I have a few pet peeves. One of them is the assumption many people make that if you have a chronic medical condition, you must be suffering. This has come to the surface a number of times recently.
A few days ago, I received a call from a representative of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) asking if I would take part in their "Friends and Family" campaign. They want to send me a package of materials and they ask that I send out a minimum of 10 letters with the materials in them to friends and family members asking them to make contributions to the Association and its efforts. I agreed to do so.
Then the woman asked me if anyone in my family had diabetes. I told her that I had Type 2 diabetes, to which she responded, "Oh, I am so sorry!" I assured her that there was no reason for her to be sorry, that I had been living an active life since being diagnosed about 18 years ago and that, for the most part, I maintained fairly tight glucose control through a combination of medication, diet and exercise. It seemed strange to me that someone calling me on behalf of the ADA, of which I am a member, would respond to me as if I must be suffering from a debilitating affliction.
Another example: I often participate in surveys over the internet. Invariably, when I check "diabetes" on the list of medical conditions I might have been diagnosed to have, the next question is: "How long have you suffered from diabetes?" Why do the researchers who write these survey instruments assume that people with diabetes suffer? Are they assuming that we don't consult doctors and, therefore, we do nothing to control our glucose levels? If that were the case, I guess I would suffer the consequences of being in denial and refusing to address the medical condition.
I wish I could say to the survey writers, "I don't suffer from diabetes, I live with it." Yes, I do without some foods that I would love to eat. Yes, I am always trying to lose a few more pounds. Yes, I regularly see an endocrinologist to determine whether my diet, exercise, medication regimen ought to be adjusted. But there really is absolutely nothing that I want to do in life that I cannot do because of diabetes. Really, I am not suffering!
Well, that's my rant for today. I have been thinking about this for some time. I don't understand how some people react. It seems to me that if you decide to continue to enjoy your life, you make the necessary adjustments and get on with it. And most of my friends who have chronic medical conditions are doing just that.