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Label Me Not
I've been reading "Psyching Out Diabetes" off and on. Each chapter is devoted to a different emotion that commonly affects diabetes management. So far, I haven't had an epiphany. But it is nice to hear what some diabetics struggle with in their diabetes growth and how those outside are affected.
One of the topics in the "Anger" chapter is about terminology and labels. What is right: diabetic or person with diabetes? The great debate!
Personally, I like diabetic. It's simple. It's easy. It provides a convenient way for me to define that portion of my life. I don't feel it limits me or labels me. It doesn't make me feel judged or disabled. It's like being called brunette, blue-eyed, tall, or pale. Simply an adjective.
I've heard that people get offended by this term, but I've never understood why. And I've never understood why their emotions should affect my speech. If I want to refer to myself as a diabetic or my fellow people with diabetes as diabetics, why shouldn't I?
The book actually takes the same stance that I have. It isn't a matter of terminology. It's a matter of how you approach the words psychologically. If you feel that diabetes can label and define you, you'll be offended. But if you move past that, you won't care what people call you.
I'm curious to know who is actually affected by these words. What do you prefer: diabetic or person with diabetes?
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)