“What’d you bring in?” My friend asked.
“Sticky date pudding,” he replied.
“It’s one of the best recipes,” he replied enthusiastically. “It’s mostly sugar. Nothing healthy in there.”
“That’s not really good for diabetes!” She remarked, turning towards me and laughing.
“That’s not funny,” I replied.
I’d so been looking forward to this morning tea. I was in the kitchen at 9.00 the night before, making the shortbread that I’d been wanting to make for weeks but hadn’t got the chance to.
Yet that one, ill timed and misinformed comment put a damper on something that I had so been looking forward to. I’m not embarrassed by my diabetes, but it embarrassed me. It reminded me of just how ‘different’ I was.
I was angry at the stigma that had just been perpetuated throughout the room from the attention drawn in from that comment. I’m not saying that as a person with type 1 diabetes, I’m saying that as a person with diabetes.
I know that my reply didn’t suffice. It didn’t make me feel better. It didn’t do anything in the way of correcting the stigma, but it’s the best I could come up with on the spot.
I spent the next hour or so reflecting on how I’d have better responded to that comment if I had my time back. Resisting the urge to approach this person and tell her not to make jokes about diabetes, because she was my friend (and she also puts up with a lot of my grumbling throughout the day…)
As I stood in the kitchen later, eating a banana and feeling rotten after the umpteenth hypo this week (which is a totally different story), I felt well and truly deflated.
Diabetes is not a joke.