Thursday, November 5, 2009

What does and doesn't offend me . . .

I'm fortunate enough to have a close-knit group of friends that I've known since the mid-80s.  We started hanging out when we all worked together at Stop and Shop.  Over 25 years there have been a lot of changes - far off colleges, weddings, kids, jobs, houses.  But through it all, our friendships have stayed strong.

Most of "the gang" at a wedding in 2000.

The latest person to be added to the fold is D's boyfriend M.  We love M, he's funny and sweet and a great addition to our group.  But it isn't always easy being the new guy in a group of friends who have been together since the days of crimped hair, day-glo clothes and Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers!  There is a lot of unspoken history there and I'm sure sometimes M feels hopelessly out of the loop.

A while ago we all went out for a night at our favorite casino.  As we settled into the deep velvet arm-chairs in the martini bar, the tech-addicted among us pulled out their phones to check for emails and texts.  I pulled out my meter for my pre-martini blood glucose check.  From across the table, M saw a gadget that was quite clunky by today's cell-phone standards and leaned over to L to snicker about how old my phone must be.  L told him that she was pretty sure it wasn't my phone, that I was checking my blood sugar.  M was mortified at the mistake.  Was I offended?  Heck no!  M had never seen me check my blood before, how was he to know?

A week later, we were all together again for a cook-out.  As the food was being grilled, I was busy punching my best SWAG bolus into my pump.  M walked by and blurted out "Girl, give the Tweeting a rest!  You are addicted!"  "Not Tweeting, M, I'm dosing my insulin with my pump."  To which M turned bright red and replied "Oh my gosh, I'm the biggest a$$hole going.  I can't believe I did this to you two weeks in a row." Was I offended this time?  Not in the least.  We shared a big laugh and a big hug and all was well.

I've known my best friend since kindergarten.  In sixth grade, we officially proclaimed ourselves "bestus buddies forever".  I'm part of her family and she's part of mine.

This is not an actual picture from the 80's - 
we're just dressed up for an 80's party.

A few years ago, we were at a Christmas party at her mom's.  As I sampled the fudge my best friend made, her sister - who is an ER nurse - marched up to me and said "How are you eating that?"  Was I offended this time?  You bet I was!  She's in the medical field, for goodness sake!  To be confronted by her and called out like that not only enraged me.  It made me so shocked and flustered that the best I could do was stammer on about carb counting and insulin dosing and blood sugar monitoring while my face turned as red as the Christmas trimmings.

Not everyone is going to know everything about diabetes.  I understand that.  If you mistake my equipment for some other gadget, that's fine.  If you politely ask if it's okay for me to eat something, I'll probably even let that slide.  But if you presume to know more about my treatment than I do and make comments that put me on the defensive, then you are just being rude!  I am not an idiot.  I've lived with the disease for almost 30 years and I'm healthy.  Give me a little credit, okay?


  1. Well said my friend!
    I especially hear you in regards to folks in the medical field who still have antiquated views of our disease.
    I give you TONS of credit- YOUR DOING A GREAT JOB!

  2. I'm agreeing with Kelly, too. You know what's what, and I'm glad you tell people when they're on the ball ... and off their rockers. :)

    (But I have to admit - I'm totally distracted by your 80's picture. That is AWESOME. My college roommates are obsessed with taking 80's themed pictures, even now. They do it at weddings. It's hysterical!!)

  3. Well put. I don't know why it continues to surprise me how many medical professionals think they know so much about diabetes when they actually know very little.

    If only I had saved all my banana clips, huge belts, leggings, oversized shirts and ridiculous shoes I could outfit an army for an 80s party! :) Oh and don't forget the Madonna black rubbery bracelets!!

  4. I had a similar "discussion" w/ a retired nurse yesterday. When I was offered a piece of cake, she quickly announced that I couldn't have it. I wasn't going to take the cake but did - just to spite her. Bah!

  5. It actually annoys me even if it's a non-medical person. I don't ask adults if they should be eating/drinking/doing/being whatever. The question implies you haven't thought about it. As a Diabetic, we think about everything going into our mouth. I've had to tell a couple of friends "really - don't do that."


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