Dear Saleslady at Macy's,
First, thank you for finding the shirt I was looking for, doing a price check, and letting me know that it was only $10! Wow! What a steal!
Thank you for your sweet comments about my girl. Yes, we think she's darling, too!
I know that you couldn't have known the kind of day we'd been having... no way for you to know that we've been living out of bags since Saturday because our AC was broken. No way for you to know that we'd been fighting lows all day. No way you could know that this Mommy was in desperate need of a few minutes of alone time (alone time that is not considered going to the bathroom with the door closed). No way you could know that deep inside of me there's anger and sadness bubbling up like a volcano and that I'm trying desperately to hold it together. No way you could know that a little while earlier at lunch the little girl at the next table saw me test Sweetpea's bg before eating. And no way you could have known that the little girl started yelling loudly questions like, "WHAT IS THAT? WHY IS SHE BLEEDING? WHAT IS SHE DOING? DOES THAT HURT?". No way you could have known that although that usually doesn't bother me, today it did.
I know you meant no harm....
And I realize that we kind put diabetes on display in front of you. You didn't see that just a minute before checking out that I had discreetly checked Sweetpea's blood sugar after her CGM beeped that she was low. You didn't know that although the number I got from testing was 154 - standing and waiting for you to fold up the clothing, I got this...'feeling'. This feeling that I needed to clean her hands and recheck. So did - in front of you....
It's a good thing I did. Because on recheck, she was 61. Her fingers must have been dirty.
I never mind talking about diabetes. It never bothers me to explain to strangers this crazy life we lead.
So when you started asking questions, that was fine.
I understand that you know about diabetes. I know what it's like when you find someone that knows about the world you live in. I get that sometimes you need to share and talk about it.
You might want to learn a little about the difference between type 1 and type 2. 'Cause it IS a big deal.
And you might want to watch what you say....
You don't remember?
Let me refresh your memory....
You asked me if Sweetpea had diabetes. I said yes. You commented on her being "so young" and how it was "a terrible thing". You asked if we had a family history to which I answered no. You asked if she was low and I said yes. You told me you had candy bars for sale at the counter, which was very thoughtful. You told me your husband has diabetes and took 2 shots a day. I asked which type he had. You did not know. You then told me that I needed to be "so careful" with this disease. You told me it was "just awful" and that your husband has had diabetes for 19 years. You then proceeded to tell me that diabetes has taken your husbands sight and both of his legs. And you then said "but I'm sure you're a good mother".
I'm terribly sorry that your husband has suffered the complications of diabetes. I know that your life can not be easy.
But lady, I KNOW the complications of this disease. I do not need to be reminded.
I don't ever forget. It is what keeps me awake at night. I can't forget. It niggles at the back of my mind every time I test a blood sugar and every time I see a number that is too high for my liking.
And it doesn't matter if I'm a "good mother" or not. No matter how good I am or how hard I try, I will NEVER be as good as the real thing. And I know that no matter how good I am or how hard I try, I can not control this disease. And sometimes, no matter what I do, diabetes wins.
I don't escape diabetes. Not EVER.
And as you so kindly pointed out, my daughter will live with it for the rest of her life.
Not only did I not need to be reminded of the dark side of this disease, my FOUR YEAR OLD DAUGHTER did NOT need to HEAR YOU TALK ABOUT IT.
She does NOT need to know what can happen. All too soon it will become her reality. Right now, she doesn't need to know. And when the time comes, it should be her father and I that talk to her about it. NOT YOU.
She does NOT need to know that diabetes can make you BLIND. Or that you could LOSE YOUR LEGS!!!
Why would you say that in front of a child?!?!
I just thank God that she was busy making the cart into a skateboard and did not seem to hear you. Although, I also know that she hears everything. And the questions might just be forming in her head...
I know you meant no harm. But please... the next time you see a child testing his or her blood sugar.... know that there is not a mother of child with diabetes alive that is not aware of how cruel this disease can be.
Know that we fight this disease 24/7/365 with every ounce of beings.
Know that our hearts are broken, pieced back together .... but still so fragile.
Treat us with care.
And keep your mouth shut.
(Musical Accompaniment: Shut Up by the Black Eyed Peas)