Let's Talk About Diabetes Jokes...
I spent years of my life so unbelievably bothered by diabetes jokes. They. Are. Everywhere. When I heard or read the jokes I would think to myself...
How on earth is any of this funny?
Will people think I did this to myself?
How can anyone joke about countless needles, expensive medications, terrible complications and more?
When you have a chronic illness, having places to get away and escape the disease for even just 10 seconds is almost impossible. My "escapes" like browsing social media, watching TV for 20 minutes, and even some books were becoming a source of stress for me. When your escape is filled with what you are trying to escape from, it's not very effective, to say the least.
As a 23 year old who has battled this disease for 16 years I've built up pretty thick skin. This does not mean it doesn't hurt when I am subjected to that crap. I read a post on Facebook yesterday that really brought it all to the surface. A little boy had left a theater very upset because of a Diabetes joke in a new children's movie. He left the theater feeling confused, sad, and different. It should never be ok for a young child to have to endure jokes about something he or she lives with every day!
People love to say that everyone gets offended so easily nowadays. Generally-I agree. It seems that lately everything is "offensive". However, making fun of a persons disease or disability is absolutely offensive, and theres no other way to put it. I'm all for finding the humor in dealing with the trials and tribulations of diabetes, but when it makes the impossible even more difficult, it doesn't really make sense.
If you have a chronic illness and hear jokes about your disease know that most of the time the jokes are made with complete ignorance and cluelessness about the actual condition. The person who makes the joke is not thinking about the blood, sweat, and tears that come with having a chronic illness; they are just trying to get a laugh. The second that joke is made it is your time to fill that person in. Educate them.
If you do not have a chronic illness and have ever been guilty of laughing at or actually making one of these sh***y jokes... please think next time.