Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fighting the Good Fight, even when it’s hard

Yesterday was a bad day. It was the third day in a row that my fibro was causing me to feel horrid but I wanted/needed to go and see my mom, 40 miles away. I decided to suck it up and go, but then something was wrong with the car so I turned around and went home, disappointing my mom. Later, I had one of those moments where I felt I could make a difference in the world of diabetes by responding to comments on Facebook that were untrue and hurtful to people with diabetes, you know: myth busting. It didn’t go well. People are mean and hateful; so quick to poke fun at someone else. Yesterday I felt defeated and wondered why I even try.

There are so many things wrong with our world today, starting with the fact that people find it so easy to spew hate and anger instead of acceptance and kindness. Why is it ok to make jokes about someone’s disease? I recently lost a dear friend to cancer and my nephew is currently going through a bone marrow transplant. Would it be ok for me to make jokes about cancer? Should I sit back and ignore it when someone else makes fun? Hardly. Regardless of what the disease is or how it is contracted, there is no reason to laugh at someone else’s misfortune.

I’ve been told to lighten up. I’ve been accused of not having a sense of humor. I’ve been told that I’m wrong when I say that eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes of any type. “But eating crap and being fat causes diabetes.” “Diabetes will go away if you’d just eat better.” “It’s ok to say “here comes diabetes” when someone orders a sugary drink. It’s funny!” “People who aren’t willing to take better care of their health deserve what they get.” Over and over I hear these types of remarks. Over and over again I do what I can to right the wrongs and inform the uneducated. Here’s the thing: They don’t care! They don’t want to be educated, they just want to laugh and go about their day.

Why do I do this? Why do I put myself into situations that often cause me grief? My sweet daughter reminded me that I’m not supposed to read the comments. Do not engage. She’s right in that sometimes I need to protect myself and just not go there. But on the other hand, how is this horrible situation ever going to change if no one speaks up? Is it ok to let the bullies win? Is it right that hurtful comments are affecting people and causing them unnecessary pain? I think not. Type 2 diabetes has often been referred to as an epidemic and the medical and scientific communities are clamoring to figure out what to do about it. The more they talk about excess weight and sedentary lifestyles, the more they feed the misinformation and trolls. Yes, a lifestyle of too much of the wrong foods and not enough exercise are risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Has anyone every stopped to think that the way people with type 2 diabetes eat isn’t much different than anyone else’s diet? Nope, they assume that we’ve spent our lives eating Twinkies and dozens of donuts… all the time. They just point fingers and laugh.


I know that I’ve covered this very subject many, many times, but yesterday it felt personal. Yesterday I could feel the knife in my back in a way that took my breath away. It’s fucking NOT ok to make jokes about diabetes and even though some days it will be difficult, I will not stop speaking up. I will not cease correcting the uneducated. I will not stop until my last breath because my tribe deserves better. I may not be able to affect much in the way of change but I cannot sit by quietly and let the bullies win. Thanks for “listening” to my rant. I feel better today.

12 comments:

  1. Of course you have to continue to engage, because how would I have ever met you if you weren't out there being a voice for people with diabetes? At the same time, you need to take care of yourself. Thanks for being "YOU" and don't ever apologize for that.

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  2. Kate, You're right, and those people must be feeling bad about themselves and have to attack others to try to convince themselves that they're better than you are. But they're not. You're the one winning the battle with diabetes and helping other people to do the same. Hang in there. We support you.

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  3. I never, ever do all caps.
    DON'T EVER STOP! EVER, EVER!

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  4. Love you, Kate!! I think I know what you were referring to, and I'm definitely with you on that!

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  5. I love you ladies! Thank you so much for being in my tribe and lifting me up when I need it most. <3

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  6. Kate: It seems that every day we get to stand for what we believe or shrink like violets in the sun. I tend to enjoy confrontation over some things so well, fun is fun (sometimes). But that is just me. Other folks it is very difficult and I understand that. I do think however that over some things we have a responsibility and for those times i say let it fall where it may.

    You did good Dsister,thanks for standing up.

    I referred your blog to the blog page TUDiabetes for the week of April 11, 2016.

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  7. YOUR amazing!! Good for you! You have a voice. My friend Jill Knapp is a advocate and she speaks up a lot as well. It's great your speaking out. No it's not right that people are saying hurtful comments. They just don't know. They just don't. I know my friend Jill went through this when she was diagnosed as well. Stay strong and just keep speaking out because like my Auntie many hide behind closed doors alone with diabetes and the world does not understand them.

    Katie Williams

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  8. Kate: IMHO, non-diabetics have no clue - and this can include non-diabetics in a family full of diabetics! That obnoxious Puritanical "you ate yourself sick" b.s. abounds. This is a way for people to feel smug and morally superior. What a crock!

    Funny, I started a group on Facebook called I Hate Diabetes and nobody joined and nobody posts, ever. Unwise choice of group name there, although it expresses my feelings about the disease very accurately.

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  9. I hope you never ever stop talking and we never ever stop listening you.

    Here is some "risk factors" have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:
    Family history of diabetes.
    Overweight.
    Unhealthy diet.
    Physical inactivity.
    Increasing age.
    High blood pressure.
    Ethnicity.
    Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

    Get well soon. Good luck to you.

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  10. Awesome!!! After I told my previous boss that I was just diagnosed with type2, she said, " Oh, that's not the serious one". I wanted to scream. I didn't, I just left the room thinking what a stupid ass she was.

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  11. You rock. That's all.
    I'm proud of your commitment to this disease, not just for you but for others.
    Denise Tafoya

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