"Are you sure that you can eat that?" - Stupidest people ever
Diabetes sucks and I bet that most of you know that. If you don’t, you are most likely someone with a working pancreas. If you are one of those, whose pancreas works, reading this might help you understand our struggle a little more.
There are so many different struggles that one has to go through. The one I hate the most is having to deal with all of the idiots who think they know stuff about diabetes, but actually don’t. We have all heard the stupid cliche sayings like “Oh! Your blood sugar is high? Do you need sugar?” or “You’re diabetic? How? You’re in good shape.”. Then there’s the one that annoys me down to my innermost core, “Are you sure you can eat that?”. Why would I be eating it if I can’t?? Seriously, please mind your own business! Anyways, as you can see, this really annoys me. Or it used to. I started to look at which types of people were saying these things to me, and I noticed that there were 2.
The first group were close friends and family. The second group were people who are constantly sticking their nose in everyone’s business. FYI this group annoys everyone, so, sorry, in this case diabetics aren’t special, or are they ;) we’ll just have to see.
The first group of people were my close friends and family who didn’t know much about the disease. I found that these people were only saying these things because they care for me and want me to be around for a long time. I started thinking, “How can I stay annoyed with them for this? They just love me and want the best.”. This thought helped a little but I was still getting pretty annoyed. This group of people is an easy fix though. These are your close friends and family so why should you be afraid to tell them that this bothers you? I found the best solution to be just explaining to them that I know about MY disease and I won’t do anything that would cause me harm. It is also very important to communicate to them as well that saying those types of things to a diabetic is a huge nuisance and they don’t usually appreciate it. Communicating things that bother you when it comes to diabetes, is a very important key component to becoming a diabadass.
The second group is the nosy people who try to find a way to get involved with everyone’s business. I actually prefer dealing with this type of person because of how I have learned to handle it. Not all of you will have the same type of humor that I have, but one of my favorite things to do is mess with people.
I was able to shift my attitude from being completely annoyed by the asking of these questions to a more humorous and positive attitude. The way you do this is by playing with their ignorance, because they are obviously clueless when it comes to diabetes. If you have no clue what I mean by this I’ll give you a hypothetical situation. Say someone you barely know asks you “Are you sure you’re allowed to eat that”, don’t answer immediately, take a couple bites and then say “I’m pretty sure it will be fine”. Then finish whatever you are eating and let your last comment marinate for a little bit. Then suddenly act super panicked and look at the person and say “Wait! Did that have sugar in it?? I thought that was sugar-free!” they will most likely match your level of panickness and start freaking out.
I know what you’re thinking, you are probably thinking, “Wow Benjamin, you are definitely going to Hell” but I always let them know I was kidding and that diabetics aren’t a fan of those types of stupid questions. Also they were the ones who annoyed me first and I might have just scared them so much that they will never put their nose where it doesn’t belong again but sadly, most likely they will keep to their ways. Also we go through so much crap on a daily basis, I don’t have enough time to worry about how it made them feel. They also just learned some valuable information, other than the fact that they are annoying but also that DIABETICS CAN EAT WHATEVER THEY WANT! You also need to remember that this is my type of humor and you can do or say whatever you want that fits your style of comedy. I know my sense of humor can be a little mean so do whatever you feel most comfortable with.
A great real example of me doing something like this was when I was a sophomore in High School. I was in Murfreesboro Tennessee where we were playing a rugby tournament. We had just finished a match and I was on the sidelines with some of my teammates and the topic of diabetes came up so I started to talk to them about it. Then they asked me about my “gameboy” which is what they called my pump (I don’t know if everyone has had this but it happens so often, it has become one of my pet peeves). I explained to them what it was and why I needed it. Then one of my teammates decided to press a button. I looked at him with my panic face (which I know is good because I practiced in the mirror) and then fell over. I actually didn’t mean to scare them as much as I did, I was just gonna act like whatever he did just made my legs stop working, but their minds jumped straight to the worst. They thought I was having a seizure. There were about 5 of us and 2 of them started yelling “Ben! Are you ok?” and one jumped down on the ground and tried to help me, and then he noticed me smiling and decided to play along but his acting sucked and gave the whole act away. This might have been a good thing though because I already made it last longer than it should have. I hopped back up smiling and my friend who pressed the button still looked horrified, but had a hint of a smile, so I gave him a hug, then he punched me in the shoulder and said “Ben. I hope you know you can be a real dick” and I just smiled and we headed to our next match. No one from my rugby team ever touched my pump again though.
The example above was a little extreme but I didn’t intentionally take it that far. I am still friends with all of those guys and they have more respect for me and MY diabetes. Like I said before, this is just how I personally handle these types of situations. It is important to find out what makes you happy and learn how to avoid situations that make you have negative emotions. Remember your life is what you make it and life is too short to worry about these miniscule inconveniences. Never let yourself change to fit someone else’s desired version of you. Numero uno (yourself) is always your top priority.