Well…….It Could Be Worse……Your Child Could Have…….

3 stoogesSeriously it is this phrase more than anything that gets under my skin.  It is usually said, if I may add, by someone who has nothing to deal with on a day-to-day basis as far as any health issue in their children.

Those of us who live with this every day also know that ANY disease, condition, and/or situation that impacts a child’s life, need-not-be compared to anything else.  But I really just want to ‘doink’ someone in the eyeballs when they say it.

Ever have someone say something like that to you?  You know the phrase;  “You should just be glad you are not my cousin Susie, she has it so much worse; her child yada yada yada—-aren’t you lucky your child only has diabetes and is not like Susie’s child?”


I also do not think being told about your dog’s diabetes is going to comfort me either.  That ever happen; “I know exactly what you are going through with your child and diabetes, our little Bo-Bo has it too.”

Seriously, Bo-bo?

So what is the dumbest thing anyone has said to you?  Although I have taught myself to laugh-it-off….sometimes that doesn’t work and I just want to…….to………….well…..

DOINK them.

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19 replies on “Well…….It Could Be Worse……Your Child Could Have…….”

This makes me crazy. My standard response to people who tell me that it could be worse is this:

Telling me I shouldn’t be sad because someone has it worse is no different than telling me I shouldn’t be happy because someone has it better.

People shut up pretty quickly. I haven’t had anyone compare my child to a pet yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I get a lot of people who tell me about their type 2 relatives, and how they are managing it fine. I gave up trying to educate. Most people just can’t understand that it’s a different disease.

Tamara, I am going to use your response! Thank you. When my daughter was first losing weight and complaining of severe abdominal pain I was terrified she had cancer. We found out two days later that she was T1D at the age of 12. Yes, I am relieved it is not cancer, but that doesn’t make diabetes “better” or easier. It is not that I don’t have compassion for others, but this has a direct impact on my daughter’s life, happiness and health and I don’t want people to minimize that fact.

Tom, how odd. They told my mom the same thing about me. Cancer or diabetes ( surprise i have T1D). That was 38 years ago though. Too bad I have the ” bad kind” of diabetes . (Lol)

Someone once said to me “that’s something he’ll just grow out of, right?”
or this …
“You should check into Will (my son) seeing a hypnotist, I read an article that hypnosis can help regulate blood sugar levels and people with diabetes are cured”

Oy vey :/

About a month after diagnosis we had to attend an out of town 50th wedding anniversary party. I had prepared myself for some comments because most of the attendees were elderly and know a lot of people with type 2 diabetes. A couple of women made remarks about me giving her an orange and I thought one of them was going to keel over when they witnessed the horror of my daughter eating..(gasp!)…a cupcake! I took it upon myself to explain to her how things work with type 1, the way her insulin regiment was and the differences in it and type 2. Just when the night was ending and I was more than ready to be back at my home more than 3 hours away, a man whom I did not know at all, approached my husband and engaged him in a conversation about diabetes. (He’d heard our daughter was diagnosed from my dd’s great grandmother. No biggie) Within 30 seconds, in front of my small child this man proceeds to tell my husband how he use to have a cat that had diabetes and he’d have to prick the cats ear to test it’s blood sugar. The cat took Lantus once a day but……wait for it……….He decided to have the cat put to sleep since it was a pain for him to deal with. I wanted to throat punch this man in the worst way. I even thought about conking him between the eyes with my high heel. You can imagine my horror when my child asked me later that night if we were going to put her to sleep if we didn’t want to deal with her diabetes anymore. Ugh. My child has learned how ignorant and stupid some people can be at a very young age.

Yup—–that is the doozey of the day. I think I would have been arrested that day for doing something I probably shouldn’t have done… rrestraint is commendable.

Yes, phrases like this drive me batty. While, it’s not that I don’t care about other people and their struggles. And I realize there are other people out there that have it worse. But you know, comments like those just come off as insensitive! I’ve learned over the years that we keep getting these comments because people are under-educated, or completely uneducated, of the day-to-day struggles our kiddos endure. Most times, they’ve never had to watch a child with T1D, don’t know what can happen with a low blood sugar or when ketones appear. Don’t understand why its such a big deal, why parent’s stay up or wake up several times a night, checking their child’s blood sugar. Under-educated, or worse, completely uneducated.

This doesn’t mean that I think T1D is the a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e worst condition my child could have. ANY health condition, whether T1D, cancer, or any other condition that a child will have to battle, whether only for a few years or for the rest of their life, is bad. NO CHILD should have to struggle with health problems – of any kind. People just need to be a little more considerate of others, put themselves in our shoes when they think these phrases, and consider how they might feel if someone said this if they were living our lifestyle. Unfortunately, that may just be a wet dream – at least until more people are properly educated. Baby steps!

