Blogger insults diabetes world and refuses to respond. Time to send a message!

April 21, 2012By 37 Comments

For a person with diabetes, it's not a killer. It's just a cupcake (albeit a pretty great one at that!)

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.

STUPID!”

 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?

Filed in: General HealthInspiration Tags:

Comments (37)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Natasha says:

    This is beeyond comparison, all of the diabetes world is offended by your comment. My son has type one diabetes and contrary to popular belief my son can eat the same things as someone with out type one diabetes. He just has to have insulin injected for what he eats. Please visit typeonediabetesawarenee it is a very good website and can educate u on type one diabetes. Thanks and hope u learn more about diabetes!

  2. Kristin says:

    first of all..I would never claim to know how it feels to be the parent of a child w/ nut allergies..I don’t know what it feels like, but I can imagine. I do know how it feels to be a parent of a child w/ T1 diabetes. I do understand how it feels when other people don’t understand the disease and brush it off..you can’t compare giving an epipen to a child w/ a nut allergy to giving insulin for something a person living w/ diabetes..it’s NOT the same thing..I have not seen the commercial..it sounds very stupid and misleading. But please, if you have said something offensive to others living w/ a serious, chronic disease, just apologize..you can’t know what it’s like living w/ T1 day in and day out..it’s a constant struggle that must balance every morsel of food, every bit of exercise and every emotion..but my daughter does that every day, and she CAN eat a candy bar..she just needs to give the appropriate dose of insulin to cover for it.

  3. Krista Middleton says:

    Uneducated people annoy me. Unfortunately this one has reproduced and now has mini-uneducated people running around. (No need to approve this one for posting, unfortunately I couldn’t find anything nicer to say). Oooh, imagine if her kid had DIABETES and a NUT ALLERGY??? Maybe then she could complain.

  4. Jaime says:

    I am not going to judge her for being wrong. I have been wrong many times in my life. I don’t even blame her for calling it stupid because until my own child was diagnosed I thought the same thing. My dad is Type 2 diabetic and many times I thought he wasn’t being smart because he would eat sweets and take insulin. However I am now more educated on the subject. I am not educated on other special needs however, including peanut allergies. Therefor, I would never compare something to a peanut allergy since I do not know anything about it. I wouldn’t compare my son’s diabetes to another child’s special needs without really understanding what I was comparing it to… and to be honest, even then I probably wouldn’t. The Tide stick is a perfect way to put it! I do however blame her for CHOOSING to remain ignorant or at least appear that way. She should have at least changed her post once some of the comments were read, even if she was too embarrassed to aprove them. She is an advocate for her child’s peanut allergy, so she should understand how it feels to have wrong information spread and do her best not to contribute to it.

    • Thank you for being so understanding of the ignorant. I understand why everyone was upset, and then outraged when I didn’t respond. I am not the type of person to ignore my own mistakes. I own up to them and apologize. That’s how I am. I actually just didn’t know about this until this morning and then promptly responded. I just never logged in yesterday…not once.

      Please know I wasn’t avoiding anything or anyone. I just had no idea what was happening. As soon as I was aware, I immediately did what I could to correct it.

      • Moira says:

        Thank you. Removing them means a lot. I would also suggest you remove this too:

        as I understand it from those who live with diabetes in their families, my comparison wasn’t far off for certain individuals. But I can understand that there are several different forms of diabetes and that different people live with diabetes differently.
        The type 2 community will lose it next! ha ha (but seriously — no one dies from a candy bar. No one. Insulin is not an emergency drug)….. and as for peanut: I have friends whose kids have it. Scares the bejesus out of me. And that commercial was lame.

  5. Tara says:

    Wow! That just made my blood boil… but it just rang true (again!) how uneducated the world is about diabetes -T1 in particular. My husband and I were as uneducated about it as the next person before “D day”. But for someone who blogs, c’mon, get your information straight before you post! She just opened up a whole can of worms that is going get her in heaps of “trouble”. After this, I am sure she will be holding her tongue about things she obviously does not know about or take the time to educate herself about it!

  6. Andrea says:

    A T1/PA mom alerted us to this yesterday at type1parents.org
    It ruffled my feathers as a t1 mom, I can’t imagine how upset I’d be if I were wearing both hats as she does and to have stumbled upon this. Mine was another ignored comment, as follows.

