Note: I am very frustrated right now, so, a number of things in this article may reflect those emotions. I’ll try my best to not put any swear words in the post though.
I am sure everyone has heard about Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to Supreme Court by now. Along with being the first Hispanic woman in the Supreme Court, she’ll also be the first type I diabetic in there. When the diabetes community heard about this, we were all happy – we were blogging and tweeting about this like crazy (AFP). This was until I read this article being run by Time magazine – Sotomayor’s Diabetes: Will It Be a Handicap?. This is one of the most disappointing article I’ve ever read about diabetes. The basic theme of the article is that Judge Sotomayor might not be able to perform her duties well enough because she is a type I diabetic. It goes on to say and I quote – “The nominee’s chronic condition is worth noting, since it puts her at increased risk of several serious medical conditions, including heart disease, kidney problems, blindness and nerve damage — and an increased risk of early death.” WHAT??!! What the hell is he talking about? There are a few reasons why this statement of his statement PISSED ME OFF:
- Basically, what he’s trying to say is that it may not be a good idea to give so much responsibilities to a type I diabetic. And that pisses me off. You are entitled to say that about anyone (not someone with a condition, but, anyone) once you have realized that he/she is unable to handle those kind of responsibilities. But, if you make such a statement about a person with a condition like diabetes without any references to his/her past performance, you are discriminating – in my eyes, you are no better than a racist. Sotomayor has been a judge for past 15 years and has been fulfilling her responsibilities without any problems. I don’t know why moving to Supreme Court would change anything at all. They are still allowed to eat snacks and inject insulin in there .. right?
- We, diabetics, spend a lot of brain cycles thinking about balancing out our carb intake with our insulin intake to make sure that we maintain those good blood glucose numbers. Good, consistent blood glucose numbers is something that we take pride in. And bad high and low numbers make us feel really guilty. That’s how diabetes management system works 24×7 at the back of our minds.
The complications that the author lists in the article are basically caused by consistent high blood sugar (and not diabetes) – diabetes causes high blood sugar if it is not managed properly. So, I would read the above statement (quoted from the article) as an insult to my diabetes management skills. All of us our trying to maintain a normal lifestyle living with diabetes. We are doing things that normal people do – heck, we are doing better; we are becoming judges in Supreme Courts! But the system is still running 24×7 at the back of our minds. The pissing off part: You can’t just write a totally under-researched article in the time magazine and say that we are all going to die soon because we all have high blood sugar. If you do not know anything about anything, just shut the f@@k up!
- The article lists a number of inaccurate facts about type I diabetes in general. I would expect a minimal amount of research about the topic if the article is going to show up on the website of time magazine.
I am not writing this to tell people about how difficult it is – no, I don’t think that way and that’s not the intent of this post. I just want to say – I don’t deserve any discrimination just as I don’t deserve any sympathy because of my condition.