Monday, January 14, 2008

Readers Being Judgemental Are NOT Encouraged

(made with The Cheeseburger Factory LOLBuilder at ICanHasCheezburger.com)

This comment was left on one of my most recent entries, titled "'Very Poor' Diabetes Control":

"I am a type 1. listen, here are some cold, hard facts. if you have an a1c higher than 5.5 you should be freaked out and doing everything you can to get it to 5.5 or lower. no excuses, no complaining 'the doctors is reading you the riot act'....stop kidding yourself. get your a1c low and make it a life choice to keep it there. end of story case closed. use novolog and levemir, or a pump. and, if you have a BMI > 30 you are just fooling yourself, no one else."

It is not my position to alienate any readers I may have. I feel that it is almost regrettable that this comment made me very angry, because this is someone's opinion. I value all kinds of opinions, I really do. But Anonymous, your comment has made my blood boil a bit. Many of us come to the Diabetes OC to find support and friendship, to find out that we're not alone, and to see that not everyone with diabetes who is leading a normal life is a perfect patient. If you have Type 1, then you must know that when things aren't getting under control the way you want them to be, or the way they're supposed to be, it can be incredibly hurtful and frustrating.

I found your comment to be hurtful and frustrating as well. Here, let me break it down:

if you have an a1c higher than 5.5 you should be freaked out and doing everything you can to get it to 5.5 or lower. no excuses, no complaining 'the doctors is reading you the riot act'....

The only reason I was complaining about being read the riot act in that entry is because I knew the bad news was coming. Also, I had been sick, and I would expect a doctor to realize that because I was just getting over an infection, my glucose levels were terrible. Now, if you know your numbers are less than great, if you know your lab work is going to disappoint you, doesn't it almost add insult to injury when your doctor tells you how horribly you've been doing? If my doctor would have listened to me in the first place, when I said I'd been sick and things weren't going so well, I could have gotten a phone message saying something like, "It's just as we thought...your numbers are crappy, and we've got to work on improving them." If we both know that I've been a bad, bad naughty diabetic, I don't need to hear you telling me, "You've been a bad, bad naughty diabetic. Shame on you."

You're a doctor. You're supposed to help me, so offer me some help. My GP did offer help, in the form of telling me again to make an appointment with an endocrinologist, which I did. I also made an appointment with a diabetes educator's office.

As for not resting until my A1C is under 5.5, well, according to this article from the JDRF, as someone with diabetes, my target A1C should be under 7.0. You know what? I'd love to have an A1C of 5.5 or less, but right now I'd settle for the freakin' 7.

stop kidding yourself. get your a1c low and make it a life choice to keep it there. end of story case closed.

I'm not kidding myself at all. This is why I'm going to see Gary Scheiner. This is why I made an appointment with a new endo. This is why I keep this blog, and why I read the blogs of others. I want to be healthier. I want my A1C to be fantastic. But you know what? I'm a sensitive person who wants all of my healthcare providers to understand my needs. I want them to remember I'm a person coping with chronic illness every day of my life, and simply telling me I'm doing a bad job is not exactly a method of motivation for me. Thus, an angry entry came about.

use novolog and levemir, or a pump. and, if you have a BMI > 30 you are just fooling yourself, no one else.

I have a pump. I've had a pump for nearly 7 years. Just getting a pump doesn't solve all your problems or fix your A1C. And maybe if you've read more than one of my blog entries, you'd know some of this stuff.

And, excuse me? Fooling myself? I know I'm overweight, so who in the hell am I trying to fool, and with what? Contrary to some people's beliefs, being fat doesn't ruin your life. My BMI is over 30, and I'm not trying to kid anyone about it. I feel the BMI system has its flaws, but I'm aware that I should lose some weight.

And weight loss would be a hell of a lot simpler had I not developed insulin resistance when I was 2 dress sizes smaller. It's a fact of life.

And so, dear obnoxious Anonymous commenter, and you too, D-Blogosphere, listen as I say what I've said many times before:

I am not a medical expert. I am not a model patient with Diabetes. I am a person living with this disease, and I am taking it a lot more seriously than I used to. I am making improvements, and looking for friends and support. Any advice I dish out is either related to what seem to be common sentiments on the DiabetesOC or entirely personal opinions. I am not encouraging anyone to take care of their diabetes in the exact same methods that I use, because yeah, they're definitely lacking sometimes. I am not perfect.

Dorkabetic is not an actual model for how to manage your diabetes. It's a blog about how I live with it, and about the changes I'm making to my life so I can finally take full responsibility for myself. And that's all I have to say.

22 comments:

  1. Hey Hannah,

    That would have hurt me too.

    I struggle like hell to get things to where they should be. You know what, I'm not there. Not even close.

    I know that in my personal experience it is not as simple or as easy as "just do it". Don't I wish!

    If I could give up all food completely I might be able to get my A1C's down a bit, but they would still not be perfect.