    I agree that this severely lightens the battle people have with allergies and it is not right. BUT it is not ok to make an analogy with another person’s battle as you do with diabetes.

    There is nothing stupid about someone with diabetes taking insulin to eat a candy bar. Just like someone without diabetes, everything in moderation.

    I will refrain from comparing the battle in my life to yours, if you will promise the same.

  7. Lauren Melton says:

    Moira – as always, you have a great way with words…guess that’s why you’re the writer.
    To the “offending blogger”‘- are you stupid for eating a candy bar because then your pancreas secretes insulin? I thought not. My son is no different. He is a child. He eats candy and *I* am his pancreas. I also give him insulin for apples, grapes, bananas and many vegetables. You know – those things we all can agree are healthy. Stupid? Nope, just keeping my son alive.
    I hate that your child and so many others have to deal with food allergies and as the mother of an “extra needs” child, I hate the ignorance like what is expressed in the epipen commercial and the comment you made about diabetes in your blog. Your comment was no better than the commercial that has you so angry.
    I also find it pretty sorry that you won’t own up to your ignorance (which is a lack of information) by printing our comments. Think about it.

  8. Linda Hodges says:

    I can understand your frustration with their commercial. It is the same frustration I have with your comment about diabetes. My son can have that candy bar and give himself insulin afterwards. When I have a candy bar(or any other carbohydrate), my pancreas releases insulin to keep my blood sugar from rising. My son has to be his own pancreas because his doesn’t work. Even if he never ate another carb(which is dangerous because even your brain needs carbs to work), he would still have to have insulin because the body requires background insulin. He has to give insulin whether he eats a candy bar or corn because both have carbs.
    Please help out the mom’s of children with a different, yet still misunderstood, heath situation than your own by correcting your analogy.

  9. Brie says:

    I just left a comment on the mom’s blog, which will hopeful be approved. I’m not sure which bothers me more, that she is spreading ignorance without thought, or that she’s refusing to post the comments by others whom are trying to provide better information. That kind of censorship, knowing you’ve made a mistake which can hurt others, yet refusing to bring it to light and correct it, is unconscionable.

    Here’s the comment I left on her blog, which has not been approved, yet:

    “t’s like a diabetic eating candy bars because he can just use his insulin afterward. Can we say, “Stupid?” Seriously. Say it with me.

    STUPID!”

    Type 1 diabetics need insulin coverage for ALL carbs, not just the ones from candy bars, but also the ones in whole wheat pasta, red peppers, bananas, milk…….Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, resulting from the brain mistaking attacking a person’s pancreas, killing the islet cells which produce insulin. It is not diet-related, and just as any body needs carbs to grow and thrive, so do the bodies of Type 1 diabetics.

    You’re goal is to stop ignorance about the challenges your child faces due to a sever allergy. Please extend the same courtesy–to not pass on uninformed and misleading information–to children with other medical conditions.

  10. Lynn says:

    Fess up…you screwed up…time to read up!
    It’s never too late to admit you’re guilty of premature-blogging and to offer up an apology. Nut allergies and diabetes are not comparable. My son CAN eat a candy bar and whatever else he wants – he just needs to “cover” the carbs with insulin (in an ideal world, his shot should come before eating it, not after). If he forgets his shot, it’s not the end of the world, or his life….we just “correct” later. I’m the first to admit that I probably don’t know enough about nut allergies, but I do believe you can’t “correct” a couple hours after eating a bag of peanuts?

  11. Michelle Weisenberg says:

    I get that you may not understand how Type 1 diabetes works, but just as you were upset about the epipen commercial (and rightfully so!) you need to understand the anger of the T1 Diabetes community about your misinformed comments. And hey, we all make mistakes, but now that this has been brought to your attention, PLEASE retract that statement and issue a correction on your blog. I know you would want others to do the same thing about incorrect nut allergy information.
    It is very hard to be a T1 Diabetes parent as it is, with most people confusing it with T2, without misinformation being perpetuated in print. Please do the right thing here.

  12. Bob says:

    Well intentioned & uninformed…that’s how I sum up not only this mom’s blog, but most of the non T1 world. Type 1 and nut allergies are NOT comparable, yet I “get” why she compared the two. I suppose you could say we carry our kids’ lives around in a syringe! But rather than spreading awareness about type 1, she adds to the misconceptions.

