"At least you don't have polio."

"At least you don't have polio." - A.J.

Have you ever had someone list off conditions that they think are worse then diabetes in some half harted attempted to make you "feel better." Someone I was talking to a while back started telling me that I was lucky that I didn't have polio or cerebral palsy or some other conditions.

I really had no responce, I just nodded my head. But it still buggs me, this feeling that I should be content or maybe grateful. But being grateful implyes someone to be greatful to, And I'm not greatful to anyone for diabetes. At this point the logic runs dry and I am back to where I started- feeling confused about how to respond or feel about this succinct parable.

I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE SAY STUFF LYK DAT! All my friends are lyk "diabetes is easy, stop complaining" or "you're lucky you have diabetes, you're much healthier than all of us" and(i read this on a comment on a youtube video left by some guy directed toward Nick Jonas) "he should stop complaining about diabetes, he needs to feel lucky he doesn't have cancer". It bugs me so badly when people think diabetes is a walk in the park. They don't even know how hard it is. It takes a lot of emotional commitment too. You I feel lucky I don't have polio or cancer or cerbal palsy, but it doesn't mean I feel lucky about having diabetes...

you're right!  i don't have polio...and i'm thanful i'm not a jerk like you!  argh...how do you avoid slapping some people?  lol

Curiosity i think is the only thing that saves me from smakin' em. I wonder about the process by which people come to these conclusions. haha but i am still confused about how to feel.

[quote user="stilledlife"]

"At least you don't have polio." - A.J.

Have you ever had someone list off conditions that they think are worse then diabetes in some half harted attempted to make you "feel better." Someone I was talking to a while back started telling me that I was lucky that I didn't have polio or cerebral palsy or some other conditions.

I really had no responce, I just nodded my head. But it still buggs me, this feeling that I should be content or maybe grateful. But being grateful implyes someone to be greatful to, And I'm not greatful to anyone for diabetes. At this point the logic runs dry and I am back to where I started- feeling confused about how to respond or feel about this succinct parable.  [/quote],

"You I feel lucky I don't have polio or cancer or cerbal palsy, but it doesn't mean I feel lucky about having diabetes...

I don't think anyone who makes the comment or one similar to the one above means that you have to feel lucky about having diabetes.  I personally feel that I am fortunate to have diabetes rather than hsve cancer, polio, or any of the other diseases.  That isn't to say I'm thrilled about having diabetes, but it is the one disease that I am PERSONALLY IN CONTROL of.  The other diseases (now think hard about this concept!) the person afflicted has no control over except to live the way they are.  With cancer, they are at the mercy of an oncologist and having that poison run through their veins in order to kill the very matter that is killing their body.  Whew!  Not a thought I want to continue having.  Polio, thank goodness, doesn't occur quite as often, but diseases such as cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis and muscular dystropy are all diseases that are not always manageable, but people live with everyday. 

I have a very dear friend that I have known since elementary school.  She has lived with cerebral palsy her entire life.  Her speech is very difficult to understand for most people, she has a very difficult time walking and her body is misshapen.  She has lived with people staring at her for always.  If I don't want someone looking at me when I'm either testing or taking an injection, I can go the restroom.  She can't hide and people are ugly. 

I don't feel lucky that I have diabetes -- I actually feel blessed because this is a walk in the park compared to what other people are dealing with.  To the other person that had posted: Life is an emotional commitment -- diabetes is just a small part of it.  We want to do a job or play an instrument with skill and perfection...our diabetes deserves the same dedication.

What does bug me is poor spelling. 

 

I think you helped put this into perspective, thank you.

As for spelling- I've gone to to  extra classes for half my life trying to correct this- I've improved a great amount considering I never read a book until I was 12. However, I'll try extra hard to always process my post through spell check from now on.

What a lovely and gracious reply. I am impressed by good manners. Kudos to you for your mannerly reply. I was taught that good manners mean we never say or WRITE anything that is hurtful or demeaning to another person.  Any of us can do typos... I have done so many times when responding to comments on this forum. You hate it when it happens: you click on "Post" and THEN you see the glaring typo. Too late. We can't go back and edit, unlike when typing in a Word document. You sound like a lovely person.

Hi Stilledlife-you are sharp,smart and young-I always like reading your post !

[quote user="stilledlife"]

I think you helped put this into perspective, thank you.

As for spelling- I've gone to to  extra classes for half my life trying to correct this- I've improved a great amount considering I never read a book until I was 12. However, I'll try extra hard to always process my post through spell check from now on.

