Sunday, August 10, 2014

Just... wow.

I have been meaning to post. Really.

I have all sorts of bionic pancreas updates, videos and information from Elise's experience that I want to share.

But I can't.  I sit down to type and all I want to do is cry.  It has been so incredibly hard to get back to "normal", whatever THAT is.

So I thought I'd share a story instead.  At first it will make you mad.  Really mad.  But in the end I think we can all agree to just laugh.  Because if you don't, you'll cry.

And I have done enough of that in the last three weeks to last me a lifetime.

Yesterday, our family, as well as Laura's, went to a local water park.  Hawaiian Falls hosts two "Champion's Days" every summer.  This is where they open up their park to the families of children with special needs two hours early, and at a discounted price.  Our family of five stayed all day for only $15.  

We love this place.

Anyway, Elise and I were standing in line for one of the slides when a little girl, perhaps around 4 or 5, asked Elise what happened to her leg (where her pod was).  Lately Elise has wanted no part in "talking diabetes", so I explained to the little girl that Elise has type 1 diabetes, and that she was wearing an insulin pump that gives her medicine to keep her healthy.

And that's when the child's mother leaned over and said, "you see, Ava, that is what happens to you when you eat too much sugar."



Was I suffering from severe heatstroke or did this woman just erroneously use my child to scare her own?

Seldom am I rendered speechless, but it was like all of my words just simultaneously blew out of my head while my jaw hung somewhere two stories below the tower of stairs we were on.

I snuck a look at Elise who was giving me some googly eyes while shaking her head, so I turned away from the grossly misinformed woman and knelt down to Elise's level.

"You know that's not true, right?"

"Yeah Mom... I know."

"Do you mind if I explain to her that she's wrong and tell her about the real cause of type 1?"

"No Mom, I don't want you to."

There was a bit more back and forth, but the gist of it was Elise really didn't want me to try and do any educating.  So I didn't, but silently fumed about this woman and her hurtful and mistaken statement.

When it was finally my turn to go down the water slide, I saw the woman at the bottom waiting for her children.  Since Elise was still at the top, I took the opportunity to set the woman straight.

"I just wanted to let you know that type 1 isn't caused by eating too much sugar, it's an auto-immune disease where my daughter's pancreas doesn't make insulin anymore because the insulin-producing cells were destroyed."

What came next floored me as much as what she had said earlier.

"Oh, I know about diabetes... I just wanted to scare my daughter, she eats WAY too much sugar.  We have all sorts of diabetes in my family.  Type 2, type 3... plus they're all Italian."

At that point, I chose to walk away.  Like I told Fred when I related the story to him, "you just can't educate the stupid out of people."

Today I can laugh at it.  But what I really wanted to say to her was, "Listen you erroneous boob... how dare you use MY child and all the hardships she endures just so you can frighten the sugar out of your daughter. Plus, with one incredibly stupid statement, you manage to not only insult me and my child, but all type 1s.  And type 2s.  Plus the Italians.  If I can compare your comment to ALL the comments I have ever heard about diabetes to a garbage pile, then yours is the biggest, poopiest, steaming diaper full of crap in there."

I know this lady was not the norm.  I've had all sorts of responses when I put on my advocating hat. Most people I've talked to will actually listen, and sometimes even thank me for telling them.  But this woman sure took that cake... all 25, full-sugar grams of it.

Which, incidentally, did NOT give my daughter diabetes.


  1. Dumb and rude is a bad combination. Amen?!

  2. OH MY GOODNESS!!! My 9 month pregnant, type 1 self would surely have gone crazy on them. Wow....just wow. Good for you being the bigger person :)

  3. Unreal, instead of taking responsibility for what she is allowing her child to eat, she is going to hurt another child who is struggling day in and day out with a disease she didn't cause. I'm glad Elise is so well informed and has a great mom, you are so right, you can't fix stupid.

  4. Ugh. Utterly disgusting. Very true, you cant fix stupid!

    ((HUGS)) been thinking of you Jo! I hope you take some time for YOU each day. Your heart sure needs it!!

  5. Oh honey. What a turd.

    "And type 2s. Plus the Italians." <---cracking up!

  6. Ok, first, I'm SO glad you said something to her. I just couldn't have been quiet. Second, what an idiot!! Third, I'd have walked away too..there was no hope for her. How actually horrible for her child. : (
    Still praying for you. xoxo

  7. More frustrating than this, a few years back on the TV show "The Doctors" the pediatrician told a classroom full of kindergarteners that eating too much sugar would give you diabetes. This man had an MD after his name—he knew better and yet he lied to those kids for who knows what reason. I never watched the show again.

  8. An immensely selfish, ignorant woman; perhaps rather than feeling angry we should just feel pity for her poor daughter.

  9. Not enough chlorine in that gene pool.

  10. Nice one, Katy! A turd at a water park? Grab your kids and walk away really fast!

  11. Oh. My. Gawd. Just reading that made my jaw hang open and want to punch her in the face.

    And many hugs to you and your family, Joanne. I have been away from blogging, and I just caught up. I am so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))


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