Once again, the trainers at the gym have proven to be a gold mine of unintended diabetes humor. I recently let the manager know that I have diabetes, just so no matter who I take class from or happen to be working out with, someone there knows whats up. I let him know that I always have my meter, pump, and snacks with me and that I have never had a problem. If I pass out, call 911 and get me some sugar – pretty simple instructions. He nodded kindly while I explained this to him and told me he appreciated me letting him know.
A few days later, as I was leaving after another great boxing class, I passed by the check-in desk where the manager sits. As I am saying goodbye, the manager, grinning like a schoolboy, stands up and says “hey Alexis, good thing we didn’t need this today right??”
I look at what he’s holding and can’t identify the squarish packet in his right hand. “Huh?” I ask. “I said good thing you didn’t have any problems in class today!” he replies, chuckling at his own joke. I look closer at the object in his hand. Letters in the corner of the packet spell out AED ……oh my god. He’s holding up a defibrillator. For heart attacks.
You gotta be kidding me. This is the best he can come up with? An automated external defibrillator is an item he associates with diabetes. This is a gentleman who works at a gym. One would assume he would have some limited knowledge of the condition, even if he could only make an association between diabetes and I dunno, lets say SUGAR? Could you at least make a more fact-based attempt at humor? How about holding up a sugar packet? Or a donut? Or pretty much anything except the AED? In fact, he could have been really ironic and held up a packet of Splenda and said “good thing you didn’t get low today, this is all we’ve got….” Now that’s humor! But no. This comedic genius, after me sharing the fact that I have a chronic disease and as the manager of the gym I want him to be well informed about the needs of his patrons, has just let me know the information I gave him was not even close to processed. I’m not actually sure what he did process from our discussion….that I have a heart condition? I don’t remember that coming up while talking about my diabetes….oddly enough….
I could have sat there for 10 minutes and explained why holding up an AED and making a joke about it is offensive in a variety of ways, or told him a little more about diabetes, but I realized that if this guy didn’t get it before, he never will. I smiled and just left it at “You should probably Google diabetes…have a good night.”
The things people say….never ceases to amaze me.