You know that moment when you encounter ignorance about diabetes....and you are faced with the decision to speak up and try to set the record straight....or keep silent and walk away? It's a hard decision to make. Sometimes I feel like I am in Vegas and my odds are 50/50 on whether or not I will open someone's eyes to the truth. Sometimes I shove all of my chips on red....and it turns up black. I walk away feeling deflated and defeated. I walk away after attempting to share my knowledge about this disease...and seeing that I wasn't able to get through the glazed over look in their eyes...the blissful fog of ignorance. I walk away feeling like I failed and there is still another person wandering around out there in the world clouding the minds of others.
Emma had gymnastics class today and while I sat in my usual spot on the hallway floor, surrounded by a crowd of loud parents and kids....my ears happened to perk up when I heard the words "blood sugar." It was bizarre to me, all of that noise blaring around me...and my D-Mom ears focused in on those words. I found myself eavesdropping on a conversation between 3 of the Mom's. I won't go into detail, but there was a whole lot of ignorance going on. I sat there feeling my blood begin to boil. I was faced with the decision to join the conversation and educate these women....or take a deep breath and be silent...ignore them. More often than not, I find myself choosing to educate...because I picture my daughter's face in my mind and I have this overwhelming need to stop the ignorance. I think it's because I don't want her to spend the rest of her life having to hear it herself...it's exhausting sometimes...and sad....and I just don't want her to have to deal with it.
So, I spoke up....and I was faced with more ignorance...and women that looked at me like I had two heads and like I was just spewing forth a bunch of garbage. I felt like shouting, "I've been doing this for almost 5 years now! Yes, I don't know everything about diabetes...but I guarantee you that I know a bit more than you! I swear on my life that your doctor is full of crap when he tells you that there is no way your daughter could have diabetes because she is into sports!" (yes, that was an actual statement made by the one mother...and she believed her doctor.) I felt like yelling that and more....but I didn't....instead I sat down...took a deep breath...and closed my mouth...deflated and defeated.
On the car ride home, I talked with Emma about how special I think it is that the kids in her class know as much as they know about diabetes. I told her that I am proud of her for speaking about it. I explained to her that there are a lot of grown ups out there in the world that are ignorant about diabetes...and they always will be. She asked me why it seems like kids are more open to learning things that some grown ups. I told her that many grown ups are so set in their ways or thinking....that to even consider they could be wrong, is just impossible for them.
She told me that she is happy she's a kid....and she is happy that other kids want to know more about her diabetes...because one day they will be grown ups too...and they will stop the ignorance.
Hearing her say those words and seeing her kind eyes in the rearview mirrow as I drove....it made me feel like I won this time. I place my bets on her. I place my bets on her generation. They will change the world.