Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Ignoramus

There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes, many of them based on outdated ideas about the causes and appropriate treatments for the condition. Sometimes it’s just ignorance or lack of consideration that can be annoying or upsetting to hear. I’ve related in previous entries how some attitudes to injecting insulin are particularly hurtful, saying we are ‘junkies’ taking our ‘fix’. Others may believe that we are limited in what we can achieve because of our diabetes, but you only need to look at our most famous Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave – winner of five Olympic gold medals for rowing – to see that there are few limitations. Sir Steve developed diabetes prior to winning his fifth gold in Sydney, at the age of 35. Other myths – it is self-inflicted due to eating too much sugar, or being fat and lazy. About the only things we are excluded from are the armed services or piloting a plane, and this is not necessarily the same in all countries. Well controlled diabetes is the cause of…absolutely nothing!

You mustn’t eat sugar,
You cannot eat cake,
And don’t touch that doughnut,
Please, for goodness sake!

Does it hurt when you do that?
Please can you explain?
I could never do that,
It would mess with my brain!

Please do that in private,
I don’t want to see,
When you puncture your fingers
Just think about me!

I guess if you’re Type 2,
That can only mean
That you’re big, fat and lazy,
And always have been.

What’s that that you’re saying?
It wasn’t your fault?
You ate too much sugar,
Now that’s come to a halt!

You can’t do what I can,
I think that’s a shame.
Just think what you’re missing!
Your condition’s to blame.

What’s that that you tell me?
You get along fine?
You like the odd whisky?
And occasionally, wine?

You can eat cakes and biscuits,
A normal amount?
It’s the fat you look out for,
The carbs that you count?

You won gold for Britain?
You’re fit and you’re lean?
Your total cholesterol’s
The best I have seen!

I say, since I met you,
I’ve found out so much,
So little you can’t do,
I’m so out of touch!

Please, forgive me my rudeness,
I just didn’t know
You’re perfectly normal!
Perhaps I should go…


  1. Again a lovely poem. Most people don't even know there's more than one type of diabetes.

  2. Thanks Dreicht - and thanks for not commenting in Portuguese!