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┬ánot 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!