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Don’t Get Offended, Educate

by Karyn Michelle Wofford

Attractive young woman with gorgeous curly long hair reacting in horror to a text message on her mobile phone staring at it with an aghast expression and mouth open

Lately, it seems more diabetes drama and controversy has been popping up. You’ve got the guy who put up the sign in his restaurant telling diabetics to inject only in the bathroom, then you have the young girl who gets kicked out of school.

At first, I became enraged when seeing the headlines. I’ve  read more into the case of the restaurant owner posting the sign. It was shocking to think people could be so bold and ignorant.

However, after reading the comments of others, and watching this man literally get ripped to shreds and lose his business over a sign, I started to feel differently.

Clearly, this man is not knowledgable of what diabetes is, and he definitely went about this the wrong way. But he is fighting against a double edged sword here. Previously, the owner had lost customers over another customer treating their condition in public. In his mind, he was working a solution. The customer was the ignorant and unreasonable one. Personally, I will not take an injection in the bathroom, it’s not clean. But I will take measures to be discrete and sterile while in public. Sometimes I do get the occasional “how could you” look, but diabetes is hard enough, and I can’t go find a hiding spot every time my sugar spikes.

Now let’s bring in trouble maker number 2, the person who took the photo of the sign and released it to the world. Not a great move. I’m all about direct problem solving and think this could have been used as an educational moment for the owner. The individual should have engaged in a civil conversation rather than letting the internet wolves take it.

After all was said and done, you have a man who lost way more than he deserved. It makes the diabetes community look bad, and ruthless. This was unnecessary controversy. Everyone needs to show a little more class and take more time to think through their actions.

As a member of the diabetes community, my goal is to educate the uneducated, not bludgeon the ones who do not yet understand. So the next time you hear or see something stupid, find the source and address it discretely. Our community needs to be one of progress, because there is already enough controversy to go around.