PSA: Pet Peeves Every Person with Type 1 Diabetes Wants you to Stop Doing
Everyone is annoyed by something. We all have our own little pet peeves; some common, some unique to each individual. But there are several pet peeves that are common among us diabetics, and it's time that they are addressed to the public so the world can strive to piss us off less.
- This may just be a northern thing, I'm not sure, but the way we pronounce it and the way the dictionary and almost all doctors pronounce it is dia-BEE-TEES. Now I cannot go back to the olden times of discovery and figure out who is really right in this situation of how to pronounce the word properly, but I could say with confidence that every diabetic I know HATES when you say dia-BEE-TIS.
- The staring. If you're curious about someone giving an injection, or testing their blood sugar, or using their pump, by all means ask about it. That is acceptable. Boring holes into us with your shameless stares is, however, not acceptable.
- We understand that sometimes going low in the middle of the day has its perks (i.e. when you have a valid excuse to miss math class), but saying that you "wish you had diabetes so you could eat extra snacks and miss class" is just plain ignorant. You wouldn't approach a person bound to a hospital bed and say you're jealous because they don't have to be at home getting nagged by their parents. Think a little about the way you speak. While we appreciate your desire to be awesome like us and have diabetes, it also may be a sensitive subject for someone who had no choice in getting it and at the moment is particularly frustrated with their luck.
- DON'T come running up to us with a magazine telling us you have found the cure for diabetes in 10 easy steps. Some magazines like to neglect using the key precursors "type one" and "type two," leading to mass confusion among those not-so-knowledgeable.
- I am not a doctor or a scientist and still do not know the gritty details of exactly how type one diabetes develops, but I can tell you this: IT IS NOT FROM EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR. The common diabetes go-to joke is that "John ate 7 candy bars. Slow down John, you're going to give yourself diabetes." While audiences may love this bit, it is completely inaccurate. Diabetes is an auto-immune disorder that you inherit, and that something in your immune system eventually triggers. Not something that hits you suddenly like a freight train because you went crazy and ate 30 Pixie Stix. Likewise, we didn't get type 1 diabetes from being overweight. So the often heard, "But you're not fat," response is illogical as well.
In my experiences with myself and my fellow diabetics, these have been the major pet peeves we have. But without a doubt there are more ignorant comments and actions that irk us. That is why it's important to spread awareness about diabetes and the accurate information about it.
Just use your head. Think before you speak or act, would I enjoy having that done/said to me? 'Cause God help you if you piss off one of us on a bad day.