Most of you are familiar with the letter to the editor article I found in my local paper recently. Click HERE to read that article. You can also read my response HERE. This article stormed cyberspace like a wildfire and people from across the country sent in responses to the paper. To date, 6 responses have been published. I am going to copy them down here since I know many of you would like to read what kind of response the paper is getting. So here ya go! (This post will be lacking one article because I didn't type it up before my husband sent the paper to recycling. But this will give you a good idea. The article missing was from a family here in my town.)
Dear. Mr. Barber,
How nice it is that you and your girlfriend were having lunch at Burger King and the two of you can just sit there and eat because your pancreas functions normally. My hat is off to the bravery of that family with the obviously diabetic boy who were also in Burger King. What a wonderful example that boy showed in taking care of his health!
His pancreas does not produce insulin anymore, unlike yours. Every single day of his life, multiple times a day he has to poke his finger to test his blood sugar, and then give himself and injection of insulin. What an absolutely brave kid! I want to give him and his whole family a hug and apologize for people like you who are so ignorant and clueless.
It's bad enough having to live daily with a life-threatening illness that has no cure without having to encounter clueless, cruel individuals like you sitting in judgment of what he needs to do to maintain his health. You should be ashamed of your reaction.
-Melinda V. California
"Shocked and Appalled"
I am an adult with Type 1 diabetes. I read a letter that your newspaper published. It was sent by a man who witnessed a child injecting himself with, presumably, insulin before his meal at a local Burger King. This man was "shocked and appalled" to witness such an event.
Sure, injections are not fun. But neither is dying. Without those injections, that boy would not be alive. So if he needs to inject himself with insulin to LIVE, then he should do so wherever he needs to. I can't imagine anyone feeling this way and hop that this man never requires injections himself to live.
-Robin M. PA
"Type 1 Diabetes"
I do not live in your area, but read the letter from the man who was so disturbed by a child giving himself a shot at a restaurant (October 25 edition) with total dismay. My two year old daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic, and we often have to inject her with insulin when we eat out in public. The fact that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than complain about something so minor is very disheartening. Does he not understand that the very thing that disgusts him, we have to do in order to keep our children alive?
This person is in desperate need of a lesson in compassion. Diabetes is already a horrible thing to have to live with, and according to the letter writer, we should make our kids feel further isolated and ashamed by giving them their medication in hiding. Where would he prefer we do it, in the bathroom? And he complains that giving a shot in public is unsanitary.
This letter really illustrates the lack of understanding people have about Type 1 Diabetes. I, for one, applaud this young man for bravely taking care of himself, whenever and wherever he is.
Joanne C. Texas
In response to Mr. Barber's complaint on Oct. 25. Let's assume the incident involved a little boy with diabetes taking insulin. One of the obstacles these kids encounter with diabetes is the fact that they will need to inject insulin each time they eat for the rest of their lives. To keep blood sugars in the very best control we teach our kids and their families to give their shot just before eating.
No let's look at this realistically. If this child gives his injection in the car and then comes in to order food he could have a low blood sugar before the food arrives. Low blood sugars can sometimes result in unconsciousness or a seizure...in other words, a medical emergency. Therefore, I always teach my patients that it is OK to inject in a restaurant and in fact, it is the very best way to manage their disease.
If a person with diabetes is leery of injecting at the table, the restroom is an option but certainly not the first on the list for a clean environment to give an injection.
Do you know the complications of diabetes? They include blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and amputation, just to name a few. Should we spare your feelings and put these concerns to the side? Individuals with diabetes who take their care seriously may offend you once in awhile but please turn away, don't be so nosey. This family needs to be congratulated for helping this little guy get off on the right foot in learning to deal with a lifetime of diabetes.
Good habits are learned early. They need all the support they can get to help them manage a little better. They certainly don't need criticism from strangers.
Debra J. Certified Diabetes Educator, Idaho
(Sidenote: this lady happens to be one of Syd's CDE's. She is wonderful! And amazing! I can't say enough good things about the support we have in our town. Love ya Deb!)
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 G. New Jersey
Of course, as letters are published I will be sure to let you guys know on here! Thanks again for all your support! Even if we don't change Mr. Barber's opinion, I KNOW that we will teach at least a couple people more about Type 1 Diabetes. Small steps can lead to great things.
5 days ago