"Do you have diabetes?"
As a question from a stranger, it's way too personal. But as it was a conversation that I just fell into and as we were both talking about general health and wellbeing, it didn't seem out of place, or out of context, so I answered that I did indeed have diabetes. I am no longer insulin dependant, because of the diet and exercise program I've had myself on for several months, but yes, I have diabetes.
It was then that I remembered why I don't like telling people this fact.
Everyone has a story about diabetes, it seems. And every one of those stories is a horror storry. She, my conversation partner, launched into a very detailed story about her sister in law who has diabetes and stubbed her toe.
"Just stubbed her toe, a silly little thing like that."
Boom Boom Boom, it's coming, Boom Boom Boom.
"And three months later she lost her foot."
From that she went to a huge generalization, "People with diabetes just don't take care of themselves."
I called her on that one.
But, here's the thing, why would you just automatically tell someone, who has any kind of illness or disease the most outrageous and tragic (in your mind) story you have to tell about that diagnosis?
My response was, in my mind, 'shit why did I tell her.'
I have heard, when telling someone about having diabetes, about lost digits, lost limbs, lost mobility, lost lives. Yikes and double yikes, it's like every story I hear is about this Boom Boom Boom tragedy that lurking around the corner waiting to strike me. And, I kinda know that might be true, but I don't need to hear it every single time I mention that I've got 'the sugar'.
In fact, when I was telling a group of friends about this experience and complaining about always being told a tragic story when mentioning the diagnosis, one of my friends jumped in with a tragic story about someone losing a leg. Right. Yea. Glad you were listening.
Does that happen to anyone else? Are you the trigger for a 'tragic story' to be unfolded on your lap?
Sheesh, I'd like to hear once, just once, about some who has diabetes and 'you know is managing pretty well!'
Right, in my fricken dreams.