Skip to main content

I Have a Bone About Tone

Today's #DBlogWeek prompt: There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

I'll be honest, I don't really get heartburn over words. You can call me a Type 1 Diabetic, person with Diabetes, girl with weird bionic pump site stuck on her arm, space nerd, diver-betic, mission control's token busted pancreas girl - whatever. I AM all of those things, proudly. The thing that gets under my skin is tone.

It started when I was newly diagnosed. My mom (bless her heart) just had this tone, no...it was more like a tone..."Did you test? What was your number? Do you need to change your site? When was the last time you changed your lancet?" I grew to loathe those starkly direct questions. It's like I was being punished or persecuted for a disease that wasn't even my fault, and one I was trying my hardest to control even if the numbers didn't always paint that picture. [Side note, I love you mom, I really do...I absolutely know deep down you had the best intentions, you were just doing your job.]

After I was out on my own the questions changed slightly, but the tone was still present "Can you eat [insert sugary dessert here]? Is that good for you? Do you need orange juice? Who else in your family has diabetes?" Then there are the nails on a chalkboard statements, "My grandpa died from diabetes. My uncle had his foot amputated. My sister is going blind from diabetes. You must have the 'bad' diabetes. But you're not fat." Ugh, ugh, and ughhhhhhh. Just stahhhpppp! I don't need to hear these things, like, at all. I didn't do something bad to get this disease, I don't want constant reminders that it will probably kill me, and I don't want to keep doling out sympathy for some distant relative of yours that experienced something terrible because of diabetes. Sorry, I'm normally a sympathetic person, but this stuff just wears on a person.

I want to live my life free from the judgment associated with having Diabetes. I want to answer 'normal' life questions, free from a judgmental tone. Maybe something like, "How is your new little girl doing? How do you like being a mom? Can you pass the siracha?"

Answers: She is doing amazing! Being a mom is super crazy, but I love it! And no, no more siracha!
_____________________________________________________

Find more Wednesday #DBlogWeek posts here

Comments

  1. I just found your blog because of Diabetes Blog Week. You hit the nail on the head! Adorable baby, pass the sriracha please.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ummm, how did I miss that you are a mom now? Congratulations! She's beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. AHH you just brought back bad memories of my mom asking if I had tested my blood sugar haha. Also, your baby girl is so precious!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm with you on this post! Tone matters! BTW, we have baby girls around the same age, so I was glad to stumble onto your blog. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a cute baby! Hi baby! Hi!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also have a bone about tone. But at once time I had teenagers. I then retired, not from work, (but from life). So that makes me a recovering elderly (59) parent.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  7. First time reader, long time mom...you have a BEAUTIFUL baby! Congratulations...the craziness continues but it's always worth it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Hot OJT

Last week I had the chance to mentor a newly certified ADCO trainee - the NASA process is called "Hot On-The-Job-Training", or Hot OJT. What makes it "hot" you ask? Well, essentially I am hands off - he is sitting at the console, working all the plan reviews and updates, making calls to other flight controllers and to the flight director, reacting to anomalies and preparing material for the shift handover. My job is to act as the fault tolerance - a backup ADCO of sorts.

Tuesday was his last official day and by Wednesday morning he was in the backroom sending commands to ISS in preparation for the docking of a three-person Soyuz.


The beauty of this system is the gradual buildup in responsibility. There is a subtle shift from student, to subject matter expert, to fresh operations trainee to advanced trainee and finally to certification and real-time operations flight controller - the process takes two years on average and is considered by many to be enough specializ…

International Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Whew! Back from one international trip and on to another next week! I will admit my eyes roll every time I get the "we're gunna need to pat you down" talk at TSA, but international travel is a whole different animal. I thought it might be fun to see what goes through my brain and into my bags for these types of trips!


I wouldn't be a NASA Flight Controller if I wasn't good at planning, the key to international travel as a T1D is PLANNING!

3 months prior

Assess supplies. Mine come in 90-days supplies so I like to inventory at least 3 months prior and make a plan to order more early if the trip is going to coincide with the end of my 90-day stock. In my experience supply companies are usually pretty good about adjusting orders as needed if you tell them the reason for the early request - just mention you have an international trip coming up and want to make sure to have plenty of supplies (and backups!) in time. Request a loaner insulin pump. It's likely the comp…
01 09 10