Sore Points/How Others See Us

By tmana Latest Reply 2008-09-28 12:32:03 -0500
Started 2008-09-26 15:30:42 -0500

Among certain segments of the community, there is a bit of a debate between whether to call ourselves "diabetics" or "people with diabetes". (I fall in the camp of those who don't really care, except that I much prefer the adjectival "diabetic" to the nominative "(a) diabetic". (I am not *a* diabetic, I am diabetic.)

That much said, something really stuck in my craw. A long-term friend of mine recently referred to several of us in our local community as "suffering from diabetes". I'm living with diabetes, not suffering from it.

Is the phrase "suffering from diabetes" offensive to anyone else here?

13 replies

Bluebutterfly 2008-09-27 12:13:48 -0500 Report

I guess I would go with the I am diabetic. I don't really care for suffering from diabetes.

caspersmama 2008-09-28 06:38:22 -0500 Report

There are so many labels put on us in our lives. My daughter was a slow reader so she had some English special ed classes and she was labeled all through school. But those that think suffering diabetes must know someone who had a bad experiment. Lost a limb or died too early. Yes some days we all suffer because this disease affects all organs of the body. I have many problem but I have two labels. I am also disabled with chrionic back problems and on my disability papers it says that I am a disabled diabetic. I quess I can live with that.

Midnights Mom
Midnights Mom 2008-09-27 12:09:13 -0500 Report

I agree with you that using the phrase 'a' diabetic makes it sound like you are one member of some group that others prefer not to belong to. Like saying you belong to 'a' cult or something. And you are not SUFFERING from anything. Taking charge of your life and making the best of it is in no way making you suffer. Unfortunately, too many people out there don't know enough about diabetes and don't know how to address those who are 'diabetic'.

morris.js 2008-09-27 14:31:47 -0500 Report

Midnights Mom, About time I see you contribute something…hee hee I know you have a wealth of experience knowing where you worked before, so I'm looking forward to lots more replies to these discussions. ((((HUGS))))

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-09-27 07:14:49 -0500 Report

What a great discussion topic.

i remember when our son was diagnosed (he was 8 years old) we made a conscious effort to make sure we never used language or actions that communicated "Here's our son, *the* diabetic." We didn't want him defined by this disease.

But like you, tmana, if someone says "He's diabetic" I don't take offense at that.

Now about "suffering from diabetes," I'm also with you there. It is a rotten deal some days. But to make it sound like it is the debilitating, heinous thing is simply not accurate. We deal with it and get on with life.

GabbyPA 2008-09-27 06:43:48 -0500 Report

I don't guess it offends me to hear someone say I am suffering with diabetes. I guess if I am acting that way, they have that right. If I sit and say all the things I CAN'T have or CAN't do, then maybe they are right.

It is kind of like the differnce of anyone with a diability. They can make you really glad you don't have that disability, or they can inspire you in how they overcome the disablity.

My husband is in a wheelchair and I know people feel "sorry" for him. But you know what, he can kick your butt in a lot of things. He pushed 53 miles, yes MILES, the other day in the mall. I am inspired by that.

If people are saying we are suffering with it, then maybe we need to look at ourselves and see what we are protraying to those around us? At least if they are your friends, you can ask them why they would think such a thing when we are obviously happier, healthier, stonger, and have great outlooks on life....right?

morris.js 2008-09-26 23:52:44 -0500 Report

Hi, I for one do not take any offense to any "title" that others like to use. I learned a long time ago that for me worrying about things such as this do nothing to help me control my BG levels.
I used to be on high blood pressure meds since the age of 22 until October 2003 when I almost died of complications of this disease. Since that time, I let go of all the small stuff, and truly enjoy life more now than I ever have.

Oh, and by the way, my BP now runs right around 117/72 without meds. So call me what you will, I'm lovin and livin life to it's fullest with this disease. John

GabbyPA 2008-09-27 06:45:42 -0500 Report

You go John! That is great. You are going to be running circles around everyone before you know it. Your kids better watch out...LOL

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-09-26 23:07:41 -0500 Report

Brenda, I agree with you. I think its offensive, I would of never thought about this before. But I'm like you "i am diabetic" Thanks…

Charish 2008-09-26 16:00:32 -0500 Report

I like to think of us as those who have faced a test that we're passing. To many worry about lables and tags as a way of pointing people out, why can't we just be who we are wonderful beautiful creations that were made in the sight of God ane let those who worry of those things worry on. We're people as I stated who passed the test given to us.