Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lunch Chatter

Everyday at lunch my whole office sits in the break room together at a large oval table and eats at a group. We have two phones in there and each day 2 of us are assigned to answer them during the lunch hour. It is actually a lot of fun because we chit chat about TV’s shows, happenings in our lives, or news stories. Whatever is on our minds. It works out to be a good team building routine and at first I thought I would hate it but it’s actually okay.

Today, as one of my co-workers was looking through an “O” magazine or “Ladies Home Journal” or one of those periodicals that when I look at it, I can never find a single story, all I see are advertisements! Anyhow, there was a story about kids with “Glass Bones” which is a condition where a child has very brittle, fragile bones. So much so that a mother who picked up her newborn broke 3 of her ribs! So sad. So awful. I cannot imagine how terrible that would be.

Then the stories started flying from both sides of the table.

“I heard about these kids that are missing layers of skin and are in extreme pain all the time!”

“The worst are the children that age before their time. That is awful!”

“I do not know what I would do if I had Siamese twins. I don’t know how my husband would handle it!”

Some started tearing up and others just sat in silence.

I just listened. As usual my brain started coming up with something to say but luckily my normal “verbal diarrhea” response was halted by a spoonful of soup. I thought to myself, what is sad to me is that something so out of the ordinary, something so rare is what is on people’s minds more then something that is an epidemic. How can that be?

It is almost as if the world is bored with Cancer, Diabetes, Hunger, & Poverty. The news would rather tell you about something that will scare the living daylights out of any would be parent even though they have a better chance of being on a plane overtaken by snakes then having a child with this rare disorder.

I started to think about all of my interactions with people regarding my “D” and I have to tell you, people are bored. It’s like, “Oh you have Diabetes? Big deal, everyone has that!”

But that is the Big FREAKING DEAL!

So many people have Diabetes that it is looked at like having “Chicken Pox.” At least that is the way I believe the world sees it.

That, my friends is sad.


Shannon said...

OMG I completely agree with you 10,000% on this.

One of the reasons why I think people aren't interested in diabetes is because it isn't morbid and dramatic enough for them.

Moms in a playgroup I go to had once asked me about Brendon and immediately their eyes glazed over when I SUCCINCTLY told them about what he goes through on a daily basis.

Then I thought about it and decided to do a little experiment.

At one of the playgroups, a new mom asked me how I knew Brendon had diabetes. I went through the symptoms he had and played up the part about him going into ketoacidosis which would have killed him in a few days or less if we hadn't gotten him to the ER.

EVERY mom in the room suddenly became interested and started asking me all sorts of questions and listened intently probably hoping I'd drop some more dramatically morbid tidbits.

As I suspected, they would rather hear about him almost dying.....that I figured was dramatic enough for them to peak their interest in a condition that seems so mundane to an outsider.

People love drama.

Vivian said...

Thanks for sharing this, isn't it sad. You are right. What I think is even worse is the fact that even the rare things that have them chattering they will never attempt to do anything about. The human race has grown so cold about anything that does not relate directly to their lives, and much of the times even the things that do. When did we lose all sense of community? This is where it becomes of great importance to raise our children to have compassion and awareness as well as be role models for them in doing things that will help and make a difference.

Kelsey said...

I think the rariety of it is what makes people care. These diseases are so rare that they don't have to worry about one of their kids having it. Diabetes or cancer happen often enough that people don't feel so immune. They can read articles, watch television shows and gawk at the odd diseases, knowing "we're normal." People can express sadness, but ultimately it doesn't touch their personal lives. That's sad.

Minnesota Nice said...

It's hard to know where "to put" the big D.
People that I come in contact with either think that it's as insignificant as a broken fingernail, or that I'm about to drop dead at any moment.
I guess I tend to encourage the first, because I don't like feeling like a freak and don't want to complete accept the seriousness of the condition.