When you decide to become a writer, be you a newspaper reporter, magazine feature writer, author or, yes, blogger, you are accepting the fact that the world has the right to judge you. No matter what you write about – and particularly when it’s opinion (most blogging really is like the old “op edit” pieces of days gone by, some story telling woven with opinion), you have to be ready to take it like a woman (or a man. Or dog. With blogging, I guess you never know who is really behind it ha ha).
So when a woman who blogs about living with nut allergies made fun of kids living with diabetes yesterday, she really should have been ready for what she was going to get: an onslaught of comments bathed in outrage. I myself posted a comment, which I’ll share in a moment. Other parents did too – we were all sharing our comments on a diabetes parenting support page as we posted them.
And yet: not one approved. I kind of almost don’t want to post a link to her blog here, because I hate to give this woman the traffic. So I’m going to explain what she said, let you know how I responded (which was never approved), and then ask you, instead of responding on her site and helping her build traffic, to tell her how you feel here in my comment’s section. Then, once we have them all gathered, we’ll post a link to this blog on her site, as well as on all the nut allergy parent sites we can find.
I’m upset because she falsely portrayed what it means to have diabetes. I’m upset because she made our children (and our parenting skills) sound like fumbling dolt time. But I’m also upset as a writer. Look, I’ve had my topics people have not liked. And every single time someone commented on what they didn’t like or how they think I’m crazy or how upset they are, I immediately hit “approve.”
Because we have enough to battle in this world of parenting, fighting chronic disease and just plain getting by. There is plenty of room to say “here’s another view.” There is plenty of time to read critiques carefully and ponder them. And, as this woman needs to learn, there is also an easy enough way to update a blog and change it. And say two simple words: I’m sorry.
So here is the background. She was writing about a new television commercial for the Epipen. In it, a mom says how happy she is to be heading to a birthday party with her child with nut allergies because, phew! She has her epipen so if the cake was made with nuts, no big deal!
I totally get that she’s mad about that. The commercial made me cringe too (because you know, Epipens are just so cool! Kind of like those Tide Sticks that just take the stain away and you’re good, right? Wrong.) So I’m with her all the way on that. But here’s where she went bad. Instead of using an analogy like the Tide Stick one, she said this:
“It also says right on the box that, if you use the EpiPen, call 911 and/or go to the emergency room right after.
Do you really want to take a trip to the ER after every meal? Really? REALLY?! Do you really want to go to the ER after your EpiPen fails at a birthday party because, “Ah, what the hell. Go ahead and eat the cake even though it probably has nuts in it. We’ll just save your life afterward with your EpiPen!”
It’s like a diabetic eating candy bars because he can just use his insulin afterward. Can we say, “Stupid?” Seriously. Say it with me.
Yep. She really said that. Here was my comment, which was not approved:
Look, I think this commercial is lame. But really — for a mother with a child who has a special need to be soooooo ignorant about others is astounding. A candy bar and diabetes and insulin? Candy bars don’t kill, like nut allergies to. EVERYONE needs insulin to eat. When your child has a candy bar (or something healthier) his or her pancreas secretes insulin. My daughter’s does not. So I have to have her put it in manually. There is NO COMPARISON to nut allergies and epipens here.Giving a child with diabetes candy is no different than giving a child without diabetes candy – we just “be the pancreas.” It’s not stupid. It’s living. I am telling you now: You need to remove that part of your blog. It’s beyond offensive, and totally incorrect. And I hope you approve my comment. As a blogger I believe in approving ALL (other than spam). Don’t be hurtful. You know what it feels like when people are ignorant about nut allergies. That’s how this feels to those of us in the Type 1 diabetes world. Thank you.
It, along with dozens of others, were left unapproved. So let’s tell her how we feel. Comment below and in a few days I’ll send her the link and update you. I don’t mean to be mean, but if she wants to hold herself up as a person worth listening to in the parenting world, she needs to think this through. And respond the right way. By changing her wording. By learning to learn more before she types. And by saying “I’m sorry.” Enough with the picking on diabetes. Looking forward to your comments to her. I’d tell you her name but – surprise – she does not give it on her blog. That’s standing by what you write, right?