Sunday, October 25, 2009


I opened our Sunday paper today and flipped to one of my favorite sections, the Letters to the Editor. I was shocked and angered to read this letter:


On Oct. 3, myself and my girlfriend were eating lunch at Burger King. A family came in and sat across the aisle from us. While the father was ordering food, we were shocked and appalled to see a boy inject himself with whatever medication, in front of God and everybody all while sitting at the table. We found this extremely offensive. That sort of business should be done in private. How about a little respect for those around you. Other than the obvious fact that it's not sanitary for those who use the table next, you have no idea how something like that can affect people. People go through a lot in their life and things like that may bring up certain feelings and memories best forgotten. I would like to thank those that day for totally ruining my meal.

I am formulating a response. Any suggestions? Also, if you would like to write to our letter to the editor, which you can do easily online, in response to this, just email me and I will provide the needed info.


Joanne said...

Wow. All I can say right now is wow. That letter is so ignorant and hateful (not deliberately hateful mind you, but hateful nonetheless). Do people really lack compassion for others so much so that they would have the balls to complain about someone JUST TRYING TO STAY ALIVE???

I say we bombard that newspaper with our own complaints about people who do not know the meaning of the word GRACE.

When I think of all the times we've eaten out with Elise and don't think twice about giving her her insulin in front of "God and everybody" (ummm, side note, God is everywhere, so that statement is really, really stupid). Where would this person rather we give it? In a dirty bathroom?

Gee, it turns out I DID have a lot to say afterall. Send me the info... I'd love to email them my (G-rated) two cents.

The Lane Family said...

Wow...I do not have a child with Type 1 diabetes and I am offended by what she wrote.

Would she prefer you go to the filthy bathrooms and use them or better yet, just let your child suffer and possibly die....It sounds like someone who is very ignorant and perhaps needed to look somewhere else, if it was so bad.

KLTTX said...

Wow. Instead of complaining, she should have used it as a learning tool for her own children. What an idiot.

phonelady said...

okay now I am angry and yes I want that address because I have been type 1 since I was 16 and I am now 47 with the backward thinking that she has displayed we would still be using glass syringes and hiding our illness !! What an ignorant A**witch !!! eww let me at her !!!

Shannon said...

What the...? I read that to my hubby and now the two of us are just sitting her totally dumbfounded! Really??? I never thought of myself as nieve but I can't believe that someone would really have a problem with this! I am a little shocked that the newspaper even published it!! I agree let's bombard that newspaper with all of our responses!!! I would love the info to send my thoughts!

It makes me feel like, as a parent of a diabetic, that we should educate those that we can!

phonelady said...

oh My shamae please I beg of you please give me the addy of this newspaper I am probably the oldest of all of you and I am proudly 47 and have had t1 since I was 16 . Let me at her !!!

Jen said...

Wow and wow. Can you please post a link to this letter so we can ALL send in a comment? Ignorance is NOT bliss..This letter is so disheartening...

Joanne said...

I hope you don't mind, it copied the letter onto my blog and included my response I sent to the editor.

I feel better now.

Lora said...

What sanitary problem would that cause for the next person sitting at the table? It's not like they left the syringe. Some people are truely ignorant.

Wendy said...

OMGsh....LET ME AT 'EM!!!!!!!!

Too bad that meal got ruined. Can you imagine what eating would be like if that person was raising a CWD??????

Dinner would be RUINED for life.

Nicole said...

It is so unbelievable to see how wrapped up people are in themselves that they cannot even find the time to think of other peoples feelings. How does that poor boy feel having to injected himself before he eats in front of everyone? That takes courage!! To show everyone around you that you are a little different, having all eyes on you. I hope that when my daughter grows up and is able to inject herself she does not feel self-conscience and shows the same amount of courage that the boy did.

On a side note who the hell is STUPID enough to actually write this down and send it to a paper?

Meri said...

I have been stewing over this all evening and all I can do is just shake my head. Do you still have my email? Because YES, I would like to say a few words to this person...and to this paper for printing such a discriminating, insensitive and ignorant letter.

I'm not often speechless...but just takes the cake.

Let the educating begin!!!!!!

Teresa Whitehead said...

Wow Shamae--I can only imagine your wrath. I was upset, and I don't have a diabetic child. Good grief. I'm sorry someone actually wrote it, and that you had to read it!

Hallie said...

Oh yeah. My blood is BOILING! Please send me the address! I'd love to write!

I would also love to post this on my blog, as well, with whatever I decide to write when I can think straight! Good idea, Joanne! Is that ok with you?

Thanks for sharing this ...what can I call it that is fit to be written? I love the idea of standing together to educate others. If it helps just one person learn about this disease and be more tolerant, it's worth it.

LeAnn said...

Oh My Goodness! I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor! I can't believe it! You should post your response, I'd be interested to read it and see if they respond at all.

Krystal said...

"It brings back certain feelings and memories best forgotten"? WTF?!? Seeing a kid give themselves a shot for life support?? Sounds like a narcissist drug addict to me! Tell them that not every needle is filled with crack and to get over themselves!

Anonymous said...

People live in very narrow small worlds.
We cannot hope to understand the paths that they come from and are walking daily on, nor can we expect MOST to understand the roads we come from and are traveling on everyday.
The only thing we know is that we are all here in the same world completely unaware of the people surrounding us or of THEIR insecurities, challenges or the heartaches they carry with them.

I would highly recommend the book; "The Shack", you can read it in a weekend and it just might change your life!

Love, your Mom

loricjensen said...

