Today is DBlog Day, and this year's topic is 6 things you want people to know about diabetes.
I’d like to think that, in general, I’m a polite person. My mama taught me well. I mind my manners.
At times, however, I wish I were more snarky. There are certain questions and comments regarding diabetes that I keep hearing, and because I’m polite, I smile, agree or reply with some sort of a nice, succinct answer.
I wish I could snap back, but I would NEVER do that. That’s just not me.
Besides, people mean well. They really do. And I do NOT mean to offend anyone with this post. I love my friends and family, and I'm grateful to have them in my life. I appreciate their love, care and interest, and I realize that unless you’re living the D life, you can not fully understand it. But, man, people sure say some of the darnedest things!
So, here are six things I hear along with the sarcastic answers I wish I could give.
1) "I don't know how you do it."
Well, I really don't have a choice, do I? I love my son more than anything. I want him around for a long, long, long time. So I must "do it." You would, too, if you were in my shoes.
2) "Wow, you have your hands full."
Better full than empty!
3) "How's Jack?"
(My standard answer: "He's doing as well as a kid with type 1 diabetes can do.")
How do you think he's doing? The kid has flippin' diabetes. It's no joy ride!
How am I supposed to answer that? You really want to know about the roller coaster blood sugar ride he's been on, or how his arms are bruised from injections and his finger tips are now calloused and scarred from being lanced 8 to 12 times each day?
How come people never ask, "How are the kids?" I have three. No one ever asks about Madeline and Max.
4) "What can Jack eat?"
Only lettuce. Iceberg to be exact. The kid can eat anything. Anything! We just have to account for it, and if his blood sugar is too high when it's time for birthday cake, for example, then we'll take a piece home for him to enjoy later, thank you.
5) "Since he has juvenile diabetes, he'll outgrow it, right?" or "Will he ever outgrow diabetes?"
I wish people would stop calling it "juvenile diabetes!" It's so misleading. This is not a childhood disease. This is forever! Jack will not outgrow this! I wish he would! The insulin-producing beta cells in his pancreas have been destroyed, and they’re not coming back...unless perhaps a cure is found. Why do you think we work so hard every year to fundraise for JDRF? You think we like asking people for money? We don’t. It sucks.
6) "Why are his numbers all over the place?"
Because he has terrific type 1 diabetes! Because his pancreas crapped out on us! Because I'm a rotten mother, that's why. Because I don't watch him closely. Because I just let him eat whatever he wants and sometimes, I give him insulin, and sometimes I don't. He's growing people! He's an active boy. He likes to eat a variety of food. Some days, the heat gets to him. Sometimes, those math and spelling tests stress him. Sometimes, he get sick. His body reacts to all sorts of things, like growth hormones, food, weather, stress and germs. That's why!
(End note: I've been brewing this post for quite a while now, and I have a few more things that I wish I could say. I'll post them later this week.)