Humour around Diabetes (and why it isn’t actually that funny)

So, I don’t know if I’m the only one to notice this, and maybe I’m reading into things too much…

But has anyone else noticed how often diabetes is joked about? Whether it’s in a TV programme, a meme or just an ignorant tweet / Facebook post, us diabetics are the butt of jokes far too often.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can laugh at myself, I don’t get offended easily and I’d like to think I’m generally quite a laid back person. I also have no problem poking fun at my condition, I honestly feel like if I couldn’t laugh, I’d cry. But sometimes, it does hurt when I log into any social media platform, to see another picture of cakes labelled “diabetes” or “diabeetus” as seems to be one running joke

For a start, and I touched on this in my previous post (Type One Diabetes and the stigma around it) all the obesity and unhealthy eating jokes are actually aimed at Type Two Diabetes. I’m not condoning this, as all diabetics know that each and every case is different, however some cases of Type Two are caused by obesity, and can even be reversed. I must stress though, I know this isn’t the case all the time. But trust me, if I could reverse this by eating more healthily, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d be the happiest, healthiest little thing there was.

Unfortunately, Type One does not work this way. Yes, to a degree, healthy eating makes a difference, of course it does! After all, who doesn’t benefit from eating better? But there is only so much healthy eating I can do. It doesn’t matter if I’m eating a carrot stick or a chocolate bar, at the end of the day, my pancreas still doesn’t work.

(I’m already planning a post around Type One Diabetes and eating after some comments made to me the other day, and if you’re reading this, I know you know who you are, ha!)

Back to my original point though. You don’t see jokes about cancer, depression etc, and rightly so! The problem we face, in my opinion, is that Diabetes is a joke condition to a lot of society. It’s why people feel they can make the comments and jokes they do, why the media never feel the need to specify that the majority of the time, the column inches are about Type Two. It’s why people like me, have for years felt ashamed of their condition. There is simply not enough awareness.

People who have read my first post (Yes I keep plugging it, but I am really quite proud!) have said it really opened their eyes and they had never realised or even considered what we go through every day. That’s what this is all about for me. I’ve spent years embarrassed about being a diabetic, not talking about it, not accepting it. I don’t care if 10 people read my blog or 100, because if for just five minutes (maybe ten, I tend to waffle on) then 1 person sees life from my point of view, then I’ve done what I set out to do. Of course it would be great if word spread, whether it’s through my blog or not. (But it would be quite cool if it was through my blog, so feel free to share it…)

I hope that anyone reading this, and maybe in the past you were someone who would make comments or jokes about diabetes, I hope that this has just made you think a little bit about what you’re saying. Type One Diabetes is a chronic, serious and sometimes scary condition. It isn’t pictures of cake or desserts that yes, quite honestly would take a whole load of insulin for me to even consider eating (But knowing me, I probably would give it a go. In fact there is no probably, I’d give it a go). Some diabetic jokes honestly make me laugh out loud, I just wish people would learn the difference between humour and ignorance.

Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Humour around Diabetes (and why it isn’t actually that funny)

  1. This reminds me of one of my favourite ‘Scrubs’ quotes (Sorry, but you know how much I love that programme!)
    Elliot (to a cafeteria worker): Do you have chocolate cake today?
    Cafeteria Worker: Nope.
    Elliot: Oh. Isn’t that just the pickle on the giant crap sandwich that is my day!
    Turk: Elliot, relax; I never get chocolate cake.
    Elliot: Oh, right, ’cause you’re diabetic. Boo-hoo! You know what, Turk, if you want sympathy, get a disease people can see!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel exactly the same way. Couldn’t have said it much better, really.
    I used to hear lots of jokes in school. The ignorance is very widespread. They have no idea that the person sitting right in front of them has diabetes. They don’t care either.
    I don’t mind it at work, with family, with friends, etc. because they understand and purposefully get the facts wrong in an attempt to bug me. Just the other day my boss threw me a piece of candy and yelled, “Here. Have some diabeetus.” We’re friends and that’s the way that we joke. I know he knows the facts and he often asks me questions. We’re just mean to each other in the way that siblings might be. I like the relationship that we have.

    It is frustrating when your condition is joked about because people really do believe that there is something to joke about.
    We have to be able to laugh, but it’s easier when everyone is on the same page.

    Thanks for this post.


    • I totally agree! It’s a running joke if I’m being especially grumpy, family and friends will go “Is your blood sugar low?” laughingly or when I’m eating something in work and the guy I work with will say “Should a diabetic be eating that?!” and we can laugh about it. But the “jokes” seen all over the internet is just ignorance. I’m only one little person but I’d love to try and raise just a little bit of awareness, thank you so much for your comment and please feel free to share this round and try bring a bit more attention to it! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on apumplife and commented:
    I’ve thought this for quite a while. I probably couldn’t have put this into better words if I tried. I love to laugh about my diabetes, as you all know, but ignorant people can hit a nerve every once in a while. Diabetes IS something to be joked about, if it’s done in the right way with people who care about you. However, far too often there are people who know nothing about it that take it upon themselves to make ignorant jokes. This is when it SHOULDN’T be joked about. All we can do is hope for more awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As the parent of a recently diagnosed type 1 11 year old one of the most annoying things I find is when you explain to people about his condition. You can see they’re thinking “well you should’ve not let him eat cakes etc”. They don’t know difference between type 1 and 2. Kids are great though and when they see him inject they’re very intrigued and want to know more. Always find eating in restaurants interesting as you get some right looks from other tables but I refuse to let him not lead a normal childhood as possible.

    Once asked Wetherspoons in West Kirby to weigh 100g of chips out for him but they said “I’m sorry we already do 21 food checks” I said “well one more won’t be a problem then”. Fair play to manager who intervened and was more than happy seen as they are one of the only places that do full diabetic info on their menu.


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