My hubby says this all of the time. I thought I was being super negative because it really ticks me off when he says it. I know he is trying to keep things in perspective and I get it. That being said this is no piece of cake and I am entitled to my feelings that this disease… sucks.

It’s all about perspective and context, no matter what we’re talking about. Yes, it could be worse – and sometimes it is. Knowing your place in the bigger puzzle is always smart. Comparing just doesn’t get anyone anywhere, so it’s better to not fuel that emotional fire.

you are so correct…after 27 years of my son with type1 i have pretty much heard it all…how many times have i wanted to smack someone ??? actually, only a handful…not to say that they dont irritate the hell out of me!!! love it when this serious illness, that was no fault of their own is compared to someone that cannot control their son who is out of son didnt wake up because of a severe low combined with paralyisis & have to hear that her son wouldnt get out of bed & go to school either…urghhhhh!!!! we just have to stick together, do the absolute best we can for our children & ignore the meaningless bull!!!! keeping our kids healthy & alive is a full time job that God bestowed upon us…I am grateful that each & every day my son is alive..I thank God everyday!!! God Bless all of you for the job you do…..

Diabetes is tough. And, I agree that comparisons are a sad attempt at empathy. But, I do often use comparisons to get me out of a pit about diabetes. Sometimes I feel very down about my son having diabetes and then I remember my sister who takes care of her brain injured child who is 3 and at a neurological level of a 3 month old with a trach and g tube. I told remember this to minimize our own challenges but to inspire me that she is parenting with hard issues and I can too.

Someone who had a type 1 child once td me I was lucky my son was diagnosed so young(15 months) because he won’t know any different. He is now 11 and definitely knows he has it!

Shortly after my son was diagnosed I went back into work one day and my boss said, “It’ll go away, right?”

The comment it could be worse it my hardest one to hear, I have to laugh when someone tells me, “we’ll at least it is manageable.” Manageable yes manageable- if only they understood what it means to “manageable.” The countless packing of coolers to go to a picnic, fingers pricks, thinking hours ahead, packing to go to run errands, sick days, and of course do it all right and then getting a not in range number- manageable that’s right!

“I could NEVER do what you do, blood testing and those shots, I’d kill myself before I’d deal with ALL that!” (he was serious)
A former friend’s not so supportive comment on visiting me after I was diagnosis
Type 1 at age 50, as I gave myself an injection with an insulin pen.
Thank goodness for those pens!

Same time I had a beautiful Rag-doll cat that became diabetic, I heard from non-pet friends, “You’re going to put that cat down, surely you’re not going to give IT daily shots.” Tiffany did great 5 years added to full kitty life of 14, that sweet cat helped me deal with the new life style and motivated me to stay with it, in caring for her I took my care more seriously. And never would I compare pet care to kid’s care!

When my son was diagnosed 8 years ago at age 12, and i told his teacher her first response was “but he’s not fat”. Eight years later, we are still explaining type 1 diabetes to folks who don’t get it. Very frustrating.

Well said! It really makes me mad because do they think we are that selfish or self pitying that we don’t KNOW it could be worse? Of course we know that…but it doesn’t it make it any easier. My response is usually “yeah, but it could be better too.” And the comparison to cancer is a pet peeve of mine. We have had many people say that to us (and right to my T1 son), that “at least he doesn’t have cancer.” I think that is such a cruel and hurtful thing to say because when he was dx’d, his Grandma was dx’d with breast cancer. And now…here we sit over a year later and his Grandma is fine….the cancer is gone. She beat it. And here he sits…STILL with Diabetes. So how do you think he feels about that comment? He’s just a child….he gets a lost look in his eyes and I can tell exactly what he is thinking…that maybe he isn’t so lucky it wasn’t cancer. I know there are many forms of cancer and I am not taking away from that at all, but I am just saying what a terrible comment and comparison that is to make (ESPECIALLY to a child).

The principal of the school (where my kids no longer attend) told my husband, after her diabetes diagnosis and subsequent 2 cardiac procedures (the day she was diagnosed with diabetes we were also told she had a problem with her heart) that “you know, it’s not like she has cancer”.

The school secretary also told us that she knew exactly what we were going through because her cat has diabetes.

Fun times!

This aggravates me to no end and as you say it is never someone with a serious condition that says it, that might change in the future but so far it is always “healthy” people that say it to me.

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