Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving - Ten Ways to Get Someone to Stop Talking About Type 1 Diabetes

I love Charlie Brown!

With the Thanksgiving holidays upon us, I figured it was time to get to the good stuff... no, not the stuff (ing), the good stuff as in 'the stuff that makes people stop talking about type 1 diabetes'. 

I write this because I clearly remember those early years when our well-meaning friends and family inadvertently said things that made us cringe and I had no way to defend myself or my children.  Yes, sometimes words really do hurt!

Through the years, we have come across several different categories of comments.

Like what we affectionately call the Food Police:

"Whoa!  Are you sure she can eat that pie?  It has sugar in it.  Here, have another scoop of cranberries instead."

"Did you say your daughter had dia-beat-us?  Well, my cousin's, sister's uncle had that back in the 80's and he lost his eye-sight, his legs, and even his cat.  In fact, I think it happened on Thanksgiving.  Probably because he ate too much." 

Or maybe it is the person at the table who suddenly realizes that you are dosing insulin:

"Is that the bad kind of diabetes?"

"When will she be regulated?"

Or maybe it is a fan of 'The Doctors':

"At least it is not (insert some terrible other thing)!  I just saw this (insert some terrible thing) on The Doctors and they said that (insert some terrible thing) will happen unless you eat only natural, organic and non-gmo food.  I think you should start doing that."

"Did you know about the Cinnamon cure?  Just eat a half-gallon everyday for the rest of your life and you won't have diabetes!"

Um.  OK.  But you eat a spoonful of cinnamon first.  :)

So to help all of our readers of Naturally Sweet Sisters during Thanksgiving and actually, any other time of the year, we have put together a top ten list of things to say and to do, in order to help people stop talking about type 1 diabetes.
Top Ten Ways to Get Someone to Stop Talking About Type 1 Diabetes
1.)  Divert attention back to the person.  "Gee, enough about us, is that a new sweater that you are wearing?" -Or- "You look fabulous!  Have you done something different?"
2.)  Divert attention to the Thanksgiving table.  "Oh my goodness!  Look, Grandma made her famous fruit cake!  Does anyone know what the recipe is because I would love to hear it!"
3.)  If there is a baby at the table, consider offering to hold, change or feed it.  No one messes with someone holding a baby!
4.)  If you have a little cousin.  Offer cash in exchange for making a scene.  Now, technically, this might be bribery, but I consider it a college gift!  Just be sure to set up a cue word that can not be mistaken.  It would be terrible to accidently set this off during Grandpa's recital of Grace.
5.)  Keep your mouth full.  It is impossible to answer questions when you are minding your manners.  Sea-food is just not acceptable!
6.)  Spill something.  Warning - this may come at a cost if it is a fine table linen.  Be prepared.
7.)  Go to the restroom.  Ew.  Enough said.
8.)  Designate a Wing-Man.  My husband is my go-to.  After 17 years of marriage, one look and he knows he should speak up.  Usually, he inserts a #2.  Um, not a #7.  Ew.
9.)  Teach the kids with type 1 diabetes to say something witty.  Our youngest has the gift of acting.  She has been known to add in a funny accent or to simply give a blank look.  "What?  Who has diabetes?  Where?"  I can tell you that this works.  Adults are caught off guard and usually switch to a safer topic like sports.
10.)  If worse comes to worse, simply say, "Thanks for asking.  We are all doing well.  I am so happy to have a day with my family to simply enjoy being together and not to worry about type 1 diabetes.  I am sure you will understand if I choose not to discuss it today. " 

And with that, from our family to yours... have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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