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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Scream, You Scream...

A short time ago (Spring 2011), an article I wrote was published in Diabetic Living.  It featured my “coming to terms” with diabetes so-to-speak.  The article was shared around my workplace.  It was printed in color copies, emailed from person to person, and added to a couple of our e-newsletters.  Don’t get me wrong, that was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but some of the experience was not so great.  While people in command positions told me how much they admired me and how great it was to work with me (hooray!), members of the Diabetes Police that work there also saw the article.

When I was approached to create decorations for an upcoming ice cream social, I mentioned how nice it would be to see an individual at the social the next week.  She commented awkwardly “Oh well, I’m sure you won’t want to go, because well you know, I read the article in Diabetic Living – your diabetes”.  What I wanted to say – “It is ice cream lady, wild freaking horses couldn’t keep me away”.  Instead I said “Of course I’ll be there, I have type 1 diabetes and inject insulin.  I can eat ice cream”.  She responded with “I know a lot about diabetes, my father had it.  I know it’s not good for you”.  I wanted to come back with “Is ice cream good for you???”  Instead I said “I work closely with my doctor, as long as I compensate for the carbohydrates, I’ll be fine”.  There would be no convincing.  She said goodbye, surely thinking I was a ravenous, out of control ice cream addict.  So what did I do? 
Nothing, I did absolutely nothing.  I created the stupid decorations and stayed away from the social.  I didn’t want a public display of the perceived out-of-control cheater, cheater ice cream eater.  I didn’t want them to talk about me behind my back, I didn’t want them to say years from now if I ended up in the hospital “She had it coming you know, I saw her eat a bowl of Häagen-Dazs at the ice cream social”. 
I know I should have gone.  I should have stood my ground.  I was busy at work that day.  I was exhausted and too tired to deal with the “D” cops.  I feel like I CONSTANTLY deal with the “D” cops.  Regardless, it was a chance to educate the “D” police about our condition.  For not going, not speaking out that day, I am regretful.  It’s just – sometimes I get so tired of saying I CAN EAT THAT!  Sometimes I'd rather not scream for ice cream. 


  1. OOOH that really grinds my gears when people try to tell you how to manage your diabetes and "know a lot about it." I know the feeling.

  2. I am sorry you missed out of that. I know that feeling. It is a hard line, when to educate and when not to. I hope it doesn't stop you in the future.

  3. Ugh, hate that "guilty" feeling. It does get tiring, though, to explain that yes, you can really eat that!

  4. I completely understand how you felt. People can be so judgmental - if they knew what it was really like to have diabetes then they might keep hush a little more. Still, you shouldn't regret not going. The D Police are always out, hunting for opportunities to question and harass us. I'm sure there will be another opportunity, similar to this one, where you can show 'em up and put 'em right!

  5. That is the worst. I hate hearing people say..."oh...I saw (insert PWD name here) eating ice cream a couple of years ago...if only he/she had taken better care of their diabetes"...blah. Those are hard comments to hear. AND...there is just no changing some peoples perceptions of what diabetes is and is not.

  6. I never heard the term D-police til I read your blog. That explains it all so clearly to me now.

    I swear to God I would have showed up to that social souped up on enough insulin to have myself a triple scoop of chocolate on a chocolate and peanut dipped waffle cone!!!

    We have Diabetes people and sugar won't kill us!!! And why do you care anyway???

    LOVE your blog, and LOVE this post!!! Holla!!!


  7. That really made me sad!! I hate when someone thinks they know everything about D because they "know" someone who is diabetic. I feel so bad that you didn't get to go because of it.

    Never let ANYONE take away something you enjoy, or make you feel guilty about it!! Ice cream is one of my greatest indulgences and my nutritionist says it counts toward my "dairy" portion, as long as it's plain vanilla and I add nuts (protein) to it.

    I have an idea....let's have a 'virtual' ice cream social!!! Tomorrow night (Friday June 3rd) I'll have an ice cream sundae and smile....I'll be thinking of you and hoping you are too!!! :)

  8. Darn them!!! You know, instead of insisting they know, I wish people would thoughtfully ask and listen first... grrr. my son misses out at easter time .. oh of course he cant eat chocolate. i mean, choc is low gi, icecream is low gi... we give it to him in moderation. its sucks ass is what it does!~ other peoples assumptions.

  9. I'm all for advocating and teaching and showing that you can eat that . . . . . but it sure is tiring. And we sometimes we just need a break. So don't feel guilty that you skipped the social. And go get yourself a big sundae and enjoy it without those ignorant, judgmental eyes staring at you!!

  10. You guys are the BEST!!! I couldn't help but feel totally understood and supported after reading your comments. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

    Roxie-Girl your "souped up on enough isulin" triple scoop in a waffle cone comment cracked me up! :)

    Liz - Your nutritionist is brilliant by the way! Love the virtual ice cream social idea...I will buy some tomorrow and meet you on my couch/your couch tomorrow night with a huge smile. :)

  11. That's it.

    I'm hosting an ice cream social RIGHT NOW! Get your spoon!!!

    This made me sad deep inside. Like, I can see you just smiling and blowing it off, but there's a spot inside my heart that hurts, because...I get it.

    I'm proud of you for your awesome Diabetic Living article. HI FIVE for that!

    PS -- MY ice cream social will have wine, so bring your favorite bottle :)

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  13. I am 51 yo and just diagnosed with type 1 this week, still in my honeymoon period. I have been a member of the sugar police for years simply because I think we eat too much and it is bad for everyone. Yet I do eat and love ice cream and used to eat some small sweet daily. My co-workers think I have type 2 since that was my initial diagnoses. I am struggling with if I should let them know about the type 1 due to being judged in this manner. In the mix is we had a co-wroker died at 53 who took very poor care of himself, years of self-destuctive behavior. There also are 2 co-workers who are quite well with their type 1. It is not my nature to not share.