Several folks have emailed me and responded to my previous post about an ignorant letter to the editor. I thought I would post my response here. I suppose I may have been a little harsh but it was just such an ignorant thing to write about. This man jumped to conclusions instead of trying to find out why this little boy had to give himself a shot. So this is what I wrote in response. I would love for the newspaper to get bombarded with letters and we can all use this is a "teaching moment." Thanks for the support. It's good to know I wasn't overreacting. Hugs to you all! (Like I mentioned earlier, email me if you want the newspaper info to write your own letter.)
In response to Wallace Barber’s “Complaint” Letter to the Editor on October 25, 2009. I don’t know the family you are talking about that so greatly offended you and your girlfriend while eating at Burger King but I would imagine, from what you described, that this boy has Type 1 Diabetes. Due to your obvious ignorance, maybe you should research this disease a little bit before letting his life saving medication ruin your lunch. You act as though he were shooting up with an intravenous drug and not having to take insulin to stay alive. Nobody forced you to stare while he gave himself a shot (something he HAS to do at least 4-6 times a day to stay alive.) Didn’t your mother teach you that staring is rude anyway? This boy has to count every carbohydrate he eats or drinks and give himself insulin—via injection—to attempt to regulate his sugar levels or else he will die. In your ignorance you have failed to realize that not all persons are blessed with perfect health. Some people have to take certain measures in order to stay healthy and, in the case of Type 1 Diabetes, stay alive. Now, before you spout off at the mouth again and get Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes mixed up, let me enlighten you. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. There is nothing that can prevent it and nothing to cure it. You can just do your best to manage it and hope that eventually this disease doesn’t claim your eyes, limbs, kidneys, heart, and your life.
I do not know what has gone on in your past in order for you to say, “Things like that may bring up certain feelings and memories best forgotten.” If you have so much past baggage that you can’t stand a little boy giving himself medicine that keeps him alive then maybe you should seek counseling. If you can’t stand the fact that this young boy needs to take medicines while out to eat; eat at home. And maybe try understanding someone else’s plight before jumping to your biased conclusions. If I haven’t said so already, your girlfriend must be one lucky lady to have such a boyfriend who can’t get rid of the skeletons in his closet and has to place blame on a little boy who needs multiple daily shots to stay alive. We all have things in our past that we don’t like dug up; however, I would never imagine placing my insecurities on a person, especially a child, who is just trying to survive.
You mentioned this injection was not sanitary to those around you. How exactly? Did they throw the needle at you? Did they squirt blood on you? How was this unsanitary? He needs medicine at meal times. Where would you prefer him to do it? The bathroom? Do you think that is more sanitary? You asked for respect, maybe you should try giving some. Do you really lack the compassion for others so much that you have the audacity to complain about a child trying to live? Just remember, this thing that you claim is so disgusting we do, not because we enjoy it, but because we want to keep our kids alive.
Maybe you are wondering how I know about this? My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a year and a half ago at the age of 4. This little boy you are talking about did nothing to provoke this disease—neither did my daughter or any other person living with Type 1 Diabetes. They are forced to live with it everyday until a cure is found. What they need is compassion and understanding, not ignorance.
16 hours ago