    The “diabetes police” are everywhere. Judging T1 parents for how we feed our children and judging type 1s for what they choose to eat. Yes, my son still eats candy bars. We have not removed them from his diet – if that was the protocol for type 1, we’d also have to remove milk, grains, fruits, and many vegetables. Early on in my son’s diagnosis, my wife actually got a call from a well intentioned & uninformed friend…”I saw Bob and your son in town today. Bob had bought him an ice cream cone, should he have done that?” Please STOP! Let us feed our children without being judged!

    So – Dear Nut Allergy Mom…take this opportunity to post an apology and a link to a type 1 site – maybe http://www.jdrf.org Help us spread awareness of what it’s like to live with type 1. You owe us that much…be well intentioned & INFORMED.

    • I appreciate your understanding. I do intend to educate myself and post about diabetes in a truthful and well-educated manner. In fact, Moira is going to help by doing a Diabetes 101 Guest post on my blog, which I look forward to reading and sharing.

  13. It was my blog, and the lack of response wasn’t due to any avoidance of the situation. I was actually out all day and not near a computer after posting the blog post. I have turned comment moderation on due to the fact that I get a lot of spam comments.

    I only saw the comments this morning. Once I saw them, I promptly commented and removed my comments related to diabetes. I do extend my sincerest apologies for my ignorance about diabetes. I did not mean to offend anyone. I see now that I have no understanding of diabetes, like I thought I did.

    Again, my apologies. All of the comments have been approved and I have responded to your requests.

    I pride myself on blogging with integrity. I have never received such responses to any of my posts before, and I deeply regret what has happened. I am both embarrassed and ashamed that I spread misinformation about a condition so many deal with on a regular basis. As a mother with children who have special food and dietary restrictions and the lack of understanding I receive from people who I try to educate, I sincerely understand your outrage and concerns about my comments.

    Again, apologies from one mother to another.

  14. Lisa says:

    For someone wanting understanding and more education on nut allergies, she should surely understand why type 1 diabetes parents want the same. While I do find the comment offensive, I would have understood if she would have posted the comments and apologized, or even acknowledged that what she said was wrong, as I did not know much about type 1 either before my son was diagnosed 6 years ago. I know I have said things that I thought later, “Oh my gosh, why on earth did I say that? That was a stupid thing to say”. When that happens, you own up to what you said and apologize. Simple as that. And before she starts throwing stones at others, she might want to double check her facts. Hurting others while trying to bolster your point of view is never acceptable.

  15. becky says:

    To the blogger..Please don’t ignore our feelings.Learn from your mistakes,admit your mistakes,and please do not make someone else’s illness comparable to your own struggles.Your son has an allergy;I don’t take that lightly,allergies are serious.Our children have an autoimmune disease that will NEVER go away until a cure is found.Their bodies DO NOT PRODUCE their own Insulin,that is why they take it.I do not feel anger toward you,but I do feel a sadness because their are many people who are ignorant about type 1,but if you are a public blogger/writer,you have to know the facts,so other people may learn from your writings.I hope in the future you will be more careful what you post publicly and learn more about what you write…

  16. Deanna says:

    As a person who knew little about type 1 diabetes prior to my daughter’s diagnosis, I try to be understanding when someone assumes something about this disease that isn’t true. That being said, when a parent of a child with a disability is judgmental, I get irked. This woman most definitely irked me! I go out of my way to accommodate the other children in my daughters’ class who have nut allergies, need gluten free, or are lactose intolerant, and I never judge the choices they make regarding food. We, in the diabetes community, are only asking for the same treatment from you. Please think about what your comments will make those who read your blog think about those with diabetes. And, please head to your local book store and pick up a book about type 1 diabetes. I recommend the “Pink Panther” guide to diabetes. Educate yourself.

