Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Here’s a little something on the perks of diabetes. “The perks of diabetes,” you ask? Yes, the perks of diabetes. I call it “playing the D card.”

Playing the D card can be done wherever and whenever you like, but it should be used wisely until you’re good at it. It first occurred to me how little people know about diabetes when some of my friends thought the way to cure low blood sugar was to give a shot of insulin. As you know, this would, in fact, make the situation much worse. A shot of glucagon is used in a major emergency, but a small glass of OJ or apple juice usually does the trick for me.

I think the whole needle business scares people because we are taught from childhood that shots hurt and are bad. I call “BS” on this one. The needles we use today are so sharp and small that they hurt less than a pin prick. But people who don’t have diabetes don’t know that. The general public and my non-doctor, non-biology-nerd friends know very little about diabetes except that treatment involves needles and that Wilford Brimley is overly concerned about how often you check your blood sugar. He forcefully tells the American public this daily during The Price is Right. (So I’ve been unemployed before and watched The Price is Right five days in a row—what?)

The funniest thing was, once when I was checking my blood sugar, Wilford’s Liberty Mutual commercial came on. I laughed alone for five minutes straight and was—and still am—convinced that he is a saint. During that unemployed week, I was waiting for a call from a job and was forced to commit the ultimate sin: answering my cell phone when an unidentified call came up. It could have been a new job, so it had to be done. I just picked it up, and what do you know—it was a survey call. Here’s how it played out.

Me: Hello?

Caller: May I speak to Mr. Stuckey?

Me: This is Andy.

Caller: Sir, are you interested in answering a quick 20 question survey?

Me: I’m sorry, but I have diabetes. Can—

Caller: Oh I’m sorry—

Click. Dial tone.

Note that she was the one who hung up. I laughed, realizing I had a new superpower. I’d just played the D card for the first, but certainly not the last, time. The caller obviously had no idea what diabetes is. It’s not like I can’t talk, and at the time my blood sugar was completely normal. Maybe she thought I could give her diabetes through the phone.

Well, anyway, I’ve used this technique ever since to deal with all types of annoying phone calls, as well as pretty much anytime I’ve been in a hurry, was accosted by a stranger, or had someone put me down. The next time you’re asked on the street if you have a minute for Greenpeace or would like to apply for a credit card, just say, “Sir, I’m sorry, but I have diabetes” and see what happens. I’ll be shocked if they don’t leave you alone.

Like I stated at the beginning, start off slow and get comfortable with your delivery. Soon, you will be able to trump any situation with one simple phrase. “I’m sorry, but I have diabetes. That’s not gonna happen.”

Spread the word.

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Comments
  1. Thank for sharing the D word. I will have to try that the next time I get a Telemarketing call.

    Good Idea!

    David

    Posted by dbuitt |
  2. that is so stupid!! I am often treated like some kind of stupid brain-dead idiot if I am in public and my blood sugar gets low. Once when it got low at a new doctor’s appointment, she accused me of being on drugs, and she knew I was a type 1 diabetic from the start!

    Posted by gemamm |
  3. I have used the D card to order senior meals as they have smaller portions! It works great.

    Posted by Grandma Name |
  4. I tend to over-commit myself to volunteer work because I can’t think of a reason to say no at the time. The ‘D’ word will help me tremendously!

    Posted by Linda |
  5. THE D WORD SOUNDS LIKE IT REALLY WORKS, I WILL TRY IT! I AM A DIABETIC, OF ONLY 2 MONTHS!! I WAS A NEEDLE PHOBIC SINCE I WAS IN SECOND GRADE, WE HAD TO STAND IN LINE AND GET POLIO SHOTS,I HAD MY FIRST CONVULSION,AFTER THAT YEARS OF NOT GETTING BLOOD TESTS, NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME, DR’S GUESSING FOR TREATMENT. THEN I WENT TO DR. BOB, A PA NO LESS!! I TOOK A URINE TEST AND IT WAS EXTREMELY HIGH, SO HE WANTED TO DO A BLOOD TEST, NO WAY, SO WHAT HE DID WAS GIVE ME A GLUCOSE METER TO TAKE HOME!! I STARTED TESTING MY SELF, IT TOOK ABOUT TWO WEEKS AND I GOT WHERE I WAS GETTING IT RIGHT! I WENT TOOK DIABETIC EDUCATION AND I AM DOING VERY WELL ON 2 PILL A DAY! I WAS GLAD TO GET DIABETIS (SOUNDS CRAZY, I KNOW), BUT I FINALLY HAD AN ANSWER FOR MY PROBLEM, I CAN LIVE WITH THIS!!

    Posted by DONNA C |
  6. I refuse to use my diabetes as an excuse to get me out of things that I don’t want to do or as a way to get special attention. I think it’s cheap and sounds like you are asking someone to pity you. That’s pretty lame.

    Posted by CoCo |
  7. The D card works wonders at the airport when they ask you to take off your shoes and walk through security! Allow some extra time thou, cause there will be a conference about it before they run a little machine over your shoes. Helps if you can manage to be in a wheelchair while you are doing this.

    Posted by bearybe |
  8. I love the “D Card.” I play it often at potlucks to turn down desserts that someone spent hours making. It hurts their feelings if you’re just “on a diet” but saying, “I’m sorry, I have diabetes,” really works.

    Posted by Grammybirdy |
  9. I use the D-card when there is a wait at a resturant. It usually gets me to a table quicker.

    Posted by Jaclyn |
  10. In response to Coco–Not looking for pity, just showing how little folks know about diabetes–and an easy way out of a b.s. situation, i.e. telemarketers, etc.

    Posted by Stuckey |
  11. I completely agree that the general public doesn’t know much about diabetes and sometimes it is appropriate to use the “D” card, like when turning down a dessert. And I’ll even concede that it is not hurting anyone to use it to get off of the phone with a telemarketer. What really bothers me is when people use it to do things like cut their waiting time at a restaurant. If you have diabetes you know to bring a snack or glucose tabs in case a meal gets delayed. It is just unfair to falsely claim to be having a hypoglycemic reaction to gain priority over others in a restaurant.

    Posted by Coco |
  12. Another variation of the D card is “I can’t talk to you now, I’ve got diabetes and I’m starting a low blood sugar attack! I gotta go EAT!!” This works especially well when you reallyare hypoglycemic.

    Posted by Tami girl rocks |

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Living With Diabetes
The Outside Like the Inside (08/27/14)
Upcoming "Taking Charge of Your Diabetes" Health Fairs (08/19/14)
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Toughen Up, Kids (08/07/14)

 

 

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