job to babysit my 6 year old during gym class after I asked him to "keep an eye on him if he acts different he may be low". I just said, "you better cross your fingers buddy that one of your kids doesn't develop diabetes and hit the same ignorance wall."

All we can do is continue to educate....and go ahead and sneeze on her.

Chris said...

*3 snaps in Zorro formation*

(In Living Color anyone? anyone?)

Nan said...

oh my gosh!...keep standing firm k2...the world is better because of it!

mattkendrick.com said...

Way to go. I don't understand why people make such a big deal about testing. Glad ya stood your ground!

Laura Houston said...

Great post! How dare she? I don't think I would have been able to keep myself that composed. Thank you for standing up for yourself and for all of us!

My son is T1 and only 18 months. I pray that as I face difficulties along the way that I am as strong and dignified as you.

Thank you for your awesome Blog!!!

Cara said...

People suck. I'm surprised that they had enough nerve to say something like that to you. But I'm so proud you stood up for yourself (and US in a round-about way!) and let her know that we are trying to LIVE. Live healthy, happy, productive lives.

Jeff said...

Well played, even though it's ridiculous that you had to do it. I haven't actually had to call anyone out ... yet. I hope I have the same amount of grit and grace when it happens.

Lyrehca said...

Awesome response!

Bob Fenton said...

Bravo! Go woman! Sorry you had to go this far, but happy you were able to put her in her place and that others were supportive.


Bernard said...

Good job K2. Sorry it happened, but you done good. Happy New Decade!

jpnairn said...

Well played!
I occasionally notice people watching while I test, and I never assume the worst. But this was apparently an ongoing thing, and you overheard her being catty about it.
You were totally righteous and brave in confronting her.
I stopped at a water table to check my blood sugar during the Napa Valley Marathon in 2000, and when I went toward a garbage can with my test strip, one of the volunteers ran at me and siad, "You can't just put that in the trash!"
Seriously. One of the other volunteers even said, "It's just a drop of blood." But she was adamant that I had to properly dispose of medical waste. We settled on me putting the strip in a dixie cup before putting it in the trash.
In the middle of a f***ing race.
A few hundred yards down the road I was thinking about what kind of a fit that woman would have thrown if someone fell and scraped a knee.
It's crazy out there.

Colleen said...

She chose the wrong person (well, she actually chose the right person as you gave her just what she deserved - calm, responsible answers).
Yay for you!

smashtastic said...

I can't believe some people....Good for you though! I get some weird looks at work at the gym and have had a coworker tell me to go test in the locker rooms, but I told him no.

Ignorant people need to go away.

Sarah said...

First off, let me say that YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!
She's one of those people that I'd like to somehow give them a magical diabetes-pill for a week just so they could have a glipse of what we deal with. Some people can be so stupid!

smashtastic said...

I can't believe some people....Good for you though! I get some weird looks at work at the gym and have had a coworker tell me to go test in the locker rooms, but I told him no.

Ignorant people need to go away. Sorry you have to deal with the lady :(

Kate said...


Crystal said...

Fantastic! I hate when people stare at me while I'm testing. The worst for me is in restaurants, for some reason.

phonelady said...

What an ignorant biotch she was !!! I love it when diabetics stand our ground . You rock girl !!!

Rachel said...


but, hey, you go girl!!

babscampbell said...

I SO want to be you when I grow up! I suppose I'll start experiencing things like this soon. I CAN'T WAIT! BRING IT! and your little dog too!

You make us proud oh, Queen Diazon. Thanks for continually giving us inspiration.

Carey said...

That Philadelphia whore! Well handled, Kelly.

@nne said...

Yay. Thanks for helping us all--confronting one arsehole at a time. It's amazing that people turn into diabetes police at the drop of a...blood sample. Or, when you eat a piece of cake. Or when they think you need to test your blood sugar. (At times I like the reminder from my husband, but not ALL the time!) It's good to stop them in their nosy tracks. I do that, and then ask if they want to become educated. Some do, some don't.

Anonymous said...

What a star!
In the first few months after I was diagnosed I felt awkward testing in public. I told my husband that I didn't want anyone who saw me to feel uncomfortable. His response? You have to live with this for the rest of your life, so if they are uncomfortable seeing you for 5 seconds, it's just too bad for them!!!

I have never worried about it since :)

donnac1968 said...

Great blog, only just found it but I'll be back!

