We know there are plenty of individuals out there making bad jokes, too. Diabetes is not the punchline of a joke. Drinking a beverage did not give anyone any type of diabetes. But these types of jokes are the worst reminder of how much work there is still to do in education. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are poorly understood.
I was listening to a recent podcast about the life of physician Michael Dillon when the hosts mentioned Dillon was diabetic. I felt like I had been slapped. Yet again, I was stung by a callous quip — with my illness as the punchline. Make no mistake about it: The distinction often made between type 1 and type 2 is intentional, too. The implication is that one can be joked about, and the other should not. One is a serious disease, while the other is a consequence of bad choices.
Diabetes has been the butt end of many jokes, but are these diabetes jokes appropriate? Are diabetes jokes ever appropriate and what do those with diabetes think about these jokes? There have been a couple of jokes made by well-known people over the past few years.
I've been eating a lot of candy and when I put any clothes on I say "these are tight too! When asked by my kid's friend what the difference between type 1 and 2 diabetes is, I said, "Type 2 diabetes is developed later in life. Type one is like Lady Gaga.