I lost it today. I lost it, in a way that I never have before.
I’ve been away at a work conference on employment conditions for much of this week. This morning, the topic of discussion was timing of breaks. One of the ladies present in the room made the comment that one of her team members liked to have her breaks set three hours apart, so that she could eat. Aka, she had type 1 diabetes.
Overlooking the fact that a person with well managed diabetes does not need to constantly eat to avoid going low, I could definitely understand the need for such a request. I myself, thrive on a routine. I love hearing my alarm at 6, getting coffee at 9, having morning tea at 10 and lunch at 1 every day. It makes managing diabetes a little more predictable, and the adjustments are so much easier to make when necessary.
Then came a reply that left me seething.
Why doesn’t she just keep some chocolate behind her counter?
You know how in class there’s always one of those annoying, vocal students who likes to ask questions that they already know the answer to, just to act like the smart cookie? Well, this woman was definitely one of them.
I was infuriated. I was filled with rage, and this urge to shout. Yet this annoying woman who suggested chocolate just wouldn’t stop talking. I finally raised my voice over hers.
“LET ME TELL YOU, WHEN YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL DROPS, THE LAST THING YOU WANT IS TO HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. YOU JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE.”
The whole room went silent.
She didn’t even do me the justice of turning around to face me.
I really didn’t care.
She can act as smart as she wants to when it comes to employment conditions for all I care. But when it comes to managing a condition that you know absolutely nothing about, it’s not on. Not on at all.
Even though this didn’t necessarily concern me, it did. Even though I didn’t know this person concerned, she was a member of my tribe. The type 1 tribe.
Diabetes is hard enough. I work damn hard for my health, and the last thing I need is to be told how I should manage it. Or to feel guilty for it.
That was the first time in six years, that I really felt the urge to be vocal about anything diabetes.
And it felt good.