Thursday, 9 April 2009

Feeling Judged

I turned up at my Aunts place the other day just as friends of hers were leaving. They'd had cakes for afternoon tea and left a lot behind, which were offered to my son & me. I said no thanks, and my Aunt said "She can't, she's diabetic". (cringe).
Everyone nods their heads in pity. Then she continues "But she eats sweet stuff anyway" in THAT tone of voice that says I'm doing something naughty. Everyone nods their heads and tut tuts and says things like "what a shame".

I want to scream and tell them it's ok. I want to make them all sit down and take a lecture on what being diabetic really is. I want to explain that I'm just working my pancreas manually and that I can eat what I like when I like, so long as I'm jabbing along with it & keeping a good eye on the numbers. But my mouth hangs open and nothing comes out as they leave the house none the wiser.


I've been looking after my Nana a bit lately, because her usual carer - my Aunt - is recovering from an operation. Today I was out doing Nana's groceries and ran into my old Diabetes Education Nurse. I couldn't help but notice that she looked into my trolley, and cringed a little. I didn't click 'til she walked away that I was there with a trolley full of the most un-diabetes-friendly goodies (white bread, chocolate cake, etc). I just wish I'd slipped into conversation that I was doing my Nana's shopping and that only the fruit & veg was mine!

Of course, it doesn't matter at all what anyone else thinks.
*I* know I have great control for someone with a pooped-out pancreas.
*I* know that I wouldn't eat white bread but that I could if I wanted to. And I can eat chocolate and cake and whatever else, too.
*I* know that I'm careful, and haven't yet had any signs of complications, and that my A1cs are always in the low 6s...
But no matter how hard I try no one else will understand.

I'd really love someone to give me a pat on the back some day instead of a raised eyebrow and ignorant comments!


Simon said...

I suspect there are few diabetics who can match your control! You could be held up as a model for most of us. I admire your self discipline and wish I could match it.

It's a shame that most non-diabetics don't know and find it hard to grasp the facts. And it isn't easy to educate them, as most of the education is aimed at prevention type 2. Which is laudable but makes it frustrating for the rest of us.



'Cos you deserve them. :)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Here's another virtual "pat on the back" from me too.

Those damn snap judgments that other people make SHOULDN'T bother us so much, but I'm almost exactly the same way.

Lee Ann Thill said...

It feels like a no-win situation sometimes. You either make the effort to explain, but then feel like you're constantly having to explain yourself when, in fact, you should never have to do that. Or you don't say anything, but you're stuck with your internal dialogue of what you wish you had said, as if you have to remind yourself that you know what you're doing since you didn't correct the tsk-tsk'ers. I don't know what it is about diabetes that makes everyone around us think they have a given right to be backseat drivers of our insulin-fueled cars.

Bernard said...

Oh the diabetes police. They're everywhere aren't they. There's a good article here about them. But that's tiring to do all the time.

Good for you with taking care of your Nana. Maybe if you whispered a quiet word to her about this she'd spread the word? Anyway good work on keeping things in check. As big cheers for an excellent A1C. I hope you're enjoying a stress free summer.

..M.. said...

Oh Bernard, I only wish I was enjoying a stress-free summer! But it's winter here! Brrr. Bring on Spring :)