I had a recent conversation that left me scratching my head and wondering where I went wrong.
The conversation had turned to the condition on a great-uncle. He has poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes and has been experiencing complications for years. At the moment he has lost a toe and now, because of poor circulation, is looking at heart surgery and bi-passes in his legs. Those are the facts. He and his wife have worked for years to try and deal with diabetes but they are not winning. We all hope that he will come through the operations and be on the mend soon.
The problem arose in listening to the person recount the tale in their words. The story was changed to my great-uncle having already lost a large section of his leg. It progressed to the fact that "people with diabetes" can be rather embarrassing in their quest for the sweets that they cannot have. They obviously had way too many of them before they got diabetes and that is why they are in this situation to begin with.
Okay, back up the gravy train here bud! Was I really hearing this?? This was coming from a person that I had been sending information to and speaking with for almost 10 years. What in the world was going on here??? I was speechless (and that is no easy feat).
The conversation did not end there. This person when on to speak of other diabetics who had it "really bad". They of course had heart problems and did not live long. Sadly I had my phone on speaker and I just shook my head when looking at Liam. He said "They had diabetes and lost their leg? They had it really bad?" No this has nothing to do with you. We work very hard to keep you healthy. Your legs are fine. Your heart is great. Don't worry. More of the WT??? is going through my mind.
I actually ended the conversation speechless. I just got the impression, from trying to correct things earlier in the conversation, that the truth simply had no place in this conversation. First of all, it should be well known that sweets do not cause diabetes! My son did not consume any sweets at two that caused his pancreas to fail. My great-uncle who has Type 2 diabetes also did not like sweets. His heritage and gene pool made him susceptible to this vicious disease.
Trying to say there is no having diabetes "really bad". Diabetes is a horrible disease. It is a killer. You have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. You may have issues maintaining control but you do not have it "really bad"--its all bad!
Obviously I need to try a new tactic for educating people. My own family are not getting it. What am I going to do?