Originally published 0n August 10th, 2015 at SharondaWoodfin.net
Republished at Sharonda.net on March 6th, 2017.
I was at a party Saturday night. I was drinking rum and diet root beer. I was buzzed, but not falling-down drunk. I was having an OK time, given that — alcohol or no — I’m still a social phobe, and dealing with a bunch of people at once is just not my favorite way to interact.
Then someone saw fit to point out to me, either despite or due to knowing my status as a diabetic, that artificial sweeteners are “worse than” sugar.
I try not to get annoyed in situations like this. I know that people who say this sort of thing generally do so because they think they’re being helpful.
Valiant effort aside, it’s difficult for me not to froth at the mouth a bit when confronted with misinformation as it relates to diabetes, precisely because misinformation kills diabetics. It may do it all at once via heart attack, or it may do it one leg or kidney at a time with an eyeball thrown in for good measure, but the point still stands: Misinformation kills diabetics.
In case you didn’t catch it the first three times: Misinformation kills diabetics.
So, the next time you decide to tell your diabetic friends, neighbors, and family members how whatever food you want them to indulge in won’t hurt them, how they’d be better off ingesting sugar than aspartame or saccharin, or how they should be on a low-fat diet, ask yourself:
Are you really sure you know what you’re talking about?
Sure enough that you’d be willing to transport that person to and from physical therapy post-amputation, or take them to dialysis on a regular basis, or help with all the stuff someone might need help with if they suddenly can’t see so well, anymore?
Sure enough that you’d be willing to take responsibility if it turns out that you were wrong?
Then you aren’t sure enough to share, either.