I grew up as a child with Type I diabetes, always hiding in bathrooms, cars or even 'forgetting' to take my insulin so that I wouldn't 'offend' others. That was how my mother was taught, also a Type I diabetic, to treat her condition. This made me feel shame and that I was somehow responsible for having a disease that never let me forget about it. Now that I have a child with Type I, it's been difficult to overcome my shame, but I've done it. My child is much more confident than I ever was and willing to take his medication when he eats. He also is very brave to tell others why he's doing it. I hope that he'll know what to say if he ever runs in to a person who shames him like this man did. Thanks for posting this and feel free to pass on my response. Ignorance is the hardest disease to treat.

Leslie mom of son with Type 1 said...

I wrote the editor too. He said my letter will be printed. Does anyone know how I can view it? I want to see it.

Scott said...

I realize the author of the letter's ignorance is what's driving it, but this letter is akin to writing to the newspaper to complain about having handicapped ramps in front of the restaurant. Aside from taking it into a restroom, complete with more bacteria per square inch than anyplace other than a trash can, just where were they supposed to do this? If the writer is offended, they should not have sat there and watched ... "how extremely offensive" ... they should have minded their own business!!

LeeAnn said...

It's appalling and sad that people are that wrapped up in themselves. Mr. Barber is too short-sighted for words if he thinks his "ruined" meal even compares to every single time any of us with type 1 have a bite to eat.

I saw on another blog that the editor is no longer accepting letters regarding this issue, but I hope they publish some of the responses they've received, or do a follow-up of some kind, and if so, I hope you'll blog and let people know. It would be a sorry thing for the paper to let such ignorance fo unanswered.

The McConkey's said...

I got this article and website address from an online support group in the Phoenix, Az area. Here is a copy of my reply. Unfair that we only get 300 words!

Dear shocked and appalled Burger King patron,

I, as you, am shocked and appalled that this child would have the nerve to eat out in public and try to lead a normal life. The very thought that this child's life long, life altering illness made your meal more difficult to enjoy is heartbreaking. I’m sure getting up and leaving was not an option for you. You should have gone straight to that child's father and complained! I know my husband would have been very apologetic and offered to pay for your meal and your gas to get home, having been inconvenienced by his child's disease. That father should be ashamed. Treating his disabled child to dinner at Burger King like he was a normal kid. Outrageous! I'm sure the wild splattering of blood that occurred could have been deadly to other customers. I have my child go into the bathroom only if a port-a-john is not available, and lock himself in a stall so nobody will be repulsed by his hideous condition. And the thought that this might have conjured up bad memories from someone's past is sad. You are right; you never know what someone else has been through. These diabetic children face life and death every day and probably spent a minimum of a week in the hospital being subjected to finger pokes, IV's, blood draws, insulin injections and way too much education. They think this gives them the right to eat and give their medications in public? They should really be more considerate of those around them.

If you have any further questions or comments about children and their rude illnesses, I know of a group of Moms and Dads in Phoenix, Arizona who would love to meet you and hear what you have to say.

Yes, I submitted it, so it will be interesting to see if it is published.

k2 said...

THANKS SO MUCH for bringing this ignorance to our attention! I sent my letter and posted about it as well!
kelly k

The McConkey's said...

I hope they let more letters to the editor be published! I'd hate for this poor ignorant man to miss my sarcasm. I submitted another response before I found out that they were no longer accepting for it. I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I wrote again and used my husband's name and email. What a shame to not get it posted. I wonder how hard it would be to get his address. Or find him on facebook or myspace?
Here's my letter anyway,
Mr. Shocked and Appalled,

I have several things I'd like to address with you.
First, God is everywhere. So where would you suggest we go to be out of God's visibility? I am certain that God does not want to witness my son injecting himself with a hormone (not a drug) required by everyone for survival, and I really want to center my life around your eating enjoyment.
Second, I would like to suggest that instead of having your Mommy drop you and your girlfriend off at Burger King, that she accompanies you on your dates to help ease the trauma of such scary things.
Third, there is always the option of staying home in the comfort and safety you need to get through your life.
Fourth, get some therapy for your horrendous experience to help you sleep through the night again without wetting the bed.
The fact that my 9-year-old child has to poke his finger and give himself a shot every time he wants to eat to sustain his life can be very scary for you, and should never inconvenience you and your feelings.
Although this was not my family you encountered, it could have been. I never realized how insensitive we were to those around us. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We don't sleep well at our house. First off because we have to get up through the night to check our child's blood sugar, and second because of our concern for the safety and well-being of our son's life. So in my sleep deprived state, I never realized how scary my child's potentially life-ending illness could be to you.
Please accept my apology on behalf off all parents of diabetic children.

Laura Houston said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog! I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone in the community. I feel lost now but am so excited about finding fellow "D" moms to chat with and at this point cry with too!

Your family is beautiful and your family pictures are amazing. :-)

Thank you for allowing me to share your story on my blog. I was appalled at the letter that was written but so proud of all of the people that have written back and are educating others about Type 1.

Honestly before our diagnosis I didn't know anything about it either.

I am so glad I found you!!

talkingbloodglucose said...

I seriously cannot believe what i've just read. as a type 1 myself, i ALWAYS inject as and when i need to, be it at a resteraunt table or not. I cannot believe that people ar estill soignorant as so think it 'unsanitary', and believe we should go inject in a toilet - if anything i find that offensive and unsanitary itself!

Northerner said...

Sadly, we have had something similar here in the UK, where a NURSE wrote in to a large circulation diabetes publication with an almost identical complaint. What made it even worse was that this nurse had Type 2 diabetes herself!I wrote a poem about her at

I hope that the follow-up responses help educate the wider public about thsi simple fact of life for an insulin dependent diabetic.

Rachel said...

OHHHHHHHHHHH No he didn't!!!!!! I'm just not catching on my blog post but this is completely unacceptable. I know that you will be writing a response.... I can't wait to see you tear into that person.