Four times a week, for a total of about 5 to 6 hours per week I am rink side. I am there. I am a Super Hero (Wonder Woman perhaps?) Pez Dispenser on "stand-by". I am an every 30 minute finger tip pricking, blood drop squeezing, test strip toting, glucometer sporting M-A-C-H-I-N-E. I place myself in pucks-way, while attending to Joe's diabetes rink-side. If I lose any teeth or end up with stitches due to this gig, I am gonna be one pissed off D Mama. However, it is what is required to keep my seven year old diabetic son safe while he plays travel hockey for our town program.
So, back to my bum cheeks...
Well, actually back to sitting rink-side....
I was accompanied by a woman whom I consider a friend. I don't know her very well, but have talked with her, on and off...here and there for the past five years, or so. She is kind-hearted, sensitive, compassionate. I have no beef with her. Still don't...even after this:
Scene: I have just returned to my popsicle-glute-inducing-seat after a blood glucose check 30 minutes into Joe's hockey practice. I had given him 2 glucose tablets for a 189. (He still had some Insulin On Board (IOB) from dinner and he still has another 30 minutes of practice)
She: "Is Joe OK?"
Me: "Yeah, he just needed a little sugar to "boost" him."
She: Something to the effect of "Wow, that is a lot of work"...
Me: "Yeah, it is a lot of work. Joe's activity level definitely adds in some outlying variables here and there."
She: "So, didn't your Mom have it?"
Me: "No...no one in our family has Type 1, except for Joe."
Me: Continuing on..."It is an Autoimmune Disorder...HLA types...predisposition...environmental stimulus...virus...T cells attacking beta cells...no insulin...blah...blah...blah.....and blah (an extra "blah" for good measure)."
She: "I always tell "blank" (her son, keeping it anonymous here) that if he keeps eating sugar that he will end up getting it."
Me: "That is not the cause of Type 1." (shoot, she missed something between HLA types and Autoimmune Disorder)
She: "I know, but if I tell him that maybe he won't eat so much junk food."
Me: "Well...jeez... don't tell him that! You are perpetuating a long-standing myth and stereotype. Stop it!" (in a jovial voice...with a hearty slug to her upper arm for good measure).
What to say? I found it interesting that it was being used as a "scare tactic"... and sad.
A day-in-the-life of dispelling myths, even if it is one person at a time.