[/quote]

 

I truly need to apologize for my comment.  As an "old secretary", I am always noticing spelling errors and I shouldn't have been so quick to point it out...especially here. 

My goal by writing was to bring out my point of view and instead I have probably made a bad friend.  That was not my intent at all.  It's just that I honestly get so tired of people complaining about this illness.  I know it's difficult and I know it takes everything out of us to get things right and even then sometimes the numbers still aren't right, but it's so much easier than it used to be.  I try to share that with you all because many of you just have no idea how horrible it used to be when I was first diagnosed. 

The one thing I am going to say is that next month is National Diabetes Awareness month.  We should all take an active role in it in some way or another.  It doesn't matter how...even it it's only to educate someone you know about it or even if it's just to learn something new ourselves.  It's my 43rd anniversary with diabetes and I'm so very thankful that the research has brought me this far.

Again, my sincere apologies.  By the way, I commend you on your wonderful efforts as far as reading.  I had no idea and it was very wrong of me to be so cruel. 

Warmly,

Jane Dohrmann

true. i could have a much worse illness that will kill me even faster. (like cancer)

I think that it could always be better, and it could always be worse.  I try to remember that when people make thoughtless comments. 

I have never had too much trouble controlling my diabetes (in general).  I have had highs, and lows.  I've had a car accident, thrown food, thrown myself on the floor and screamed,  done somersaults, made very insulting and poorly timed comments and punched my mother and my husband when I have been low.  For me, the lows are the worst part.  The total loss of control.  I feel like the lows rob me of everything I have worked so hard to become.  I feel that is the unique struggle of diabetes.  The change from being cool calm, collected and in control to being a puddle on the floor 30 minutes later.  That is something that people with other diseases don't have to deal with.  AND looking at a little girl with type 1 who just started in the school district where I work, watching my husband and a few other type 1 friends we have, no matter what we do, no matter how vigilent, there are bumps in the road.  To say that we are "in control" is misleading.  It makes those who have an unexpected set back look as though and feel as though they have failed or are failures.  If you are "in control" then everything is your "fault".  To say, you have no control is also an untruth.  I think that this is uniquely a diabetes issue.  With diabetes, we often control our dosage of medication, control the food we take in, control our amount of physical activity.  The problem is, we don't control our every hormonal shift, every viral or bacterial infection, how fast the food gets to the table, the traffic, our entire emotional reaction, or our entire stress levels.  We also sometimes get caught up in a conversation too long, have to react to an emergency or go out of our way unexpectedly.  In general, people don't understant the grey area between control and no control that diabetics are in all of the time.  This makes diabetes different (not better or worse) than other chronic illnesses.

I think many people who make such comments do not have first hand knowledge of any chronic illness.  That said, I am grateful that I have diabetes over some other chronic illnesses - given a choice of diabetes or ____fill-in-the blank-disease____.  Personally, I'd rather not have to choose.

Beautifully written, Sarah! Ditto!!!!!

Wow Sarah, this is very insightful, thank you for posting it. This is somthing that I have often felt but have never really been able to put into words so eloquently.

I'm supposed to feel lucky because I don't have cancer? What do they tell people with cancer? They should feel lucky they don't have diabetes? Anyways, everyone who says that should be lucky they don't have diabetes. *sigh* Chronic illnesses are so misunderstood...

I think the problem with people saying "well, at least you don't have BLANK" is that they immediately assume that you are, in fact, victimizing yourself beyond what is reasonable. I think I have a very good idea about where I stand in the spectrum of disability and I certainly do not need anyone to disabuse me. Paradoxically, when someone makes a comment like the ones mentioned in the posts above it seems to suggest that there is nothing difficult about having diabetes and thus dismiss any future grievances you might have. After all, after a comment like that how can you then feel comfortable complaining that you're sugar is running in the 300s and that your body doesn't seem to responding to the insulin you injected? And how can you feel comfortable explaining that you're feeling exhausted because you repeatedly woke up low in the middle of the night and didn't get much sleep? Sure, things could be worse. Things could definitely be much, much worse. No rational perosn could deny that. But such blind, disingenuous optimism helps no one and is wanted nowhere. The only response that makes even a modicum of sense is for us diabetics to assert that diabetes IS taxing and difficult and sometimes maddening and that we are not trying to compete with other conditions. We are, however, competing with ourselves, which, if you think about it, means that we are the winners and the losers, which is as gratifying as it is irritating.

The paradox I was talking about is that BECAUSE of comments like this diabetics are provoked to further the argument that the challenges of Type 1 Diabetes should not be overlooked.