I type this hurriedly. I type this without much pre-thought. I type this with a degree of displeasure. And so, I apologize for its brief and somewhat scattered nature.
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I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I have never met another Type 1 in the flesh. I have never spoken to or had the support of someone like me. I have never been to a support group. A camp. Nothing. I was diagnosed. Given a quick education. Handed an insulin pen. Pushed back out into the world. Oh, how I wish it had been a bit different. But. Without those parts of my journey I would not be here. So. I have no regrets.
The Internet offers a lot. It is a dangerous web. Step lightly! Not only can you Google things, you can buy/sell on the Internet, go to school, and earn a living…and a whole host of other things. The Internet also has forums. Places to go, seek advice. Communicate with others. There are lose rules that some administrator employs now and then.
I joined a big diabetes group once. I left more than a year ago (and have posted about it previously). My experience there was not positive. I try to be upbeat and keep a positive attitude about more than just my diabetes, but was not prepared for the backlash that ensued following my post there about trying have a good outlook. I could not believe how much negativity came from that wee bit of positivity. I swore I would never go back. And I haven’t. I still receive their email updates. I believe I still have a page there. But I left. People were mean. Cruel. Unnecessarily so. And no one respected the fact that it was my opinion. They were more than happy to exercise their right to one while dismissing mine.
A few days ago I joined a Facebook group. It is called I Hate Diabetes (Type 1). I was apprehensive to join. But I often feel so alone with my diabetes. And I didn’t want to anymore. I wanted comradery. I wasn’t looking for friends. Just people to shoot the diabetes shit with; people who would understand my perspective. Because they wear similar shoes.
About 48-hours in, I had second thoughts. I got the feeling this wasn’t going to be the right group for me. After some searching, reading of posts, I thought maybe I was being silly. It was a group of diabetics just like me (by that I mean Type 1), not out to hurt feelings or be careless or offensive. It turns out I was wrong. WAY wrong.
Today I left that group too.
Before you go…
There is a coffee shop in New South Wales. They have a new secret menu. They put a post on their Facebook page (The Paramount Coffee Project) about a new item on said menu. It is riddled with sugar and sweet and gluttony. It appears to be the perfect indulgence, if you are inclined that way. Just a regular overly sugary dessert. Except it is offensive. That dessert is cruelly sweet. The store has told its Facebook following patrons to come in and ask for it by name: DIABETES.
Diabetes is the name of the above dessert.
Oh, and the disease I have that requires me to prick my finger
countless times a day and inject insulin via a syringe
a minimum of 4-5 times a day.
A gal who belonged to the group posted the link to this coffee shop and their dessert. Many people shared their opinions. I did. (I also went to the page and left comments there, in the form of a review.) I expressed my disgust for such a distasteful marketing strategy. And then it started…
I was told to suck it up. I was told to get a sense of humour. I was told it was only a joke.
Oh, so diabetes is a joke? Where are all of the cancer memes? I bet those wouldn’t go over so well. (Inner thoughts, sorry.)
I generally have a pretty good sense of humour regarding all facets of my life. And that includes diabetes. But this kind of menu item, this kind of poking fun, is insulting. It is perpetuating ignorance and stereotypes.
A final goodbye…
I will not be rejoining that group. I am not sure that I will join another forum. I cannot be a part of something that inevitably leads to negativity.
And I think that is sad. Because I am deserving of support. Especially from fellow diabetics.
I guess I will have to find it somewhere else.