Thursday, January 13, 2011

Perpetuating the Myths

Yes, we look exactly like this!!
Yes, we look exactly like this!!
On Tuesday we were all anticipating the huge snowstorm that was expected to (and for once did) hit New England.  Pete and I have our weekly ballroom dance lesson on Tuesdays and I noticed my instructor had jokingly put the following in her Facebook status:
“Getting ready for snow- ugh. Remember, cancelations will not be accepted, just walk to the studio! I'll be there with hot cocoa and dancing!”
Because I can never pass up a chance to be a wise-ass, I left the following reply:
“If you make me drink hot cocoa, we're going to have to do Swing for the entire 45 minutes or my blood sugar will skyrocket!! ;)”
She joked back, we had a few laughs and decided she’d make me some coffee instead, and then some other students started leaving smart-aleck comments for her as well.  And that’s when I began to have second thoughts about my comment.

It’s fine to joke about the hot chocolate with Juliet, because after years of lessons with me she understands a lot about diabetes.  She’s one of those great people who is sincerely interested, asks intelligent questions and listens to my answers and explanations.  She never judges, and heck, she even has her friends bring me things from Germany to treat lows!

But what about the other people who read her Facebook page.  Looking at my comment they will probably think that I can’t have hot chocolate because I’m a Type 1 Diabetic.  And while it’s true I usually pass it up because I don’t find hot cocoa as bolus-worthy as a block of actual chocolate, the fact is if I wanted the hot chocolate I could certainly count the carbs and dose for it.  You know that . . . . I know that . . . . BUT most of the people reading her Facebook page don’t.

Was it wrong of me to make a joke like that?  We grumble a lot about the Diabetes Police, but did I just give them more ammunition?  Have you ever made comments in jest that you later regretted because they perpetuate the myths we are fighting so hard to banish?


  1. Very good point, and I've found myself in the same scenario many times. It's hard to know what someone else's knowledge level is when it comes to diabetes, or how they'll interpret what you say - I'm not sure what the right answer is.

  2. I wouldn't say it was exactly wrong, but I think you are correct that it perpetuates misconceptions for those that don't understand. It's unfortunate, but I do find that I have to be super, duper careful in everything I say. We shouldn't have to be so guarded. I suppose that's part of the magic of the DOC - we can say these things to each other and we understand. Once we step outside the bubble, we need to use the filter.

    PS - There are hot coco options with almost no carbs! lol I know that's not anywhere near the point though. :)

    PSS - You and Pete look AMAZING in that pic, but I like the video of the two of you that you shared a while back even more!

  3. I say don't waste your time worrying about it. If they are misinformed and make a comment correct them. You can't alter every thing you do because of how it "might" be construed. Just enjoy yourself.

  4. Enjoy yourself and educate when you can.

    People take things everything the wrong way these days.

  5. I think we're doomed if we can't make jokes about the D every now and then.
    So keep enjoying life and your dancing with or without the hot chocolate!

  6. I'd agree with all of the comments above, that we shouldn't have to be so guarded and filtered but that these days everything seems to be taken out of context or interpreted the way it wasn't meant to be. But I'm with George and Renata - try not to lose any sleep and don't go making any extra dance steps (HA!) over it. Oh and a sidenote: I'm actually going to mention your post today in my one planned for tomorrow!! Good stuff!

  7. was all in fun :)

    I can see where you're coming from, though. However, I think the people who would take that statement to mean a PWD simple CANNOT have hot chocolate has a responsibility to confirm the information before they start passing judgments.

    That's just MHO.

    Now where's the marshmallows?

  8. Karen...I totally know where you are coming from. It is so hard to explain to people that technically Joe can eat whatever he wants as long as I match the carbohydrates with insulin...but some foods are avoided b/c they are "blood sugar busters" and I kind of prefer that he stay within a certain carb range at certain times of day...b/c DIABETES LOVES ROUTINE. So, I make similar comments and then second guess myself too. I hope you had fun ballroom dancing. How much snow did you guys get? We got about 9 inches here.

  9. Hi There,

    As a Type 1 of Thirty years, I totally hear, ya, people with little knowledge make assumptions.
    It sure is nice to hear others experience the same dilemas.



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