Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Diabetes Myth Busting @ Starbucks, Keeping My Cool & Extending My Post Endo Afterglow~

I don't know about you, but I always want to bask in the afterglow of a good Endo appointment as long as possible. That's not always doable, especially when you're put on the defense about your disease and your community with some one who has no idea.
Still, I'm thankful that I was able get my diabetes myth buster cape on, keep my cool and hold onto my post Endo afterglow. 
It was cold and rainy in the city yesterday and I made a beeline to the Starbucks directly across the street from my Endo’s before heading home. 
I was freezing and in need of caffeine, so much so that I decided it was worth risking incurring extra parking fees in order to secure a hot cup of Chai tea with steamed milk.
Sidebar: Labs were great and my A1C was 7.7, up from 7.4 - My Endo was thrilled - take that steroids!
The Starbucks line was long and stretched from the register, around the food cases/coffee displays, and curved around to the hallway where the restrooms were.
I took my place in line, looked around and immediately started a conversation with the man directly behind me, (and who from this moment forward, I will refer to as Coffee Dude,) because I realized that I’d inadvertently snagged his spot inline and didn’t realize it until after the fact. 
After some ribbing from him and me offering to switch places, which he declined,  
he asked me why I was smiling.
And for the record, I didn't realize I was smiling, but I sure was happy.
Me: Good Doctor’s appointment. 
Coffee Dude: Most Doctors are in sickness for the money - they don’t care about the patient.
Me: Ahhh, ok. Honestly, if you don’t like your Dr, find a new that you click with - one who treats you like an equal - My Endo and I work really well together and we make a great team. I love him!
Coffee Dude: Endo? Why do you need an Endo? 
Me: My pancreas doesn’t work.
He looked at my like I had 3 heads. 
Me: I have diabetes. 
Coffee Dude: You have diabetes? That’s for sure misdiagnoses - you look great!
Me: This is what diabetes looks like. 

Coffee Dude: Sorry, but you're not what I envision a person with diabetes looking like.
I could literally feel my ears turn red and I took a deep breath and said: 
So exactly what to you equate people with diabetes looking like? 
Sidebar: I knew exactly what he thought people with diabetes looked like.
Perpetuating diabetes myths, party of one, your table is ready!
Do you equate people with diabetes being lazy or ugly or out of shape - because that's not the case. Diabetes isn't a character flaw, living with diabetes means you either have metabolic disorder, like people with type 2 - which by the way, has a very strong genetic component, or an autoimmune disease and your body no longer makes insulin, like people with t1 - like me.
There’s also LADA 1.5 , which I’m not even going to go into, because we’ll run out of time - but Google it. As a matter of fact, google “diabetes facts verses diabetes myths,” and see what comes up. 

Coffee Dude: Are you sure you weren’t misdiagnosed?
Me: Positive - I’m going into my 38 year of living with t1 diabetes. 
Coffee Dude: OH, OK. So wait... you don't grow out of juvenile diabetes? 
And I wanted the conversation to end immediately and for several reasons.  
  1. I was afraid he’d start to say derogatory things about people with type 2  and I wasn’t going to stand for that - and it wouldn't have ended well for him
  2. I was afraid he was going to bring up some bullshit okra/cinnamon cure  - again, it would not have ended well for him
  3. Coffee Dude was seriously effing with my post Endo afterglow and I wanted to hold on to it as long as I could because I worked damn hard for it. 
Then as if by some magical forces created by both the diabetes gods and coffee gods deciding to work in tandem and for the good of everyone, the line moved and within 56 seconds I was standing in front of the register, paying for my Chai tea with steamed milk and moving to the end of the counter to wait for it. 
Once again, the magic of the diabetes and coffee gods merged together and my Chai with tea with steamed milk arrived at the end of the counter 60 seconds after I did.

I thanked the Barista, grabbed my drink and some napkins and exited the building without looking back. 

Could I have educated Coffee Dude and advocated more and torn him a new one in the name of diabetes advocacy?  
 Yes, but I'm glad I didn't tare him a new one - sometimes less really is more and keeping your sanity takes priority, as does extending your post Endo Afterglow as long as possible~


Colleen said...

Totally agree! Do NOT ruin the glow!
Glad you walked away and just enjoyed your coffee.

Scott E said...

You have every right to be mad at society's prevalence of misinformation, but don't get mad at coffee dude. Sounds to me like he just didn't know...because nobody ever told him before.

Not that it's your responsibility to educate the world. It's not.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that many people with Type 2 (especially where I live in the South) don't have any idea about their disease. I spent years selling Girl Scout cookies, only to have people tell me that they can't eat sugar because they're diabetic. I did try to educate them, but they didn't listen. It's a problem of not caring and not knowing to ask for education.