“Write Nice”

The past two days have been a real eye-opener.

I’m upset by what was said, and what has been said, on all sides of the fence (if there could be more than two, that is) of this whole Ms Manners issue. There has been backlash, and back-backlash.

What happened to us? I mean, all of us… myself included.

People used to say, “The DOC made a big impact in my life.” “The DOC ‘gets’ me”. “I feel at home in the DOC.”




As time has gone on, I see more and more people becoming dissatisfied, disapproving, disappointed, hurt, angry, and upset by how someone or a group of people has reacted or how they’ve been treated themselves. More people are voicing themselves in ways that aren’t nice or polite because it’s behind a computer screen. It doesn’t take long to see just how some people feel about how things are either scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and mostly, through the My Diabetes Secret page.

And I’ll be the first person to admit that I have, at times, been one of those people acting not-so-nice.

And I’ll also tell you that I have also been one who has been talked down, ganged on, and hurt by others in the DOC.

What happened to us?

Have we become so wrapped up in the name of “advocacy” that we hurt those with little to no knowledge of diabetes? Have we become so wrapped up in crusading the cause with determination that we lose sight of what the actual cause is?

It seems there is always a fight going on somewhere… and if it’s been quiet lately, that means there’s inevitably a big one coming soon. That’s what happened yesterday. I’m upset with myself for how I reacted. I was hurt and I reacted through that hurt in an improper manner. I’m upset with how others retaliated towards us who were upset. Just seems there was a lot of retaliation against everyone in one form or another.

And I’m tired of it.

I’m heartbroken that the DOC that I used to call “home” doesn’t seem to be “home” anymore. I can’t change everyone else or their opinions, but I can certainly change mine.


So, with that being said, in the case of the Ms. Manners post, my opinion is that the reader should test where they feel comfortable, not where someone says in correct manners to test. Testing in restrooms is not only unsanitary, but also is not very private at times. The restrooms in airplanes (or at least the one I used) was not at ALL like the ones you see on TV, rather the toilet was absolutely-right-beside the sink/counter top, and I don’t even want to know what may have splashed / spilled / whatever on that counter top where you would be placing your kit, so by all means, if the person next to you is okay with you testing your blood sugar, go for it. The reason I was upset by Ms. Manner’s response was not that she was rude in saying what she did, but that she implied that diabetes care should be hidden. I have been a diabetic for over 25 years now. For 20 of those years, I was embarrassed to be a diabetic, mostly because of things people said such as what she stated in her opinion. Even still today, I still try to hurry through testing so no one will see because, for some reason deep down, it’s something I feel ashamed of… and I shouldn’t. Her response hit on an emotional level that I thought I had buried deep away, but quickly had resurfaced. I responded in a rude post, which I have deleted because, well, it was rude, and did absolutely nothing in the name of advocacy.


What I write won’t please everyone. It won’t be up to some people’s standards or definition of optimal advocacy. But what I do write henceforth, I pledge to write nice, and in the name of honest advocacy. While some views may be negative ones, I will strive to write them with grace and dignity that anyone should.



Filed under dblog, Diabetes

7 responses to ““Write Nice”

  1. Denise Bricher

    Ah, well, Miss Manners may not even be thinking of how filthy bathrooms are. Maybe she’s had past experience with diabetic friends who had to haul their Clinitest kit or TesTape into the john to do their urine testing. A tiny drop of blood may seem that it belongs in the bathroom, but our diabetes gear kits go everywhere. And instead of just a little something to test pee, it might also contain emergency glucose, syringes, insulin, swabs, infusion sets, cartridges, spare batteries and, oh yes, lancing devices, spare lancets and a glucometer. All these things are too important to be dragged through a dirty bathroom.

  2. What you write here are some very important observations – about what we, as part of the greater DOC, should take note of. I have seen this sniping, and I’m sure I’ve been part of it. I think it’s important to take a step back from our emotions that colour our response, take a moment, and ask ourselves an important question, is this helping anyone in some way. Is it sensitive to what others think or feel. If the answer to any of these questions is no, then we should look at it again, and perhaps go back to the drawing board. I applaud you for doing this, and then writing so beautifully about it.

  3. Sarah, I really dig your honesty and courage in coming clean, and I very much appreciate you taking a stand for civility.

    As our community gets bigger, I do worry that we’ll be more susceptible to group think. We will definitely see a wider range of reactions to issues like this one. With great freedom comes great responsibility. Let’s hope we all (myself included) remember this in the future. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for bringing this up. We need to support each other even when we disagree. We don’t appear to be effective as advocates when we are on the attack -or- on the defense. Our emotions are often so hidden that when a hot button issue like this comes up, we explode. Explosions have a nasty habit of sending shrapnel where we don’t want it to go. Best practice for me is to not go to war when diplomacy will have the better result.

  5. Thanks for writing this, Sarah. It’s nothing new; this has been happening for a while. As the DOC has gotten bigger, we’ve seen more of this — just because that’s how things work; a “growing pain” so to speak. What we in the DOC fail to see sometimes, or fail to adequately consider when these big things brew up, is how small of a group we really are. And how not everyone within the D-world thinks the same or feels that diabetes is the big deal we often make of it. Yes, we can pack a punch when needed. Yes, there’s a lot of power in FFL and efforts such as Spare a Rose. But when you’re talking the grand scheme of the D-Community, even just the T1D segment, this isn’t a wide reach. And we often fail to realize that this bubble is only so large. I love this community with a passion, but like anyone or anything, we have our faults. Hopefully, we can recognize those.

  6. I became a member of the DOC 10 years ago, when we were a comfortable, compassionate, and close-knit group. I feel that over the last decade the DOC has become a group of judgmental, self-absorbed spotlight-seekers. I can’t tell you how many unkind emails I’ve gotten, asking me why I don’t pump. I don’t pump because I can’t afford the co-payment for monthly supplies.
    Yet, there does remain a core of kindness, and I try to keep my focus on that.
    All my best to you!

  7. Matt K.

    Yep… Where to test/treat is definitely a hot button issue… I’ve crusaded for my freedom to do it where I “feel comfortable”, & had a lot of discussions with others regarding their views… (To discuss a difference of opinion means you don’t try to convince the person with opposing views why they’re wrong, you explain your point of view, and listen to theirs… WITHOUT arguing or getting upset.)

    I am of the opinion that bathrooms are DEFINITELY UNSUITABLE for diabetes management, and since there is nothing socially wrong with being diabetic, I shouldn’t have to hide it… In fact, I feel it is a good thing because it raises awareness of what diabetes is about (& specifically that YOU are diabetic, in case of an emergency where you need someone’s help), and can be a good starting point for discussing it with interested parties. That said, I try not to make a big fuss over it either.

    My discussions with others have highlighted a few valid points about being selective about your testing environment, though… (If you are challenged about where you do your “diabetic thing”, I suggest asking the other person to calmly explain their point of view & asking them to then hear you out while you do the same… This can often settle things quicker than an argument, and often uncovers legitimate concerns vs. “traditional” stereotypes like “Grandpa always did his tests & shots in his bedroom, or the bathroom when we were out, NEVER in the open, you should want privacy too!”.) For example: If you’re doing your “diabetes thing” in the open, you may be endangering people who adversely react to the sight of blood or needles. This is just as much a human rights violation as being forced to hide your diabetes, and could potentially cause such a spectator to pass out & injure themselves…

    You’re right about this post though, infighting gets nobody anywhere… Keep up the good work, and the good fight…

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