Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Admissions and Ice Cream

I've asked some friends in the Diabetes Online Community to help keep the corner booth discussion going from time to time. So, here's your first co-host: the wonderfully-fun and creative Kim from Texting My Pancreas, who says she's honored to be guest-posting and promises "not to throw any wild parties" and will "try to remember to water the plants" in my absence. While I don't discourage any great #dprom-like parties and am happy to see my personal plant-killing practice will be on hold for a bit, I'm honored to have Kim on board! Please welcome her over here with a comment, too!
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Hi, Kim! (*Me waving)
The small piece of laminated paper could have easily gotten lost in the sea of celebrity headlines and polypropylene-wrapped candy bars, but my eyes still found it.

Beep! Beep!

It wasn’t professionally designed, but for me, its message couldn’t have been more attention-grabbing. “Our store manager is doing the JDRF Ride to Cure - will you round up your purchase to the next dollar to help sponsor her?” My eyes lit up.

Beep!

The cashier had come to the end of our long line of groceries, and spoke aloud the total for me. I responded “Can you round it up for the Ride to Cure?” She smiled, nodded, pressed a few buttons, and I swiped my card.

For the next ten or so seconds, I debated. I weighed it back and forth in my mind. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Does it even make any difference if I do?

It’s a decision I make every time something like this comes up: When an individual or business is fundraising for diabetes, and I agree to participate, do I tell them they’re fundraising for... well... me?

On one hand, I feel a little weird about mentioning it - as if I’m putting that cashier in some sort of weird position, where they have to come up with a response. “Oh... um, I’m sorry?” “Wow, that really sucks.” “Then why are you buying three kinds of ice cream?”

But yet, if I say nothing, it bothers me. I like to think that putting a face to the disease for that person might help positively reinforce the fundraising efforts they’re doing. When I remain quiet, I’m not doing everything I can to advocate. Perhaps bringing up the fact that I have diabetes will make the cause seem more personal. Or, it might just creep them out.

As we drove home, I shared with my husband what had been going through my mind when I agreed to donate. “I wanted to tell her ‘Thanks’, but I didn’t know if I should.”

“You could have - then she could have known how cool you are.”

“You’re right. Hi, I get to wear a machine all the tiiiime! And I have a drawer full of neeeeedles! I’m really good at fooooood maaaath! My fingertips have freeeeckles!”

(It was past 11:00 at night. I was exhausted and loopy.)

My point is: I think either answer can be okay. Sometimes you feel like waving high your diabetes flag, and sometimes you just want to buy your ice cream and go to sleep.

7 comments:

Kim said...

Thanks again for having me, Mike! :)

Meri said...

Your nighttime loopy voice sounds earily familiar to my voice that tries to talk me out of set changes...you can waaaaaait. You won't run out of innnnnnsulin!

I think you should tell them. You are amazing, and it puts a face to what they are fundraising for. I would think it would make it all more real and worthwhile for them.

Meri said...

eerily...not earily. I'm seriously the worst speller ever.

Kaitake said...

It's hard to remove the cloak of invisibility that diabetes give us. We spend so much of our time trying to "appear normal" that it kind of feels strange to approach someone and tell them we're diabetic.

But I totally see your point about advocating for diabetes, so next time I get the chance I will tear the cloak off. :)

meanderings said...

Yup, go for it and tell. They may be clueless so you've lost nothing. But, it may give them the impetus to be even more enthusiastic when asking other customers for donations!

Wendy said...

I'll have one scoop of each please :)

Great post! I love to tell...but now that my daughter is a little older, I try REALLY hard to keep quiet so she can take the lead if she wants. But...sometimes....I can't help myself :)

human growth hormone said...

hello! Kim
right mentioned :) enjoyed while reading.