Today’s Fired Up Friday is all about Diabetes Disrespect. We have all seen it and heard it and have reacted in different ways to it. There is a lot of disrespect to diabetics these days. I don’t think that any of it is intentional, but it still happens. I am going to just touch on three specific areas where I think people with diabetes are disrespecting: uneducated doctors, you have diabetes because your fat, and donations.
Just last week I had to educate an ENT specialist on diabetes. Earlier in the year I had to give a quick lesson to a nurse at a CVS Minute-Clinic. Do I expect every type of doctor to be as knowledgeable as my endocrinologist? No, of course not. But do I expect them to have a general understanding of diabetes and know about it? Absolutely!
No matter what kind of doctor you are or what your area of expertise is, you should have an understanding of diabetes. Don’t ask me if I’m type 1 and then ask if I take insulin, that’s an insult that you don’t know that. I don’t feel comfortable with a doctor treating me that doesn’t know much about diabetes, because my treatment may need to be different because of my type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes just doesn’t get the respect
Fat and Diabetes
Have you ever heard somebody say that you have diabetes because you’re fat? They’re not saying it in a mean way, but they just think that you get diabetes because you’re fat. This is from a lack of knowledge that they have and how diabetes is portrayed in Hollywood and in magazines and news shows. Yes, I am overweight, by about 30-40 pounds, but that is not the reason that I have diabetes. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was in the best shape of my life. I was playing college football at the time when my blood sugar was in the 500-600’s for 2 straight months. Now, I find it tough to lose weight with diabetes because every time that I exercise I have to end up eating Skittles or some sort of candy just afterward to get my blood sugar levels normal again.
I’m sick of people thinking that all diabetics have their diabetes because they are fat. Sometimes I want to say to them what little kids in school say, “I can lose weight and not be fat, but you can’t do anything to change ugly!”, but I take the higher road and just try to explain to them that my weight did not cause diabetes, if anything, I feel that my diabetes caused my weight, (but I also think that is a poor excuse at times as well).
Diabetes is the Rodney Dangerfield of diseases; just get no respect I tell ya.
There are a lot of diseases out there that deserve to have funds donated to them. I think there are a lot of non-profits and organizations out there that are a waste of money and the funds can be spent better elsewhere, but I am not one to judge where you want to spend your money. But I have heard from way too many people too frequently on why they have chosen to donate money to other disease, primarily cancer, rather than diabetes. I’ll give an example of this that is happening now. There is a local event coming up for cancer and a lot of my friends and family have donated to this event, and at the same time I will be asking for donations in about a week for the JDRF walk in Boca Raton, FL. Some people just gave $20 to cancer, and they won’t have anything to give to diabetes. When I asked somebody why they would donate to cancer and not to diabetes they said because, cancer is “such a horrifying and ugly disease.” I have family members with cancer and who have passed away due to cancer, so I support funding for cancer research, let’s get that straight right now. However, to tell me that my disease is not horrifying and ugly really pisses me off.
You don’t see the things that are going on inside of my body. I can’t put that on a nice little brochure and collect money from you to help find a cure, so it is tough to explain to people the important of these funds. So, since you are not able to physically see my disease affecting my body and the way I look, than you are not going to donate to help find a cure?
These are just a few reasons that I feel that diabetes is disrespected. Do you agree / disagree? Are there more reasons that you have that I didn’t mention?