Diabetes and the World of Ignorance

“Are you still rocking a pager?  You know it’s 2018 right?”  Ummm, actually this is my insulin pump and it keeps me alive, but thanks for asking.  I once had a traffic court judge tell me that MP3 players were forbidden in her courtroom and that I needed to remove it immediately.  I did enjoy watching her hard edge dissolve when I told her that it was an insulin pump.

Yes, I still get comments like this believe it or not.  There’s nothing better than unsolicited opinions and comments, don’t you think?!?  It used to really bother me when someone would say something, completely unprovoked, about my devices.  Maybe because it’s not something I would ever do and just couldn’t understand the nosiness or concern of others about what devices I was “rocking.”  Now, it just makes me laugh.  Perhaps it is because I’m older now and don’t worry about ignorant people, or maybe it is just because I genuinely find it pretty funny when people say these idiotic things only to be told that what I am wearing is the only thing keeping me alive.  The “does she know she looks ridiculous wearing a pager in 2018” attitude quickly melts away, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy that just a little! Don’t judge me.

That being said, there are genuine questions I get all the time from people who are just curious to learn about these devices, and I’m always happy to stop and chat with those folks.  I’ve always embraced the fact that I will forever be a diabetic, so why not try to educate others along the way if I can.  When I first started wearing my Dexcom G5 Continuous Glucose Monitor, I would get asked almost daily if the “patch” was helping me to quit smoking.  That would always make me laugh, because the monitor does look like a smoker’s patch.  But, just like with the pump, there were/are some pretty forward, rude people, but I have learned to take it with a grain of salt.  If you have any kind of illness or condition, you need to have a backbone.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one, it will save you a lot of worry over people you will never be able to change.  You can get mad with every single comment, or you can smile and say, “Well, actually, here’s what you need to know…”  The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was that if you want to see change, then change your attitude.  Don’t expect that you will be able to change someone else.  That is exactly what I did.  I changed MY attitude toward these people, but they are still the same ignorant people, and that’s okay, because it’s not my problem.

The moral of the story is, if you have the urge to comment on a device someone is wearing, please keep the sarcasm at bay and try to learn a thing or two.  It’s much easier to be kind than to spend your life with a chip on your shoulder.  Just my two cents.

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