If you’re like me, you don’t like to be told what to do. Even more, you hate it when you hear the same thing over and over again. Usually, this is why I don’t tell people what I give up for Lent because they’ll be sure to tell me what not to say, eat or do. “Shouldn’t you not be eating meat?”
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, juvenile diabetes or whatever else you want to call it, I was 7 years old and about to start second grade. Upon the first day of school, it started. She has a disease, she can’t have candy, she gets special sugar-free candies, she can go to the bathroom whenever she needs to. I had a brown paper back in my locker with crackers and regular soda, in case I should get shaky. It was oddly great and weird at the same time.
For Halloween, I got apples. For Valentines Day, I didn’t get candy. For all other times I was asked, “Can you eat that? Isn’t that bad for you?”
It’s exhausting to have to explain yourself over and over especially as a kid. Now that I’m older and have much better control of myself than I did when I was seven, I still get that.
“Youre diabetic, you shouldn’t have that.”
“Is that ok for you?”
“Should you be eating that?”
I understand that people are concerned, but dammit, I have the disease, not you. I know what I can eat, I understand my limitations and I know what comes with it.
My favorite was when a pharmacist in California told my boyfriend not to offer me diet Coke because it still had sugar in it and he should know better. First of all, there’s no sugar, just caffeine which still makes your sugar go up but not drastically and sugar alcohols don’t count. Secondly, mind your own business. Thirdly, she obviously didn’t realize I was Type I. If you’re going to say something, make sure you know what you’re talking about.
I don’t mind when people ask how everything works because then they just want to be educated, but if you think you know more than me, you got another thought coming.
Now, I understand that people feel the same way that may be uneducated about being diabetic. Totally get that and that’s why instead of attacking anyone, I choose to inform them about what can and will happen should they not take care of themselves, nor understand what the consequences are. People feel like they got it and I get that, but, like in my last blog, when I ask how often you check your blood sugar and you say “sometimes” I know there is something wrong.
So please, if you want to be concerned, ask questions and get educated if you want to be supportive of my disorder. But never assume you know what’s going on or that you know more than I do. And definitely, don’t tell me what I should or should not do.