Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sure Would Like to Stay In Talladega

The Blame Game - Wednesday 5/17
Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!  (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)

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Let me give you a little background to my diagnosis. The REAL background. 

I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic for over a year before they realized I was actually not producing any insulin at all. I had no insurance and was seeing a state doctor who would come in and talk to  me for less than five minutes and write a prescription for Metformin and, later, Victoza. He would look at me and look at the numbers I would come to him with, and say "Keep doing what you're doing." The one time he checked my A1c, he said the blood work was clearly off with a A1c of 14. It got up to 18 before I switched doctors. Enough with the history lesson, though.

I had some MAJOR agoraphobia going on. So much so that I quit my job, I was grocery shopping at one in the morning to avoid people, and I could not leave my apartment without looking at my front door for forty-five minutes before I convinced myself to leave. I missed live music (my absolute favorite thing to do,) I missed birthday celebrations, and I even missed a wedding. For all of you who don't know, I am an extreme extrovert and this made no sense for me. I clearly had something going on, but I had NO CLUE that it was diabetes related. I figured that if it was something was related to my physical diagnosis, my doctor would have caught it. I thought wrong. All of this was going on months way before my Type 2 label. I had tingling hands and feet, I had insatiable thirst, I had frequent bathroom breaks, and I had a number of lady problems-which I will spare you, because ewwww. 

The day after I was incorrectly diagnosed with Type 2, I had someone very close to me confront me. Keep in mind, I was stressed. I was afraid. My mental health was deteriorating every minute. I had no clue how to handle everything. This is how I remember the conversation going:

Me: As it turns out, they told me today I have Type 2 Diabetes.
Lady (I will keep her anonymity alive because I love her that much) : How did this happen?
Me: Maybe genetics. I don't really know that much about the disease.
Lady: Really? You can figure it out, I'm sure.
Me: I really can't. It's been a roller coaster these past few months.
Lady: Think about it. You eat like shit. You're not in control of anything. This makes sense to  me.
Me: But, I wasn't trying to do anything.
Lady: Exactly. You weren't trying not to, either.
Me: I'm just trying to survive.
Lady: Well, either you won't take care of yourself, or you can't. Which one is it?

***

Keep in mind this is someone I love, to this day, very much. She is very black and white. She is very matter of fact. She would walk through fire for me. She absolutely had no idea what she was doing.

***

Have you ever seen Jeff Dunham's comedy? He is a ventriloquist and I used to watch his stuff religiously. Although I don't any more, I have one DVD that reminds me that I can laugh occasionally at his stuff. Bubba J is a character of his that I cannot relate to. I grew up in suburbs where upper middle class was more prevalent than it wasn't. It took me until college to understand that not everyone was in my bubble. If you haven't seen Bubba J, I suggest you look at that link. Inspired by him, I write what I wish would have happened. Although, I'm guessing it would not be far off.

Me: As it turns out, they told me today I have Type 2 Diabetes.
Bubba J: I think der might be a Nascar driver with that sickness
Me: Well, it's not really a sickness. It's a disease.
Bubba J: A disease you can get from beer?
Me: No, Bubba J. It's a problem where you don't use your insulin correctly.
Bubba J: My cousin gave me a disease once.
Me: Whoa, I don't need to know that.
Bubba J: Too many beers, ya know. It happens to us all.
Me: But, I don't drink beer.  
Bubba J: Sucks to be you.
Me: Kind of right now. But, it's not good for me.
Bubba J: It's good for ev'ry one. It makes us forget.
Me: I don't want to forget.
Bubba J: Ewe should! I done love forgettin. Makes me not to remember.
Me: Get serious.
Bubba J: I am serious. And I knows I don't have the Section 2 you have. Your problems sound real.

****

Hopefully you get the comedy of this. Even though, Diabetes, no matter which type, is no joke. I just wish I was talking to Bubba J that day.

6 comments:

  1. Literally LOLing right now. Awesome!

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  2. Aw I love this and your approach to the convo!

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  3. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it like I enjoyed writing it!

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