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.