Word to Your Mama

It’s Diabetes Blog Week Day 3.

Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful. (Emphasis mine.)


BRITTLE is one of her trigger words!

Look at the last part of the last sentence of today’s topic description. I am dying to know what hot-button/potential hot-button issue could pop up. Does everyone know, but it’s not polite to say? I wonder if I have been inadvertently disrespectful. That please remember to keep things respectful makes me think there is an unmentionable word in diabetes. It must be so dehumanizing or disgusting—like an N-word or a C-word—I have no idea what it could be. These are my nominees:

Brittle. When people use this, it makes them seem mean and old-timey. When a person my age or younger uses it, I feel like they must have been raised in one of those Kimmy Schmidt caves. Peanut brittle is OK.

Mama. I dislike being referred to by anyone not my own offspring as Mama. Even before diabetes, “Mama” as a nickname bugged me. It gives me A Handmaid’s Tale vibe: I noticed you seem to have a uterus. Maybe it would sound okay from an old Italian man about to give me free pizza. Okay, Mama? You like? And then D-mama. These D-mamas sounds like an army of stuffed dolls with yarn braids. D-MILF is less neutered but not an improvement. To be safe, until you know her preference, I recommend calling the mom of someone with diabetes by her given name, or, if you’re not sure, call her a D-Unit.

Dipping Urine. This expression is reserved for hospital use only. Sounds like something in a barrel on Little House on the Prairie. Rhymes with dripping urine.

Feet. Kids with diabetes don’t need to check their feet. Foot things are for later. Don’t even say “foot” or “toe” or “ingrown toenail.” It might be misconstrued. If you want to criticize the flip flops of a child with diabetes, be sure to heavily emphasize you mean this in a musculoskeletal way, not a diabetes way.

Pepsi. Makes everything around it seem shabby.

Find more to read on this topic here.



  1. Polina · May 18, 2016

    D-Unit! Hahahaha! Almost chocked on my breakfast cereal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cassie · May 18, 2016

    I literally laughed out loud at Pepsi!! It does just make everything around it shabby.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LRM · May 18, 2016

    I had a hard time too trying to figure out what could be hot, politically incorrect diabetic terms. You’re way of writing about it is GREAT. I love your mama comment. I told both my children if they ever called me mama I’d drop them off at the hospital they were born at.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kelley · May 18, 2016

    HAHA yes to the Pepsi comment. I also LOVED the flip flop comment especially since I was once a child with diabetes who LOVED flip flops. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam · May 18, 2016

    Even my own offspring doesn’t call me ‘mama.’ Thank you for validating my squeamishness about that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carmygee · May 18, 2016

    Surely we should adopt the British English version…D-Mummy….lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa · May 18, 2016

    Now I will attend the next Diabetes conference wondering who the D-MILFs are. Thanks for that. Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lucia Maya · May 18, 2016

    I love this. I’m so with you on “brittle” and “feet”! I left an endocrinologist in my 20s when he insisted I shouldn’t walk barefoot, even in my own home! Still makes me mad. And I still walk barefoot as much as possible. No adverse affects yet…
    Anyway, thanks for making me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reyna · May 18, 2016


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Laddie · May 18, 2016

    Chances are that you have been less than respectful more than once on your blog…. But it’s always lack of respect and love for diabetes and celiac and maybe the adults at your kid’s school who keep serving food treats. You’re very loving and kind to the rest of us in your clever, off-beat way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ally · May 18, 2016

    *Reminds self to refer to you as “cool lady who found the lone, luxurious squirrel tail in the best Facebook status of all time” instead of “D-Mama” while touring grocery store tomorrow*

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rick Phillips · May 18, 2016

    Someone once called me brittle. I had an immediate longing for peanut brittle. Hmm now I am thinking of it again

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. skchrisman · May 20, 2016

    What if the word “hot” is inserted into a Mama salutation? At least your husband doesn’t call you, “Mother” which was my life for a while before I stapled his lips shut.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Diabetes Blog Week: Tips and Tricks | T1D and Gluten-Free

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