Thursday, January 29, 2015

Expectations on Diabetes

I listened to a podcast recently about blind people (click here for the actual podcast). The podcast theme was expectations. The entire program was about how the world and other blind people put expectations on those that cannot see. It's a sad reality that the unemployment rate is much higher for those who cannot see our world. One blind man literally "clicks" so you can see using essentially sonar. Scientists have figured out using brain scans that his visual cortex is lit up the nearly the same as those with vision!

During the podcast he discussed how he believes much of this expectation that those without sight is set by blind people themselves. (If you want detail listen to the podcast.)

Everything the person was saying I can relate to diabetes. Both the good and the bad. I'm not here to compare blindness and diabetes but that expectations are set on both. 

The sad reality of diabetes is that most expectations are set by those with diabetes. At least once a day I think of how lucky I am to have parents that never put expectations on my diabetes. I've always seen myself as an athlete and having diabetes second, or heck even third, maybe fourth! This doesn't affect just athletics but my entire life. My friends, coworkers and the people I ride with know that I have diabetes but in no way do they ever recognize that it affects me negativity, if at all. 

This is the part where I get to the sad truth of the matter. 

If a person has the means to have healthcare, which means insulin, they should not be setting low expectations on the rest of us with diabetes. The world is now flat through the internet. I see a lot of whining about diabetes. People with diabetes using the word "suffering", saying they deserve more sick days, or saying they can't do something. Frankly, this needs to stop. Don't put those expectations on me. 

Those friends previously mentioned have no idea the diabetes is even bad. Now what happens if my friends spouse has a coworker that uses diabetes for more sick days? At the dinner table they may now discuss that maybe Brennan should have more sick days! I don't need this to happen, it sets a low expectation that I am "suffering from diabetes."

If you have the means there is no reason to be in the "woo-boat" (crying to cry). Stop using the word suffering and if you can't then try to help those that truly are suffering. Take a look at the 100 Campaign (click here to learn more) for those that can't even get insulin. Now there's perspective. Learn from the expectation set on blind people so those type of expectations aren't set on those with diabetes.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Brennan!

    While growing up, my mom always told me to never use diabetes as an excuse for things otherwise people will start using it as an excuse for me without my permission. It's a lesson I treasure to this day, and one that serves me well. Your sentiments here ring true to that message, too.

    Roll on, brother!