I have an alter ego, if you will, and his name is Uncle Vinnie. To get an image, think of the great Paul Sorvino in a dark suit, doing the Zaxby's commercials (or in Good Fellas, whichever comes to mind). Uncle Vinnie appears whenever some uneducated person makes a wisecrack or pushes their way in to my diabetes life.
For example, if I'm at a restaurant with my family and I want a glass of wine. The waiter/waitress notices me take my blood sugar. They realize that, yes, I'm a diabetic. But then they attempt to assert their "knowledge" on me by questioning my drink choice:
Waitperson: "Um, since you are a diabetic, um, isn't it bad to be drinking alcohol? I mean my great aunt Bertha died from diabetes 20 years ago. She had every appendage lopped off before she died."
Me as Uncle Vinnie: "I'm really sorry about your great aunt. However, I try to take care of myself and make sure my blood sugar numbers are in good shape. Now, if you don't mind, please bring us our chardonnay." I would snap my fingers, but I try to have some decency. :)
Our drinks usually appear within 2 minutes of said conversation.
But, there are some times Uncle Vinnie has to get rough with some folks. Another example, insurance companies who "think" they know what's best for you, but don't:
Insurance person: "Mr. Mansheim, you are only approved for 150 test strips a month."
Me: "I understand, BUT I test between 8-10 times a day. The math is approximately 240 strips. Could you please..."
Insurance person: "Well, you will need to consult your doctor before..."
Me as Uncle Vinnie: "Excuse me, NO, please contact the doctor and get the job done. Understand?"
Pharmacy calls me 10 minutes later with my test strips all ready with a nice ribbon around the package. Side note: Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Georgia did the opposite. They did all the work, including a call to my pharmacy, and followed up with a phone call to me. Now THAT was service.
However, yesterday's blog post from Kerri Sparling at SixUntilMe, really had me reaching for my black suit. Please read the post and the forum at TuDiabetes to get a better understanding. Essentially, a fellow diabetic was asked to remove her pump while swimming for fear of contaminating the neighborhood pool. The guilty party? Her home owner's association forced her to do it.
Uncle Vinnie ain't happy.
Uncle Vinnie is supposed to be in Jacksonville sometime mid-October. This woman, "Shipaddict", lives only 3 hours away from Jacksonville. Guess what Shipaddict? If this issue isn't resolved by the time I come to Jacksonville, I will make a visit and deal with the matter "personally". No one threatens a diabetic and gets away with it. Nobody.
Aside from that, Uncle Vinnie rarely has to show "his self". I try to handle situations with respect and patience. Even though it is 2009, there are still many people who simply don't understand this disease.
Then again, there are days I don't either...