Change our Statement
I joined a tennis league. For the second time this summer. I saw a familiar face and I was less than thrilled. I have met this person a few times before, and they also have diabetes and we have very different views on what that means. They once told me they had never been low. They have had T1D for a few years, so I was very confused. I asked more questions and this person considers a low only something that causes you to lose consciousness, not something that you treat with sugar. Okay. We view diabetes differently. At the end of the night, I couldn’t concentrate and I was having trouble focusing on the ball. I knew I was low. The other day I couldn’t find juice boxes at a small grocery store, so I bought cans of pink lemonade. As I walked away from the courts chugging, this person walked over and said, “are you allowed to have that?” I quickly, without-all-of-my-brain-capacity answered, “yes. I’m low.” I should have responded with “we’re all allowed to eat whatever we want if we’re not allergic to it.” But I was so mad. And so shocked. I only drink things like this when I’m low. And not that it matters. But that is my choice.
How can we expect the general public to understand and respect our lives with diabetes if we don’t respect each other? Diabetes is complicated enough without degrading other people with diabetes. We must remember that we are all different. We all choose to take care of our diabetes differently, and that’s okay. Please, let’s get in the habit of saying “I take care of my diabetes ______ way, but I can’t speak for other people with diabetes.” I know it’s a long sentence and I know getting in that habit will take a while, but I think we can build up our WHOLE community by treating our advocacy/conversation efforts this way.