I was at a volunteer dinner this past weekend and unfortunately I sat next to another diabetic. That probably sounds strange, but after 1/2 an hour I was so sorry she sat down at our table.

My husband and I had been sitting listening to the music, chatting with others and were sharing a plate of snacks. Just for the record, I know what I can and cannot eat. I am a no carb / lo carb girl, T2 on insulin, in control, last A1C 6, I know what I can and cannot eat. So the other diabetic sat down and was chatty friendly (ok) and as soon as a server offered a pitcher of water or ice tea she loudly concluded "I can't drink that! I'm a diabetic" and shooed away the server. Then the trays came around "I can't eat that! I'm diabetic" and on the first hour went. I'm a diabetic, blah blah blah. I've been diabetic for a year, blah blah blah. "I can't eat that! blah blah blah. GEESH! I didn't know every food choice needed to be a dramatic, general announcement. When she turned down a drink, my husband teasingly said why not have the water? My wife is diabetic and she claims the sugar level on water is fine. She was not amused. I kicked him under the table and smiled and steered the conversation another direction. When dinner time came we approached the buffet. It was lovely full of fresh local produce and many acceptable choices (we were at a National Park). (they had a veggie with polenta caserole that was awesome). So as I served myself an appropriate portion of the sliced beef I heard the thunderous "Hey! You can't eat that!" and much to my amazement she was talking to me. I just ignored the comment and moved on. I chose a lovely scoop of carrots and parsnips. "Hey! You can't eat that!" I mean, who IS this woman? I talked briefly with a server on ingredients and decided the polenta veggie caserole was a go. "Hey! You can't eat that!" Are you kidding me? By this time I was embarrassed and just trying to not be rude. So I walked over to the salad bowl, finished my plate with some green goodies and headed for our table. I gathered my things, and moved them to another table (abandon ship!) and sat. My husband wisely followed. From our new seats fairly far away I got to hear a very loud lecture to her fellow diners that SHE was diabetic, SHE didn't have to take meds because SHE knew what to do. People can be so mean. I'm glad she has her diabetes under control because she sure didn't have her mouth under control. She needed some serious education.

I don't get it. Why do people feel they need to be the diabetic police. Why don't they understand that everyone makes their own decisions? I do very well, thank you very much. Maybe I would like a little privacy about being diabetic. While it isn't a secret, I don't appreciate the public announcements. I think my husband's comment was trying to make her feel comfortable and offer her a suitable drink with a disarming comment and smile but it opened the door to this woman harassing me. I just ignored her, didn't argue with her but somehow just wish I had said something to nip it in the bud. I wanted to just say YES, I CAN EAT THIS you moron. Each one of us is diabetic but we are each different in our situation -- deal with it! I just knew that if we had stayed at that table she would have stared at every bite of food I ate and would have ruined the rest of the evening.

I still want the recipe for that veggie/polenta caserole because HEY! I CAN EAT THAT!
Next time you are tempted to say something about someone's choices, remember to stop and think.
Be kind.

Views: 508

Comment by Teena on September 28, 2010 at 6:57pm
You are so gracious Marcia...I'm not sure if I will have the same patience when confronted with the same situation...but Id take your advise and definitely try!
Comment by Doris D on September 28, 2010 at 7:20pm
OMG how I REALLY hate ppl like that! They seem to want to make sure EVERYONE knows their diabetic and seem to want symaphy for it. I don't make a big deal about nine. As for as I'm concerned my husband and I know when we go out to eat and I really don't care what other's think
. I think I wpuld have told her I KNEW what I COULD eat and a nice but sassy "SHUT UP"
Comment by PatientX on September 28, 2010 at 9:30pm
this reminds me of those people who always preach low carb. I am all for it if it works for people but I have not been successful at it without bonking on long bike rides. I know it works for others but for me if I want to stay on the bike for more thatn 20 minutes I need the carbs and not a lecture on what I can and cant eat.
Comment by Brunetta on September 29, 2010 at 3:10am
I would have sweetly told her, when she tried to get in my face about my meal choices ,rexactly repeating the same phrase over and over for each comment directed toeward me, it in the same saccharin voice"Oh, how wonderful that you can manage your diabetes and mine, too. I am SOOO grateful for your concern.'" Say it over and over until SHE would be the one to get up and leave. You can not stop her pleas for attention for herself. What a pitiful, self-absorbed woman.... Pretending to be concerned about you, when all she weanted was a "look at me" event. Hippocrite!!! How can she "volunteer" to help others when she is so concerned about her own glory. Not Nice.

God Bless,

Comment by Tim on September 29, 2010 at 5:52am
I don't invoke it often, but when there's something I genuinely don't want to do or eat, having "I'm diabetic" as the last gasp reason to turn it down has come in handy a few times over the decades.

Again, I don't want to invoke it often. My inner nature as a problem solver often means that I will usually take on any opportunity or food as a challenge :-). But I can see how others do it all the time, for reasons that I don't really understand.
Comment by DanK on September 29, 2010 at 7:03am
Well... if she can't drink water, she only has about 5 days left, tops :)
Comment by kenx on September 29, 2010 at 10:04am
Handled with grace and restraint, well done! I'm new to diabetes myself, but i've known several others for many years and it probably helped me more than i know, though i am just now starting to really understand what they've gone through all along. I generally keep my condition quiet, only my immediate family and 1-2 co-workers know, and maybe a few friends... but yeah, annoying as that lady was, i'd probably be too nice and just let her toot her horn. Some people make me ashamed to be human at times. =/
Comment by catlover on September 29, 2010 at 11:41am
If you get the recipe for the veggie/polenta casserole, I would like to try it. I can eat that too !
Comment by KimKat on September 29, 2010 at 4:22pm
Haha! I love your husbands comment!!

No Water? No Food? What does this woman eat? Air?? :)

If so, she won't have to worry about not being able to eat stuff because she is diabetic because she will be a dead diabetic. :)

You should have freaked her out by saying something like - do you know not eating causes high blood sugar?
Comment by Terry Keelan on September 29, 2010 at 6:08pm
I think you handled that just right. Arguing with that person would be a no-win situation. She sounds like a person who needs attention, and lots of it. Getting into a discussion with her would just feed the beast, so to speak - but at least she would have fed on SOMEthing.

I do wonder, like KimKat, exactly what this woman thinks she CAN eat.



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