I came home from work yesterday to find a giant envelope stuffed with offers for a free subscription (and cookbook! Wowza!) from a magazine called Diabetic Living. I’ve seen it at the check stand in the grocery store before, but I’ve never flipped through a copy. And I have to say that reading the letter they sent didn’t make me want to buy their magazine any time soon (sample quote: “You may never need to inject insulin again. Curious?” Riiiight. Moving on).
However, one section of their mailer caught my eye. The right hand side of their letter listed their esteemed “Advisory Board,” which apparently vets, fact-checks, and approves all of their articles (another sample quote from this letter: “”…you can trust everything in Diabetic Living, thanks to our advisory board.” Again….riiiiight. Ahem. Digression).
Right there under the person’s name and nestled next to impressive letters like M.D. and PhD was “PWD,” short for “person with diabetes.” For those of you not familiar with the term, “PWD” is used often on blogs and diabetes websites to reference us folks in the ‘betes club because some people don’t like to use the word “diabetic.” That school of thought stems from the idea that using the word “diabetic” defines a person solely by their disease. It’s argued that you would never call a person who has cancer simply “a cancer,” and diabetes is no different. We are people first, and happen to have diabetes second.
For me personally, I agree with that general idea, as I don’t believe I’m defined by my disease. I try to use “person with diabetes” as often as possible, and avoid the word “diabetic.” But I also don’t take offense to those who do use the word diabetic, or if I’m called that. To me it’s just colloquial nomenclature, but I do understand the argument.
Either way, it was fun and interesting to see it in print – I’ve never seen a national publication and certainly not a sales letter use the PWD acronym. How about you guys? Do you say “diabetic?” Or has that been permanently deleted from your lexicon?