Friday, February 21, 2014

A Kernel of Truth

I really think that the things that are most upsetting have a small kernel of truth to them.  So while I’m sure my opinion will be wildly unpopular and set me up for a blizzard of hatred, I have to say I think Miss Manners was a teeny bit right.

bloodBlood is kind of gross.  It’s not normal to puncture my finger and bleed in public.  Does that mean I’ll stop doing it?  No, it doesn’t.  Unfortunately it is what I need to do to take care of myself.  But does that mean it isn’t valid for people to feel uncomfortable at the sight of blood?  Nope.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly won’t go to the restroom to check my blood sugar.  But I can be more “surreptitious” or discreet with my blood, especial while dining or in close confines.  Not because I think it means I should be ashamed of my chronic illness.  But because I think it’s right to be considerate of those around me, just as I would hope they’d be considerate of me.

I’m not angry at Miss Manners.  I’m angry at diabetes for desensitizing me to my own public bloodletting.

12 comments:

  1. Being considerate of others has quite often taken a back seat in today's society. We get so focused on our own lives that we sometimes forget there are others around. Thank you for pointing out, and sharing, that kernel of truth.

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  2. While I think that Miss Manners gave poor advice and was very upset to read the remark she made about drawing the line at blood, I feel extremely sorry for the letter writer who was so conscious of testing his blood sugar. I think Miss Manners needed to educate herself before giving the advice because no one should feel banished to a bathroom to do anything medical that allows them to keep their clothes on.

    One thing that I have noticed in the few years that I've had diabetes is that if I test my blood sugar as part of the routine, no one really notices. On airplanes for example, out of courtesy to other passengers, I voluntarily sit in the middle seat since I'm a compact person. While sitting between two complete strangers, I have tested no one has noticed. While sitting between my husband and a stranger, no one has noticed. (and if the strangers noticed, they must be excellent at pretending not to.)

    I think sometimes we get stared at for diabetes things, but not nearly as often as it feels like. I think part of the "noticing" by others is more of noticing on our own part.

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  3. I don't think you're off-base at all, Karen. People can feel how they choose to feel about what we must do for our health - and we also get to choose if we let the feelings of others influence us or not.

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  4. I don't think anyone should ever feel like their opinion isn't welcomed. While I have my own issue with the MM response - for my own privacy and comfort sometimes I prefer to go 'do my thing' in private. Maybe that makes me a less than perfect advocate but sometimes I just don't feel like playing 20 questions with strangers, etc. Wish people didn't feel the need to pry for their own curiosity. My two cents anyway!

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  5. Karen -
    I don't think you're wrong and I don't think you should be afraid to express your feelings.
    Do I have issues with what Miss Manners said? Yes I do. But I don't have any issues with what you said!
    Bottom Line: I think that all of us living with diabetes try our best to be as courteous & unobtrusive as possible when it comes to doing our D thing public places & we shouldn't be made to feel like we shouldn't do what we have to, when we have to.

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  6. Hmmm... I hadn't thought about that. You're right. Am I going to go back to doing what I need to do in private? No. But can I at least (especially after complaining about the column) reassess how considerate I am in general? All I can say is it wouldn't hurt. I still feel the same way I did yesterday about Miss Manners. But I can still work on being the best me I can be, to use a self-serving phrase. Thanks

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  7. ((((hugs)))) I think there's a middle ground with the whole deal. I how I wasn't too mean in my post. I'm more interested in her being educated, than in her being attacked. I hope I found a middle ground.

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  8. Your not alone in your thinking, Karen. The last thing I want from diabetes is a special entitlement to be rude. I'm not saying that testing in public is rude, but we aren't exempt from thinking about how our neighbors might feel or react to our attending to our needs. Being discrete and polite goes a long way, and can be a better alternative to using the restroom at the back of the plane.

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  9. Well, I don't care if I'm rude. However, many people do, and I worry that MM has just made it more likely that some of those people won't test in circumstances where they really should. That really concerns me.

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  10. MM could have and should have simply turned her head! It is that simple. I have had IDDM for 48 years. I do not "hide" in a dark corner of some restroom when I have to test my BS or take my injection. It is a part of life for myself and many, many more. Accept it MM and move on!

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  11. Well said! A refreshing post. I try to be discrete and I've learned to be quick so that no one notices! Or at least, that's what they tell me when I (sometimes) ask. I test quite publicly, the most "public" being on the treadmill whilst running and even then, no one bats an eye. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. I agree to be modeste. My child will do it on her lap just under the table. But to recluse to a genre festered bathroom won't happen. There are health concerns with most type 1s my child catches everything so Jo she won't test out to much in the open but she will test where she unless it is the bathroom.

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