Let me set the scene. We were at a church event. Elise is standing in line for one of those obstacle course bounce houses. I'm hovering nearby, holding Mattias. Hovering because this event holds all the ingredients for a BG disaster; extreme heat, bounce houses, excitement, running around, and ice cream. I was hoping the last item on that list would counter-act all the other stuff.
Anyway, back to the bounce house line. A girl, about 8 years old, is standing next to Elise. She points at Elise's dexcom sensor on her arm and asks what it is.
Elise replies very matter-of-factly, "it's my sensor. I have type 1 diabetes." Elise looks at me with a sweet, beautiful smile. My heart is bursting with pride at that moment.
The girl asks her, "so... you're sick?"
"No," Elise says, just as firmly, "I have type 1 diabetes. I wear a sensor." She shrugs her shoulders as if to say, "doesn't everyone?"
The girl comes back with, "but you have diabetes because you're not healthy, right?"
Elise looks at me again, her smile starts to falter. She says, "I'm NOT sick. I just need insulin."
The well-meaning, but very misguided girl takes Elise's hands and says, "I know ALL about diabetes! I can teach you. All you have to do is eat healthy and you won't be sick anymore!"
***insert needle scratching on record here***
Elise's face starts to fall, so I swoop in. "No", I say to the girl, "you are not right. She has type 1 diabetes. Part of her body, the pancreas, is broken and cannot make insulin. So she needs shots. There is nothing she did to get diabetes and it's not the kind that goes away."
"Yeah," interjects Elise, "I need shots. Insulin shots!" And with that, she was smiling again.
The girl looked at me as if I was growing another head right there in front of her and turned away.
Oy. Where to start with this one? I am so proud of Elise with how up front and open she is about her diabetes, but man-oh-man did I want to punt the little girl into next week for what she said. I know she's not to blame for her ignorance, but she had to have picked it up somewhere.
You know what? I blame Oprah.
10 hours ago