Last week on the Facebook group Let’s Eat, South Florida, a woman named Doreen posted a comment about a man administering his insulin in public. After the man tested his blood sugar and gave himself a life-saving shot of insulin, poor Doreen was turned off her meal.
“I think he could have checked his blood sugar in the car and done the shot before he came into the restaurant. I thought this was gross.”
For a bit of context for those who are not already familiar with Type 1 Diabetes — insulin is the only thing that keeps diabetics alive. It can only be delivered intravenously via either a syringe, a pen needle or by an insulin pump. There are other treatments including inhaled insulin and pills, but most T1Ds rely on intravenous insulin combined with these other therapies.
For this man to eat, he needed to first decide what he was going to eat off the menu, test his sugars, calculate carbs and then give himself a shot of insulin based on his mathematical calculations.
When I first saw Doreen’s post, I was angry, but I shrugged it off. You see, I’ve been a T1D for the past twenty-one years. For 66% of my life, I have lived with needles, blood tests, infusion sites, high blood sugars, low blood sugars, and a litany of assholes, quite frankly.
I was diagnosed in sixth grade, and I will never forget coming back to school and having a classmate scream when I tested my blood. She thought she could catch diabetes from my blood, I guess. So I have become well versed in shrugging off the ignorant and the rude, while trying to educate the nosey and the curious. Doreen was ignorant and rude, and I had no problem placing her in that box.
I would have completely forgotten about her if it wasn’t for her “apology”.
You know the phrase “leave well enough alone”? Doreen, you should have left well enough alone.
It turns out that Doreen isn’t your run-of-the-mill internet troll. Doreen is actually a journalist, meaning she has a public following in South Florida and a platform to speak her mind and actually be heard. She writes for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and they published her apology for the world to see.
This apology reads, at the best of times, as if she Googled “Type 1 Diabetes” and, at the worst of times, like someone was holding a gun to her head as she wrote with complete and utter insincerity.
She starts off by apologizing to all us diabetics because, well, because we have an autoimmune disease that not one of us asked for.
“I’m sorry you have diabetes. I’m sorry your child has diabetes. I’m sorry my uninformed opinion … was hurtful. I was unaware. I was not being intentionally hateful,” she repents.
She then promises to use her mistake as a “teaching moment” and goes on for over ten paragraphs to say she is sorry for the tough hand that we diabetics have been dealt.
She links out to the CDC, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Foundation, and a few other diabetes organizations that come up with a quick Google search. She lists of facts and figures about diabetes in an attempt to “help raise awareness about this cruel disease”.
Up until this point, all I would accuse Doreen of is being a really terrible journalist and a nosy, somewhat judgemental diner. But then, Doreen decides to flip the script and become the victim instead of just sticking to her terribly written apology. She turns it onto those that she wronged and makes it about how they have wronged her.
“I received death threats, was subjected to abusive language, and have been relentlessly trolled by hundreds of members of the diabetes community for days. That’s not OK. Emails and Facebook messages were sent to the Sun Sentinel demanding I be fired for my opinion (that’s my job).”
Now, I want to take a second to say that I, in no way, condone people wishing ill will on Doreen, and if she received death threats those people should be ashamed. But taking 4 paragraphs in what is supposed to be an apology to a community of millions to turn yourself into the victim is really annoying. And sharing your opinion on a public forum, with no editorial oversight has nothing to do with your job, Doreen, from one writer to another.
Doreen then goes on to basically give the entire diabetes community, as well as anyone who has read through her paragraphs of cited diabetes factoids a big old “f*** you.”
“I’m sorry some think my opinion was discrimination. It was not. I didn’t not violate anyone’s rights by having an opinion. My speech and this column is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Those out there who disagree with me and others — who also happen to have diabetes — have the right to express their opinions.”
For the love of all that is holy, Doreen!
So, you aren’t sorry? You stand by your request that diabetics keep their “gross” need for life-sustaining medication away from the dinner table and instead “do it in the car before they come in”? I mean, I thought I was reading an apology that was saying otherwise, but I guess I was wrong.
And to add insult to injury, Doreen then wants us all to know that, hey, she might not want to have to be faced with even the tiniest sliver of the disease that effects your life literally 24/7, but she threw a couple bucks at your charity, hope that helps.
To end her #sorrynotsorry apology, Doreen so eloquently writes, “I am sorry diabetes sucks.”
Well you know what Doreen, I’m sorry you suck 🖕