Tonight I went to a solo performance show, featuring four performers who are showcasing their work after a solo performance class that I used to take. It’s great to go to these shows, to check out the new and amazing talent as well as to see old friends and “alums” from the class. It’s truly a fantastic community and one that I dearly love and appreciate.
The show tonight featured two old friends of mine and two “newbies” whom I knew nothing about. I was really anticipating the new stuff. The third performer opened her act by coming out on stage and whispering, “Shhh……it’s 3 in the morning in a small town in the Midwest. There’s a 13 year old girl in there sleeping, or…?” She morphs into a mother, bending over her daughter’s bed, yelling somewhat hysterically, “HONEY! ARE YOU HAVING A REACTION?!?”
I froze for a moment. Reaction. Reaction. OMG. This was going to be a piece about… could it be? Diabetes. Oh god.
Yes indeedy. It was a piece about diabetes. The actor stepped to the front of the stage to narrate the goings-on. “Yes. I have had diabetes since I was eight years old. I have TYPE ONE diabetes, not to be confused with TYPE TWO diabetes, of which there is an EPIDEMIC these days, because people are running around eating too many Big Macs.” And then she went on to tell her diabetes life story, getting lots of laughs along the way.
This is when I officially left my body, my back pressed as far back into the seat it would go, and I think I probably missed the next five minutes of the show. I felt attacked, embarrassed, mortified, defensive, shocked.
I’ve only been part of the “diabetes community” for, um… five days now? And in my surfing around on various forums and websites I’ve detected a distinct feeling of animosity and hostility from Diabetes type-1 people toward Diabetes type-2 people. The sentiment seems to be something like, people with type-1 Diabetes are innocent children who did nothing to deserve this terrible fate, while type-2 Diabetes people are obese, sendentary pigs who BROUGHT THIS ON THEMSELVES.
Look. I know that being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes. I was overweight for many years (and still am, to a lesser degree). But jeez.
There is so much ignorance and misinformation out there. So of course D1 people feel outraged and indignant when people who Don’t Know Any Better say things like, “you probably ate too many candy bars!” But then to take it out on other people who have diabetes?
Suddenly, I feel tired. And sad.