Dear Miss Manners,841255_10202318850390307_881073035_o

Last week, Miss Manners completely failed the diabetic community. She suggests that diabetics should retreat to a restroom and hide when it comes time to check blood sugar. The post is here: Miss Manners missed this one.

This has been covered at length in the diabetic community, and this is perhaps my favorite response from Scott Benner: Making People Hide Is Never The Right Answer

At the time, I mentioned in some forums on Facebook that we already have an issue with people being embarrassed and ashamed by their disease, and this doesn’t help that cause at all. Having to work with sterilized tools in disgusting bathrooms is ridiculous. 20140223-IMG_1077This is Luke and his mother Dorrie, from Saving Luke. They are close personal friends, and also members of our Canine Hope family. They are checking Luke’s blood sugar in line while waiting for the ride Luigi’s Flying Tires at California Adventure this past weekend. It was my son’s 6th birthday, and they came with us to help celebrate.

Why is she checking him in line? He had a rough night of high blood sugars, and she was trying to get enough insulin into him to bring it down. Waiting in line at an amusement park takes a long time, and we weren’t about to lose our spots to appease someone like Miss Manners. And beyond that, there are so many things that can affect BS, and they ALL seem to converge at the amusement park. Excitement, anticipation, fear, sensory overload, physical activity, park food, it’s ALL there. For a good portion of the morning, Luke was high and for a good portion of the afternoon, Stella was low. Luke’s high BS was due to a site going bad, requiring a site change, and Stella required a constant flow of carbs. Both kids required extra BS checks all day. We did these things in the open. In line at rides, at the lunch table, in the middle of the walkway, where ever we needed to. Even Luke’s site change was done outside. Why? Because these things need to be done. Diabetes is a bastard. It requires your attention immediately. It isn’t prim and proper. It is bold and in your face. It doesn’t wait while you gather your things and go someplace more discreet. Diabetes is no wall flower. It’s the drunk frat guy next to the keg at the party that everyone wishes would just leave but never does. It’s intimidating. And it can be life threatening. There is no shame in having diabetes. The shame is that anyone has to suffer with it. And no one gasped, or was shocked in horror or got up and left. Several times it opened a dialog and allowed us to educate and inform. Our kids will never be forced to hide with this disease. And if anyone asks them to, I will very quickly turn into that drunk frat guy…

 

So next time you happen to be out and about and see Miss Manners at a restaurant, the grocery store, or you happen to be lucky enough to sit next to her on an airplane, feel free to go ahead and poke your finger. Make Quentin Tarrantino proud, and get a drop of blood, and check your BS right there in front of her.

Instead of checking blood sugar in the bathroom, I believe using your post in there is a better idea.

Hey, Miss Manners, forgive me for forgetting mine

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Team Blackdogsrule

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. How could anyone even ask someone to hide this? It is as bad as asking a breast feeding women to feed her child in a disgusting bathroom. We are all humans, we all have blood, so what exactly is there to be ashamed of? Miss Manners needs a reality check.

  2. I feel that with diabetes, a person should be able to check anywhere at any time. I’ve been type 1 for 57 years and I check at home, at church, at places where I eat, etc. As far as I know, this has never bothered anyone. I do try to test discretely, but it is important to know where I am since I can drop or go up easily.

  3. Once again, thank you Frank, I’d like to sit next to miss manners someday, and feed her laxativies

  4. Duckster Kovacevic

    I love this piece, Frank. My T1 partner was brought up in a European company that inexplicably attaches shame and stigma to diabetes. (Byproduct of other archaic and uninformed ways of life in ex Yugoslavia? I don’t know, but I’ve witnessed reactions that are lights years behind the awareness and tolerance we need to have…) Consequently, he slinks off as discreetly as possible at all times to attend to his health in the public bathrooms, and I find it heart breaking. I’ve begged him to take his insulin at the table, to hell with any nearby nosy diners that have a problem with that. I dare them to say something.
    Sadly, he may not change. I think it’s too ingrained, this inappropriate shame and blame for what his home country calls “the bad sugar disease”…. I won’t stop hoping though. Wrestling with this slippery, sinister sh!t of a disease is nothing to be ashamed about.

  5. Frank, I read that Miss Manners piece and was shocked. I had to go back to the top of the article to check the date, thinking that it was from years ago; and then I looked ahead, thinking there MUST be a second response correction. Ms. M’s answer was so outdated as to be unbelievable.

    You’re right. Where would I be more comfortable doing any medical procedure? A filthy bathroom where I won’t even touch the door handle as I exit or outdoors in the fresh air? No brainer.

    Diabetes is ugly, but friends who are diabetics know how to take care of themselves. And, as their friends, we watch out for them. No big deal. Need to check your blood sugar? Ok, we can take a break, sit down on that bench and take care of that. Less than 5 minutes later(assuming they needed insulin) and we are back to whatever we were doing. (By the way, Tampax carriers are great for carrying syringes.)

    Ms. Manners needs to be reprimanded – for being rude & having no manners.

  6. Miss Manors is an idiot. I have been type1 since I was seven I just turned 50. I check my blood sugar whenever wherever even at the Catholic cathedral in Downtown Dallas right in the pew and the cathedral staff is very understanding especially the priest who is rector of the cathedral.

Speak!