1.Should you be eating that?
Unless I’m about to use arsenic instead of splenda in my coffee this is never ever appropriate. Not only is it rude-it just displays you don’t know much about diabetes. Type 1s just need to cover the food they eat with insulin , what we choose to eat is between us and our tastebuds. Do you really think you have the knowledge or experience let alone the right to question our food choices?
2.How’s the Diabetes?
Still got it! It has its ups and downs. There just isn’t a sensible answer to this question. Diabetes just “is”.
3.Is that the bad kind of diabetes?
You’re implying there’s a good form of diabetes…seriously???
4.My Nanna went/lost… from diabetes.
Just stop right there, are you going to relate the loss of a limb or function because of diabetes? You’re kidding right? Do you think that’s helpful? Those of us with diabetes are very well aware of the horror stories, we don’t want to be reminded of them every few minutes. It doesn’t help to add “they didn’t take care of themselves” at the end of the tale-blaming people for the consequences of ill health is just cruel and in many cases untrue.
5.Why do you have diabetes?
If I knew that I’d be lining up for the Nobel prize in medicine. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition and nobody knows for sure what triggers it but it is not linked to stuff like being overweight or being sedentary. Type 2 does appear to be influenced by lifestyle factors but nobody knows why some skinny, fit people still get type 2 and some obese people remain type 2 free. I don’t hear people ask why someone has cancer or MS, so why diabetes?
6.You can get off insulin/cure diabetes by …
No I really can’t. Every day of my life since I was 1 year and 7 months old I have needed insulin to stay alive. No matter how little I eat or how much cinnamon/ochra or fenugreek I consume I will always need insulin to stay alive. Some type 2 people can get off insulin but not type 1s. The death rate for people with type 1 before the discovery of insulin in the 1920s was 100% despite starvation diets. Do you really think that if there was a cure for type 1 parents would continue to inject their children multiple times a day, would get up in the early hours of the morning every day to check their child is still conscious and so much other stuff if the answer was out there.
7.You must be very important to wear a pager (pointing to my insulin pump )This, said to me within minutes of being introduced (and you can imagine the tone) is probably the most insultingly ridiculous thing that’s ever been said to me. So not only do you think I’m trying to impress people with my “importance” but I’m so pathetic I’d try to do so with a piece of 1980s technology. Yeah, well think it said more about him than it did me.
Do you have other tips for things not to say to people with diabetes? What’s been the stupidest diabetes related comment you’ve heard? If you don’t have diabetes have you ever said this sort of thing (hopefully not number 7).Tweet