    I think we would be hard pressed to even find many type 1's with A1C's as low as 5.5. Type 2's may be a different story, but then again that is a different monster isn't it?

    Keep your chin up. Your brothers and sisters out here (US!) are with you, fighting with the same stuff you are fighting with. It sucks, but we're all strong and find a way to keep moving on.

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  2. I don't believe I'd like to meet this person in real life.
    And, I don't particularly care for anonymous comments either - they have no integrity.
    Good luck on your appt with Gary. He seems like a very cool guy.

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  3. The minute you said anonymous I completely discounted anything and everything they said.

    You are on a new track and it is going to work. We can only do our best.

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  4. You can bet that comment would have hurt my feelings, deeply. I don't blame you for feeling angry.

    The statistics are available to all of us, and known by most of us. They're easy to find. What's not easy for some of us (myself included) is achieving those statistically hopeful numbers.

    I have a hard time with people who "know" what other people should do to be healthy... it isn't the same for any two people living with diabetes, and the strength needed to gain perfect control is sometimes NOT accessible to a person with diabetes! If you have perfect control, you have my admiration and good wishes, but remember, please, that your personal experience with diabetes MIGHT NOT BE the same as anyone else's, and being judgmental and accusatory will not help them to better themselves. It will only hurt feelings. We all know the numbers, after all.

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  5. Hi Hannah,
    I stopped visiting a D-Board due to the fact that some of the members were constantly telling others what they were doing wrong. Like you, I can't deal with that. One of the favorite parts of the blogs (like your's) that I love, is that people offer advice without criticism.
    I enjoy your optimistic attitude so keep on writing and ignore the anonymous commentors!

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  6. Hannah, you have every right to be angry with the anonymous jerk! Anyone who would post something like that has no idea what it's like to live with T1 on a day-to-day basis. But we do! Remember, you are not your numbers, you are simply and elegantly you! Congrats on setting an appt. w/ Gary S. What a great reasouce!

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  7. People that do not identify themselves but then tell people how to live are total fuckheads! LOL

    I think you are awesome and that loser should stab themselves in the face with a fork.

    This is George Simmons of Whittier California telling that fucknut Annonymous person to stab themselves in the face with a fork and leave.

    There. I am not scared to say that AND identify myself! LOL

    You are awesome, nuff said! :)

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  8. You know, every angry retort I had was completely outshined by SuperG calling that anonymous poster a "fucknut." SuperG has said it best.

    And you are making all the right moves towards a better A1c. This isn't an easy disease, and it varies from patient to patient. That's waht makes it so tough. You keep your head on straight and don't let anonymous commenters ruffle your feathers. You're on your way to making incredible change in your life. Stay on that path, and heed not what ye olde fucknuts have to say.

    (Oh man, SuperG, that still makes me grin.)

    Go Hannah! You can do it.

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  9. First I will address you, the person that actually matters. You're amazing just for sharing your struggles with the world. No one is perfect, and I would love to know what percentage of the OC actually has an A1c less than 5.5. Who is anonymous kidding? If he/she would like to get a PhD or medical degree and become board certified, and perhaps write a few books then maybe I would care to listen or read. Until then don't harrass people who are actually trying, it does nothing. All that matters is that you are aware of the issues and you are doing things to change them. We're here for you Hannah, and with George as our leader we will take anonymous down with our Ninja forces!

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  10. This is why I moderate comments. And, all I have is a craft blog.

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  11. Hannah,
    People who do not have the strength to show their true colors (or their name for that fact) have no right to judge. This is obviously not a true member of the D-OC. We all love you regardless of your BMI and A1c. It's all about LOL and TLC.
    I am fortunate that I have had success in keeping myself in control but I am not perfect. I am happy that I have an A1c of 6.8 and a BMI in the higher 20's. Anyone who tells me (or any of us) different, is obviously not happy with themselves and needs to take it out on someone else. The OC is here for you and love you just the way you are.

    PS - My bet is the anonymous jackass isn't even Diabetic. What a Pansy Ass

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  12. Hannah,
    I hope you don't mind, but I had to write something about this on my blog. If you would like me to remove it, please let me know and I will do so. It just got my blood boiling so I had to vent.

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  13. Ghannagh,

    "Anonymous" has very poor "being a person" control. How unfortunate, and much more difficult to fix, I expect.

    I agree with whomever made the fork-face suggestion.
    CJ

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  14. Hannah,
    I was wondering how long before you would comment back to this Anonymous jerk. I couldn't believe it when I read it. You handled this very well.

    Like Colleen, I left a D-Forum because of people like Anonymous. We, the Diabetes OC (except Anonymous) are all here for you.

    Don't let people like this get you down. Thanks for commenting back to this person. I feel better now.

    Go George! :)

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  15. Sometimes people are just rude! Not all of us are perfect. Sure, we'd all love a A1c of less that 5.5. But acheiving it can be harder than most people realize. As for your weight, I'd venture to say that there are very few of us on the OC that don't need to loose some weight. I need to loose around 30 pounds.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly. The Diabetes OC is a place to come for acceptance and understanding, not judgement.
    Good luck all the way around in your life with diabetes. We all live it. And we know! :)

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  16. Dear God in heaven wouldn't it be great if every T1 diabetic had an A1C of 5.5 or less.

