Friday, February 28, 2014

A Beautiful(?) Day in the Neighborhood . . . .

About an hour ago I was on the phone with Pete when suddenly we got disconnected.  My t.v. and internet were down too, so I assumed it was a cable provider outage due to sun spots.  (I know, sounds crazy but it’s a real thing.  I used to work for a cable company and I swear it’s true!!)  I decided to go dry my hair but the blow dryer wouldn’t work.  Crap, it wasn’t a cable outage, it was a power outage!

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. 

And then the first neighbor said “Hey, I have another question for you.  You have diabetes, right?  My wife has diabetes too and she brought all her diabetes levels down with okra.”

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.


  1. 20 degrees with wet hair? For your own health, it was probably smarter to just go inside. You can advocate again in Spring. Hopefully, his wife's okra supply will hold out, and her "diabetes levels" will be fine until then.

  2. You can't educate someone who is unwilling to learn - especially in the freezing cold with wet hair and a power failure.

    Besides, I think your "diabetes levels" (insulin levels) are pretty darn low as it is.

  3. Our t1 support group was laughing about the whole "okra-cure". Someone suggested we make it into an adult beverage called an okratini

  4. It is hard some days, dealing with people's ignorance. Sometimes it's easier to not deal with it at all.

  5. I wish I had a good Cajun restaurant nearby. I would TOTALLY use this as an excuse to eat too much gumbo. :)

  6. I hate it when people claim to know more about diabetes than the person living with it and it makes my skin crawl when people say, "Oh it doesn't matter what type" because it does. They have different roots and need different treatments.

    I don't know that I'd have had it in me either on a day like that though.

  7. Oh boy, that gets under my skin on SO many levels!! I wrote about this "okra miracle" over at The Type Two Experience. I will admit that I tried it...once...purely for research, mind you. I still have diabetes. Hmmm. was gross and slimy. I love gumbo so I'll stick to that as a way to eat okra. It's so sad to me when people latch on to one thing that they are convinced will "cure" them. Some day her okra will let her down. :( Oh, and I stopped by to say hi and that I think you're awesome and that I completely suck at reading blogs lately.

  8. Okra cure = the power of the mind :D Unfortunately, that power only lasts until they realize that relying on the okra cure alone messed everything up. I'm Type 2 so it could be worth the try though LOL!


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