Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dear Miss Manners: It's not the Hunger Games

Dear Miss Manners,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a wife, mother (to a very small child) daughter, friend, Chevy driver, lover of all things Diet Coke, and future nurse.. I, like many People With Diabetes, wear many hats. I check blood sugars and take shots (when warranted, but normally I utilize and insulin pump) to ensure my safety and the safety of those around me. I do it for me, and my loved ones.

Somehow, I get the idea that your knowledge of diabetes may be slightly impaired, or even downright non-existent.

"oh, don't diabetics take shots? And blood test..once or twice a day? This can be done discreetly, away from squeemish eyes." (common diabetes misperception)

It's not like that, Miss Manners. It isn't 1959 anymore, and many people with diabetes can take 4+ injections a day (if they do not use an insulin pump). Diabetes care has improved dramatically, and the recommendations (along with the desire for good control) has many people checking blood sugars 4 or more times a day. I personally check my blood sugars 7-10 times a day. I wear an insulin pump, that looks every bit as hip and modernish as the actual year. (it's 2014, get with the program) Needles don't bother me, and they don't bother my non-diabetic husband/son/or friends either.

And now I'm going to let you in on a little secret..
(post checking my blood sugar, I DO NOT:)
.. slit my wrists, war paint my cheeks, or smear blood all over the airplane seats. It is not a scene of mass carnage, it is a simple miniscule blood droplet(like a pin drop)...and easily blotted clean on a nearby tissue. Done. I daresay you've probably shaken hands with a person with diabetes at some point, and perhaps that person with diabetes checked their blood and did not wash their hands afterword.(For the record, most of us don't have AIDS or anything else communicable) It's not as disgusting as you might imagine it to be, and I'm sure that you've probably never seen a person with diabetes doing any of that.)

When I was pregnant, Miss Manners, I would check my blood sugars up to 15 times a day...all to ensure a healthy baby. Have you ever visited the bathroom 15 EXTRA times a day in addition to the state of having a pea-sized pregnancy bladder? That, in addition to even more shots? I didn't think so.) Simply put, it is hugely impractical to have to visit a public restroom many times a day just to perform needed medical tasks.

But what bothers me the most is the message that you are projecting to young people with diabetes. I was there once, alone and ashamed about my disease. From the beginning, they feel "different" and society equates syringe use with illegal drug related activity. Young people can become ashamed of their disease. This leads to hiding it, depression, isolation from their peers, and perhaps even being mistakenly arrested. I am not ashamed of my diabetes or doing what I need to stay healthy. But others haven't had that level of support and nutering to be comfortable with being out there in the open with it.

It's 2014, Miss Manners. It's a new century...and diabetes deserves a fresh outlook, a disassociation from the "don't ask, don't tell" policies of the mid 1900's. Diabetes isn't something to be ashamed about, it's not dirty, and shovelling it back to a filthy bathroom stall does a disservice to us all. Caring for yourself (and others) is one of life's most beautiful things. Isn't it time to move forward, not back?


A Type 1 Person With Diabetes (for 15 years)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

On Scientific Debates

I don't consider myself to be an uneducated any means. My family has engineers and a physicist,computer programmers, a nurse,a Marine...3 PHD's. I don't think you can pigeonhole a certain lifestyle onto a group of people who believe a certain way. I happen to believe in Biblical (6 day) creation, although many scientists believe in evolutionary(million of years) creation. My husband works in a place that has many such people (who don't consider themselves to be religious) who believe in theistic evolution..why,because while science is still the biggest belief in their life the evidence still points to a higher power that set it all in motion. These people aren't stupid either..they have PHD's in mathematics,physics,etc.(and they are helping to run the gov't of the United States) Sometimes their study of science leads them to their Christian faith. 

      “I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.”

-Charles Darwin

but for the most part,it is a faith that has to be relegated to the non-professional areas of ones admit that you believe in Creationism /God is social suicide. (Freedom of choice?its a joke)Universities won't hire you,you are ostracized and looked down upon as stupid. Yes, discrimination is real, and you cannot really dare to voice any sort of opposition against the world wide religion of evolution. And giving students a "choice" to let them decide for themselves is rarely done.(outside of the Southern US)

Charles Darwin himself knew that he was trailblazing a new belief,and in a world where change offered a chance to break free of religion this choice was jumped on by the majority. I'm not a PHD and I don't understand the specifics of why exactly one would care to believe in an unspecified Supreme Being that doesn't care to be involved with the Universe past the initial whatever (one might think that they'd want to know more).  It's true,nobody was there, nobody knows what went down. My faith leads me to believe that God created the Universe, whether by 6 days or a million years is rather irrelevant(but there is no reason for it to have taken millions of years) the point being, life must always have existed in some form..not from swirling dust particles. If that makes me stupid,well,so be it. I'm actually NOT stupid,I've read a ton on the subject from both sides of the aisle..but I can see why people choose to call me that..if you do not understand something or to acknowledge the possibility that there may be a god then to you, there really is only one option,and that is evolution.

End rant.

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