    Please Anon, share your special secrets with ALL OF US on how you maintain an A1C of 5.5.

    I'm dead serious. You took the time to judge, well then take the time to tell Hannah how to get it there and in turn, it will be shared with 99% of the T1 population.

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  17. Hannah -

    A much more graceful response to Anonymous poster than I could have mustered. My response probably would have included a number of nasty mud-filled words.

    That said - I am grateful that you include in your blog - the good, the bad and the ugly. That you don't hold back. That you're honest about the struggles and the victories.

    And, I, like Shannon, would like anonymous to tell me how to get an A1C under 5.5%. Because, you know, as vigilant as I am (12 tests a day vigilant, wear a pump vigilant), I've not achieved that milestone.

    Do tell - anon - how does one achieve your obvious levels of perfection?

    LOL - fucknut. Awesome.

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  18. "Here here" to what everyone else has said. I am proud to be counted among you :)

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  19. so many thoughts running through my head about this... that's why it took me a while to respond.

    first of all, thank you for writing this post. and sharing your struggles with us honestly. and sorry that "fucknut" inaccurately, assholic-ly, and insensitively hurt/angered you with stupid bs when you were being so amazingly honest in sharing your stuff and trying to work on it yourself.

    i had a simliar reaction to a post on a diabetes listserve where most people are type 2, and someone commented about a type 1 on a pump she met. this person wasn't talking about me, and wasn't being a jerk about it like this guy. however, i still got really frustrated, so i can only imagine how that comment made you feel.

    the last few weeks my blood sugars have been ridiculously high, and i can't figure out why. sometimes i'm burned out and eat carbs and don't cover them well because i'm frustrated with trying so hard and seeing no results, so i try less. usually i'm trying pretty damn hard.

    however, the last few days, my blood sugars have been AMAZING, and i don't know why. I've been counting my carbs meticulously, but before I was counting them ok, and not eating very many carbs anyways. and that doesn't explain the difference between low 100s and 300s that i was having. I really can't believe how relatively easy the last 2 days have been compared to the last few months. I can't believe that im having post meal blood sugars under 150 without it being so so hard/impossible.

    The point is: there's so much variation in blood sugars and how easy or hard it is to get to a certain place!!! Varies between people, and within the same person. It might be way easier for one person to get their a1c down to 5.5 than another, some reasons that have nothing to do with how hard they're working or "the life choices" they are making. Clearly this person's body cooperates more than mine does, because despite working my ASS off the last year, I can't even get my a1c down to 7, let alone 5.5.

    And even if it did have to do with choices, it still can be really HARD, and it is totally unfair and unhelpful and stupid to be judgmental in that way.

    Also.. about the BMI... wtf. You broke it down for them pretty well, but again, there is not a direct, causal correlation with health. And most people can't lose and keep weight off even if they try, so that is not an useful approach. by the way, my BMI this nov/dec was the lowest it's been in years, and my blood sugars were the worst they'd been in years. And I tend to do way better with blood sugars and carb counting when I'm not thinking about my weight.

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  20. You know, people really need to be more compassionate and understanding when it comes to leaving comments on d-bloggers' pages.

    I have been reading your blog for some time now and I admire your courage and endurance to be healthy. I, too, have had Type 1 for 15 years. I have been wearing a pump for almost 8 years. I have struggled for years with weight, A1c numbers, counting carbs, staying healthy.

    The last three years have been extremely difficult. Trying to get pregnant, I managed to lose 25 pounds and get my A1c below 7.0. I got pregnant, only gained 10 pounds, and now, three months after giving birth, my A1c is a 6.5.

    I will never say that it's easy. It just isn't. And we all need people to encourage us and keep us going, because seriously, there are days when I don't want to eat well. Days where I don't want to check my blood sugar. Days when I want to say, "Just forget it."

    But then I read blogs like yours and I keep trekking.

    So, Hannah, forget what Anonymous said. We're all in this together. And we don't need Anonymous (who discredits him/herself by not saying who they are) to come to our pages and criticize us.

    You rock on... we're with you!

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  21. Hannah,

    Sending you encouraging thoughts...Anonymous commenters suck. Thanks for being a great voice in our community, and setting that jerk straight!

    :o) Allison

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  22. anygirl11:00 PM

    Rock on sister! Any diabetic knows that there is no such thing as perfect control. Tight control does not mean that you never are below 100 & never above 150 or that your A1c doesn't fluctuate. Sorry, but that is just unrealistic. Perhaps anon. has up-tight control. More power to her/him. Personally, I'd rather be happy with positive actions I take in my therapy than neurotic & trying to prove that I control diabetes better than others. Anonymous can bugger off.

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Remember to use your commenting powers for good, not evil. Excelsior!