I have written MANY blog posts about the obnoxious things people say to people with diabetes out of ignorance. It seems like every day I get a comment or a question that’s offensive/prying/downright rude, and all because the person asking doesn’t know anything about what it means to live with diabetes.
But last weekend, I found myself on the other side of those questions, in those exact obnoxious shoes. My older sister is seven months pregnant, and me, knowing nothing about being pregnant, found myself saying things like:
“Are you feeling ok?”
“Should you be carrying that?”
“Did you get enough sleep?”
“Do you need more sleep?”
“Do you want to sit down/not drive/not carry that suitcase?”
“Are you allowed to eat that?”
ME. I said that! I asked her if she was allowed to eat whatever it was that she had ordered as if she isn’t a grown woman who’s been pregnant for seven months and is also one of the smartest people I know and entirely competent at keeping track of what one should and should not be eating while pregnant AND DID I MENTION I’VE NEVER BEEN PREGANT?
Seriously, I could not believe myself looking back on the weekend. There were so many times I checked in with questions that are essentially already being answered by her very action (e.g. if she’s not supposed to carry something, she won’t carry it – no need to ask the question while it’s happening. She knows what to do.).
My sister isn’t only smart, she’s also incredibly kind and patient, and so she never once over the weekend gave me a smart-ass answer to one of my questions, even though I am sure some of them seemed ridiculous. But in retrospect, it truly helped me understand where some folks are coming from with their diabetes questions. Sure, we all get the off-the-wall, completely-based-in-science-fiction questions that NO ONE should be asking, but most of the time, people are just concerned and they don’t know any better. And can you really blame other people for worrying about your well-being? No. Good intentions are often at the root of these inquiries. Especially if they are someone you care about. Like say your pregnant (and very patient) sister, who’s likely going to read this post – thank you for letting me be annoying