ME and Blue said...

Good job!

Carol said...

Wow, I've never encounterd such outward hostility, and I'm so sorry you did. Great on-your-feet thinking, and way to use her as a motivator for your workout!

Becca said...

BRAVO! Sounds like you did a great job (and an impressive workout).

I'm Type 1 and test several times a day too. At this point I do it pretty publicly if that's where I am when I'm going to eat or not feeling well. People look at my pump (and random wires hanging out) sometimes but don't generally ask. I have a feeling I would have heard some of the comments you got and others if I asked them directly if they had questions. Maybe I will next time. It seems so odd to think of someone being bothered by you testing! Annoying!

Lea said...

ok, so this is me with every paragraph:

oh no.
HELL no...
aw heeeeeelll to the NO!

I'm all for people being curious and asking questions, but this ignorant B is a whole other thing.
You handled her ignorance with class, my friend!

Cherise said...


I know I'm late but "OH no she didn't?!?" I am so glad you stood up for yourself. What is up with ppl today?!? I think somethings in the freaking air. TKO for K2!

Lee Ann Thill said...

I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said, but man, am I glad you spoke up. You handled it super well too. I become a bumbling idiot when I'm really upset, LOL, so I wouldn't have been half as well-spoken.

That lady really does deserve a kick in the head, BTW, to hopefully dislodge the part of her brain that rules empathy and compassion since apparently, it's broken.

Traci said...

You're going to hate me for a moment, but keep reading. I can understand her point of view. Our society is so freaked out by blood and bodily fluids it's like it should become it's own 4 letter word. And more so by blood it seems. I can completely understand her freaking out a little bit. And you know how it is. We correct people on d-sterotypes on an almost daily basis! And it sounds like she very much had some sterotypes of her own. You just want to break out into the "hallelujah chorus" when you find someone who understands about diabetes. Do I think she was wrong with the way she handled it? Absolutely. I'm like you. Say it to my face. Not behind my back. I commend you for the way that you handled it. (It's what we all love about your posts!) But what I love is the way people around you stood up for you as well. (Although they could've done it alittle sooner). Often when we think we're battling things alone, we find that there is a cheering squad. Sounds like you've got one at the gym. Keep it up!--Gotta try one of those aqua boot camps too.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Scary. Ignorant. We were told just once by our son's grade school that he couldn't test his bg in class or on the playground because of "blood product issues" - and I very slowly and extra politely asked if they hosed down the areas with disinfectant when a child bled from a skinned knee or paper cut. No? I see.... And my son was then allowed to test or treat his diabetes whenever and wherever he wanted.

You did the right thing by confronting the ignorance and I'm sorry you had to do it but impressed by your courage. Brava!

Casabby said...

I was diagnosed Type 1 33 years ago in my mid 20's. I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2. However, I did have a vague memory of seeing someone test their urine with test tubes and Clinitest in a college dorm bathroom. I remember having a bit of the "ugh" factor seeing that and somehow dimishing my opinion of the girl testing.

I continue to have some guilt about my uninformed dismissal of this girl and often feel that the forces of the universe said "gotha" when I was diagnosed a few years later.

I'm not as critical as the rest of you for uninformed bystanders. Why in the world should they know anything about what we have to do in relation to testing, pumps, injections, etc.? All they see are ads about HIV and cautioning everyone about the danger of blood products.

So yes, the gym lady probably was immature in how she reacted to the blood testing. Don't you wish you were still ignorant about diabetes because it wasn't part of your life?

whimsy2 said...

I had quite another experience.
I was at a very fancy restaurant. I was seated on a long banquette, at table for 2 with chairs on the other side. There was a couple at the table next to us, strangers. We were served at the same time, and at the same moment we pulled out our insulin pens, grinned at each other and gave our shots. There were no words. That was all. But it makes me smile every time I think of it.

silkensoytofu said...

I ran across your page looking for Lady Fitness Club of America. You are certainly a strong person, definitely an inspiration.

Kaitake said...

I always find that at a restaurant, when I pull out the test kit and the insulin pen, the waitress will come over to investigate! I use it as my sure-fire way to get "service!" haha :P

BTW, can't believe that that woman in the gym felt it was ok to act like that. Even if she was worried about blood products and stuff, there would have been a polite way for her to approach the matter with you. She acted like a scared child. Kudos to you for standing your ground :D