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.