I saw my neighbor outside so I went (into the 20 degree weather with my hair in a wet towel) to ask if he’d lost power too. He had, and another neighbor came out to say he had just reported the outage.
Me: “Good for her. But she had Type 2, which means her body doesn’t properly use the insulin she makes. (An oversimplification, I know, but I was trying to start somewhere.) I have Type 1, which means I don’t make any insulin at all.”
Neighbor: “Type 1, Type 2, it doesn’t matter. Do you know what okra is?”
Me: “Yes. I like it fried. Although that isn’t very healthy.”
Neighbor: “Well, she brought all her diabetes levels down with okra. Just chop it up and put it in water for eight hours and then drink it.”
Me: “I'm glad for her, but I don’t think okra will work for me. I have Type 1, my body doesn't make any insulin.”
Neighbor: “It doesn’t matter. She has friends with diabetes and she turned them on to the okra. A few of them have that pump thing, so that means their diabetes is really bad. And the okra brought all of their diabetes levels down too. You just have to drink it twice a day.”
I know he doesn’t know a lot about diabetes. And I know he’s one of those people who always thinks he knows everything, on every subject. So today, as I stood out there freezing, I decided it wasn’t worth the advocacy effort to attempt any more explanations. And just then, the second neighbor yelled from his house the the power was back. I thanked the first neighbor and told him I'd look into the okra thing (yes, I flat out lied) and came back inside.
I feel bad that I didn’t do a better job of explaining to him. I feel scared for him and his wife, because I don’t think they really understand diabetes. And I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t try harder. But some days, I just don’t have it in me.