After dinner tonight, Ethan, with much frustration, began to tell us about his science class today. They were discussing photosynthesis and how plants produce glucose in this process. The teacher began to discuss glucose and, according to Ethan, decided to equate how glucose works in our bodies. And, you guessed it, diabetes came up.
And it came up like it usually does. All diabetes lumped into one generic term. It all begins with being overweight. It all has to do with too much sugar.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
And Ethan was, again, upset. He said she was also asking questions about diabetes. Like: What hormone is needed in diabetes? What happens to the body when blood glucose is high? Low? What you do to lower or raise blood glucose? Ethan said he looked around and he was the ONLY one answering questions.
I told him last time this happened in Maryland that he is absolutely allowed to RESPECTFULLY correct a teacher when they insinuate or SAY that diabetes is caused by being overweight. Or when they generalize things into one narrow category. I encouraged him to raise his hand and say that not all diabetes is the same. That not all who have diabetes have it because of poor life habits. That HIS BROTHER has Type 1 diabetes and that his body will NEVER produce insulin again.
And then I went on my own tyraide in laymans terms about how the immune system went haywire and attacked the cells that produce insulin and attacked them until they were all gone. I told him that unlike hair and nails that these cells do not grow back. They are all gone. And I answered a few questions he had. Then Ryan asked a few and I answered them simply, very un-medically, but in a way they understand.
Then I offered to email the teacher and just tell her to ask Ethan about his Type 1 diabetic brother.
He sheepishly declined ( I think he didn’t want to burn a bridge with his teacher so early in the year).
He did say he approached her after class and told her that his brother was a Type 1 and he felt she acted almost as if she was busted (his words not mine).
By this time, I was completely and totally frustrated. And trying very hard to maintain as much calm and civility as possible. But my mouth was going ninety to nothin’ about diabetes and what it is and what it is not and spitting out every bit of medical information that I knew, even when they weren’t listening . . . at least I thought they weren’t listening.
Then totally out of the blue, interrupting my spewing, Ryan said, “Mom! How do you know so much about diabetes?”
And for a moment everyone froze and was silent.
Then Jason, being every so very Jason, said, “Because she has a son with Type 1 diabetes!”
And the room erupted with laughter.