  17. Laura says:

    After reading all the replies and posts I can’t help but comment on other things. Epipens aren’t just used for nut allergies. They’re also used for bee stings. Does that mean if your child is allergic to bees that you’ll let them go out and get stung just so you can use your epipen? I think not. Most of the things on my mind were covered by many of the posts. A candybar to my son could be his lifesaver, hence the name of the little round candies……..LIFESAVERS!!!!!! Sometimes when my son has candy or sugar it’s saving his life and he may not even need insulin for it either. There are many illnesses out there these days that are becoming epidemic…..autism, epilepsy, ADD, ADHD, Celiac disease, and various food allergies. We live in a toxic world and whether it’s hormones in our foods or chemicals sprayed on our foods, something is disturbing the chemicals in our bodies. I pray to God that you or your child never gets diabetes, be it T1 or T2, Gestational Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Reactive hypoglycemia, etc., because you’re going to be in for worse than you already are and you may not have the help you need to get you through if you’re not prepared. There also are many medications that people take that mimic the same side effects as hypoglycemia and if you ever end up with Estrogen Dominance in your older years you could experience hypoglycemia also. Study the endocrine system before you get yourself in anymore trouble. Instead of writing a blog, do some research and get the facts.

    • Jennifer says:

      Excellent point that sugar is actually a lifesaver for our kids on a regular basis. Lows are treated with sugar.

  18. Kris Bruesehoff says:

    You do not overcome ignorance by spinning it around and pointing it in another direction.

  19. Lajd says:

    Well not sure what to say. I have carried an epipen for 31 years of my life due to severe allergies. I have dealt w T1 for 8 years of my 11 yr old daughter’s life. I’m some one who grew up knowing people w nut allergies. Sorry can’t even compare the two. T1 is constant all the time. Food allergies are a pain but nothing compared to T1.

    • Jennifer says:

      I agree..food allergies are a pain and dangerous but the type 1 diabetes is constant 24/7 care. I haven’t slept one single night without getting up multiple times to check on my child in the 7 years she has had type 1. All day long we live and breathe diabetes. The medical supplies to keep her alive and the doctor visits are overwhelming.
      We have had no issues regarding food allergies since we discovered what she’s allergic to. We avoid those foods and we don’t eat places that are risky.

  20. Michelle says:

    My six year old son has Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. The only thing he cannot have is gluten which is due to the Celiac and not diabetes. He can have a candy bar and yes he will need a shot to cover it because it has carbs. His body does not produce insulin so he receives a shot to cover carbs no matter the source. Research what you don’t know before spreading more ignorance on the subject of diabetes.

  21. Jennifer says:

    I am so sick and tired of people judging what my child eats. Yes she has type 1 diabetes but she takes insulin for evry carb she eats no matter if it’s a piece of fruit, a plate of vegetables or a bowl of ice cream or even a candy bar. Her doctor has approved and recommended this from the day she was diagnosed at 2 years old. He has said to us she can eat like any other child she just needs insulin for it. Of course we eat very healthy anyway but she does have a treat every day.
    My daughter also has multiple food allergies one of which is peanut and we carry epipen and benedryl everywhere as well as glucagon for her diabetes. I am a member the peanut allergy support group on facebook that originally posted the blog and stumbled across the blog about the epipen while looking for support regarding my daughters peanut allergy. To my surprise and disgust I saw the part diabetics being stupid for eating a candy bar. I was so very hurt it broke my heart to see that. I posted about the comment in the peanut allergy board where it was originally posted and got no compassion at all. Not one single person said a word..just ignored me. I felt like I just don’t fit in to the peanut allergy community after that.
    I can understand if people don’t know about a disease but to make comment like this is irresponsible and destructive to the people who have to deal with it every day. The best thing to do if you don’t know about something is don’t speak about it at all.
    I am happy that the original blogger apologized for the comments and is willing to educated herself on diabetes. I am proud of the type 1 community for taking a stand.

    that.

    • I am so sorry that my words caused such pain for you. I wasn’t judging you or anyone else. I actually believed, due to being misinformed and having no idea what I was talking about, that insulin was an emergency use medication. A lot of people came in and set the record straight. I have apologized on my blog, here, on Facebook and on Twitter, and I plan to write a follow-up on my blog.

      I am terribly sorry that my words hurt you. Again, I didn’t intend it maliciously or as a judgment toward people living with diabetes. I actually believed the epipen and insulin were used in the same way. I was wrong and intend to educate myself appropriately about diabetes to make up for it.

  22. Giggity says:

    The other blogger retracted what she said, out of respect for the other blogger you should put in there somewhere that there has been a rectraction and the issue with diabetes has been removed from her blog.

    • Moira says:

      Hi Giggity — that is exactly my plan! Running this morning. Unfortunately I had a family event Sunday and could not do it — and she’s having me guest blog on her site this week so I’ll be posting that here and sending traffic her way where folks can thank her. Thank you!

Leave a Reply