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.

Bigfoot say other thing

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