Today has been one of those Diabetes days. The new medical company I am working with messed up and had no communication so I was left in limbo until I called and got it straightened out. I would like to gladly mention that I didn’t have to ask but they are “over-nighting” my supplies to me! I love good customer service and they apologized! My other new gadget- My new tslim pump will arrive tomorrow! and I am getting trained Monday! They’ve been so great! They delayed mailing it until a few days ago because I was on vacation! (i was not talk about the same companies here) So excited for this new journey I am about to start on! (and a little nervous- I do not like change even when I need it!) If I could just skip my dentist appointment tomorrow- that would be great! But I cannot put it off. Loving the fact that I am on break right now until January 4! Time to try and relax and be a little lazy? We will see how that goes. But to my story!
Today- my mom and I were traveling back home from vacation. We stopped by a popular chain restaurant for lunch. One of my favorites. The food was great. The service was on point! We literally just finished paying the bill and I can hear the server and another table right behind me (two customers). I hear Diabetes, which always scares me in public places.
Not sure what was said before this- I think the other two customers worked in food service at one point by the tone of the conversation.
Server- “Then she asks for a new diet soda because she cannot tell if it is diet or not. I told her it was, but she asked for a new one just to be sure because she had Diabetes”
Server- “Then she orders chocolate cake!”
All three are laughing.
Server- “So I don’t understand what was the difference of big deal about her getting a diet soda, but then she gets a cake. It’s actually funny. I don’t see the difference between her getting a soda or a diet soda. It’s not serious. ”
Customer- “because that cake will put you in a Diabetic Coma.”
ALL THREE ARE LAUGHING AGAIN!
Cue myself-unable to sit by any longer. I had pulled out my meter and given myself insulin before I ate- maybe they didn’t see. I had been talking Diabetes supplies at one point- maybe they didn’t hear.
But I turn around.
Me- “As someone who is living with Diabetes, those comments are very offensive to me. It’s about thinking you have one type of food and getting another. It is about accounting for what you are eating. There’s more to that than ‘Soda’ and ‘cake.’ and Diabetes related comas are actually very serious and not something to joke about.”
The Server basically interrupts me and says “that is not what I meant. But soda versus diet soda is not a big deal.” The Server is now standing in front of me, and the customers are silent- looking uncomfortable.
Me- “It kind of is. That conversation was not funny at all. It was very offensive. There’s more to Diabetes than a difference between ‘cake and soda.’ I need to leave now.”
I left because I was starting to get very upset, and I knew I would not be able to contain myself. My mom told me after I left that he apologized to her, and said he had a problem with the fact that customer had Diabetes and she got cake! My mom also tried to tell him about T1D and T2D and Diabetes in general, and just wouldn’t listen to her either.
That doesn’t even help my feelings. Unless you are a healthcare professional or know much about it- you should not be passing judgment! Also, if you are going to blast your free speech everywhere- you need to also expect others to practice free speech in return instead of trying to shut them down/interrupt them.
I have actually come across this regular versus diet soda talk before- but in all honesty- I have NEVER been this offended in my life– I do not believe in the phrase- “words will never hurt you” They are POWERFUL! I needed to leave because I was so upset, and I knew that I would not be able to continue that conversation- which in my mind was a missed educational opportunity. But it was too much. I don’t like to get too heated with the people I am talking to- but I do have limits. I like to tone of peace- and you get more with honey than you do with vinegar.
I wish I had said more. But I was offended. and upset. I wish I had said more about Diabetes in those moments- but I couldn’t. So I cannot focus on the I wish. I am focusing on the fact that I left the restaurant with dignity until I got into the car and BLEW up. I began texting all my betes friends and going to town.
A few things to take from this-
As a former of server (of several years), you DO NOT talk about previous customers to current customers and so loudly that others can hear you! You save that for the back of the house with your co-workers! The customer is ALWAYS right- until you are in the back of the house of course. You know what that makes current customers wonder? If you are going to be talking about them once they leave. I am also ALWAYS pro-server in all instances. Except today.
Also, as a server, JUST GET HER A NEW SODA- forget the Diabetes part.
Also, I am all for free speech- to a point- I do not agree with mean, cruel, hurtful, disrespectful, ignorant…… continue these words comments or JOKES about other people. You have no right in my opinion. You also don’t know who you are hurting. I do not like jokes that are demeaning towards others- especially a population group.
I don’t expect people to walk on eggshells. I do not expect people to learn everything about everyone. But when I turn around and say that I have Diabetes and I take a lot of offense to those comments- and it isn’t all about the “food” you are eating- it is about accounting for it. Take a moment and learn something.
Regular versus diet is kind of a big deal- Not everyone can taste the difference or see a color difference (especially in colored glasses).
For instance- I almost always know the difference between diet coke and regular coke (cept in Europe). I do not know the difference between the pepsis or most other sodas because I don’t drink those a lot. I do know diet mountain dew and regular. But not diet dr. pepper and regular.
I shouldn’t have to be worrying about if someone is going to give me regular or diet- and then JOKE about it. Enough sodas- and my blood sugar would be spiking- actually JUST ONE. and we all know most people have two-three cups. Imagine that- I’m going to say a glass of soda at a restaurant is 50ish carbs (sizes and types vary). So I think I have diet. I do not give any insulin for it thinking I have had 0. Then I get another. That’s about 100ish carbs. See where I’m going?????
One instance of regular soda won’t necessarily “kill me” but- I don’t want to get sick or have ketones or anything else. and a high blood sugar gives me anxiety.
So kind of a big deal?
Diabetes is not about “cake” no matter what type. There is so much more. I’m sure they didn’t pass judgment on the meal (even a salad can pack some serious carbs).
So What’s the Difference Between Regular Soda and Cake?
I am accounting for the cake and giving insulin for it. I am not accounting for the regular soda and I am not giving any insulin.
Until next time. -Mindy
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