Sunday, October 25, 2009

Letter to Editor Update

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.

32 comments:

Meri said...

Oh my gosh Shamae! I have got the biggest smile on my face! Awesome letter!!!!!!

Joanne said...

Well done Shamae... I LOVE IT! Now I want to go back and re-write my letter. I would love to see the look on the editor's face when he/she starts to receives all of our complaint letters.

Tara said...

Awesome. I can't even tell you how happy it makes me that you wrote this in response! I would love to see the guy's face when he reads this!!! You are great!! :)

Stace said...

another good one, shamae!

LsuFan said...

Oh my goodness Shamae. I just read the editorial and your response I am shocked that someone like that editor could be so closed minded and selfish to obviously only think of himself. I love your letter to them.

Wendy said...

BRAVO! I got an e-mail asking me to shorten my response. I told them that wouldn't be possible....hoping they'll get bombarded enough to publish all the responses and, perhaps, even do a story about what Type 1 Diabetes is...and what it isn't!!!!

phonelady said...

bravo shamae what a wonderfull letter . I love it .

KLTTX said...

Great response Shamae. I really hope they print us. Keep us posted.

I can imagine if we saw that that Davis would ask questions (like he does about EVERYTHING) and I would have tried to teach him about diabetes and other diseaes. I kind of feel sorry for the ignorance of the guy that wrote that letter. Too bad his parents never taught him.

Micah and Jen said...

WOW! See what I miss when I'm not on my computer all weekend? That is an awesome response! I would love to send an email to the editor as well on your behalf. Talk about ignorance in this world! Not that this really compares to Syd's situation....but once I was nursing Cameren, under a blanket, nothing was EVER seen (I'm good!) and a guy actually asked me if I could please to feeding my baby in public because it was so disrupting! WHAT???? These people were NEVER taught and I hate RUDE people! Let me know that info for that paper and I'll share some words! :)

Liza said...

Bravo!! Bravo!! Good for you Shamae! That is an awesome response to an ignorant, pathetic individual!

Sheila said...

Amen Sister!!

Nicole said...

NEVER mess with a D mom!!! Way to go!!

Goodwin Family said...

Go Shamae! Well said response! :)

Anonymous said...

Shamae,
Your response is nothing less than I would have expected from you! ;) Very direct and sharply to the point!!
You probably did not change his mind or feelings, but you absolutly gave him some much needed knowledge that hopefully he will tuck inside and use if he ever encounters something like that again.

Remember honey, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
We (as human beings) tend to always look 'only' inside of 'ourselves' to dictate what everyone else needs to be doing, thinking, saying or feeling.
If people don't 'do it', 'say it', or 'feel it', like we do, we simply do not understand them.

We have become a society that no longer has compassion or empathy for others or even tries to understand them. And that is sad!

I do hope this man will have more compassion from here on out, I do not however, hold out much hope for that!

You did well in informing him of the difficulties one lives with when they have Type 1.

Again, I would recommend the book "The Shack", read it in a weekend and it just may change your life!

I love you!
Your Mom

michaelstubbs said...

That'll teach 'em.

The Bartschi's said...

Love your letter!! I wish the newspaper would print it!!

Crystal S. said...

Way to go Shamae! Thanks for putting a ginormous smile on my face!

Shannon said...

I sent in my response to the letter and I just got an email back saying they have received so many letters about this they are no longer accepting more. It also said they might do a story on it becuase he has upset so many people nationwide! WAY TO GO SHAMAE FOR SETTING THEM STRAIGHT!

Hallie said...

I love it! Way to go! Yeah, I agree- never mess with a D mom - it's not good for your health!

Wortham Family said...

awesome!! I love it good job!!

Jill said...

I love it! I hope so much that the jerk sees it, unfortunately people like that probably only think of themselves and won't show any remorse. You are awesome, way to stick it to him!

Priscilla said...

Whoo-hoo! Way to go Shamae! I'm appalled that the dude was making such a fuss about this. What was he thinking?!

Leslie Guarino said...

Hi,
I just wanted to let you know that the editor wrote me back to tell me that my letter will be published. My legal name LOL is Leslie Guarino. If you see it could you let me know. I did subscribe for 7 days to the paper, but it would help me out if you gave me the heads up.
Thanks,
Leslie

Brensdad said...

If you'd like to write to him yourself....

http://www.myspace.com/potatohead59

Leslie Guarino said...

This is what I wrote:

To the Editor:
As a mother of a child living with Type 1 diabetes I am shocked and appalled of the lack of knowledge regarding this disease. "Whatever medication" is insulin, and it's a hormone needed by everyone to live. Giving oneself insulin for a person with Type 1 is not a choice, it is life support and a matter of life or death. If the author of said letter was shocked and appalled by this I wonder how he would have felt eating his meal if the child had slipped into a coma instead of taking insulin. Shame on you 'shocked and appalled' and I think you should find other things to complain about other than a child keeping himself alive. May you find the peace within yourself that you are so dearly missing.
Leslie Guarino

Kasi Lee said...

I loved the review! I agree that the books did some surface-scratching on some details present in the second book. The second book was fabulous too. Collins did a great job developing Katniss from the first chapter. I couldn't help but care about her immediately. I really can't wait for the final installment of the trilogy now. I get a bit impatient when I have to wait!

Mel said...

LOVE IT! You're a great writer!!

carrie said...

You rock. ;) If I wasn't your friend I'd be afraid of you. lol It was a great letter! Glad you voiced your opinions! loves!

Rachel said...

Great reply! I would also like to reply to this letter. Please email me the info. :)

Kristen said...

God bless the family that has to deal with T1 Diabetes, and God bless the family who has this ignorant woman to sit across their table at Thanksgiving and Christmas. If she were my sister, I would have to slap her!
Love and Hugs,
Kristen

A.Larson said...

You rock. Loved it!~

Becki said...

You have such a way with words. I am totally shocked and disgusted with this man and his ignorance. I actually don't even know what to say. I wonder if this guy knew what a can of worms he was going to be opening up with his letter. I hope he read every single letter and feels some remorse for his insensitivity. It would be nice if he sent in a letter to the editor with a note of apology. Shamae, you have such a way with words. Good for you for taking a stand and helping to educate more people who might be like this guy. I'm sure many people do not fully understand the personal hell that you and your family goes through every day with this disease. I know I don't fully understand it, but more people could try to be a little more understanding. I know that you would never choose for Sydney to have this disease, but I applaud you for standing up and doing your best to educate others about this disease. Big hugs to you! You are my hero.