The many ways people misunderstand Diabetes

We took Liam to IHOP today and he wanted the “Jr. Cupcake Pancake Combo”. Since he had never had this before, I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if IHOP had that binder of Nutritional information that they are supposed to keep. I ask the lady who was serving us if I could see that so that I could figure out how many carbs are in this meal. Yes, I could have just Googled it (in fact it was even in SugarMate)…but I figured why not ask anyway to see what she brings me.

So, she initially says, “Oh, I’ve never seen anything like that here. Let me ask my Manager.” Then she brings out a binder, but no “kids meals” are in it, so she has to go back to the back and then brings out another binder. She’s super concerned and we just indicate we’d like to know the total carbs in that meal so if they have the binder so that we could see it, it would be great. (Hint: I had already googled and found that it was 56 carbs.)

So, then this super sweet lady decides she’s going to “deconstruct” his meal for him…as she brings his meal out she says, and I quote “Because of your son’s allergies, I went ahead and put the whipped cream and sugar sparkles on the side.” So, seeing a teaching moment, I explained to her what diabetes was and he’s not “allergic” to anything (well, except receiving deconstructed meals.)

So, I just spooned everything back onto the top of his pancake and smiled and thanked her. She finally found the binder and the carbs and we compared notes and she was happy that I taught her a bit about this “strange and mysterious disease” that impacts over 100 million Americans.

It’s just so bizarre how foreign this disease to people who don’t live it and know it…I WAS ONE OF THESE PEOPLE prior to Liam’s diagnosis.


I am always amazed when we end up teaching the basics (like what you referenced above) to people with diabetes. One of my wife’s close friends has Type 2, has a daughter with Type 2 since the age of 13, when we were visiting it was like we were talking to people who didn’t understand anything past 1. sugar = bad, 2. test your blood sugar 1 x per day (and they weren’t even really doing that, more like 1 x per week). It never ceases to amaze me.


I will forever have “the really bad kind” at specific holiday family functions…


Not too surprised. If you asked me about any other chronic disease, I probably say some pretty dumb stuff…


It does go to show how we all live in our own bubbles sometimes until life smacks us in the face.


Very true.

The number of times I’ve had to make a teaching moment out of “diet soda is bad for you”… I certainly couldn’t count it on my hands :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ve always held that NO soda is really “good” for you. :stuck_out_tongue: But, in moderation, everything is good I reckon. I drink Dr. Pepper occasionally.

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She shows a gross misunderstanding of food allergies in addition to diabetes. Which is why I so rarely eat out! Sigh. Glad you took advantage of the teachable moment!


I think of you Jen when I’m out sometimes and I explain that I don’t eat gluten, but that I am neither allergic or Celiac. I feel like I could lie, but I don’t see the point. An allergy should be reserved for the actually allergic. BUT that being said I’ve had two judgy lectures about what contains gluten from two different servers in the last week. Which I find irritating as hell when they’re a) not who I was speaking with in the first place and b) lording it over me just to be jerks. I wondered if they harass vegetarians? Or diabetics? Or someone who prefers no sauce or whatever?

Generally people don’t understand either diabetes OR any food related issues OR allergies. And the strange thing to me is: why do they even care? Like, if it’s an allergy or diabetes or whatever - how come everyone has a personal beef about it either way?!? Like, if you say you want pancakes with the carb guidelines, why would allergy be assumed? If you say you have an allergy, why wouldn’t people believe you? The world confuses me.


yes this is what I find really scary. I had a friend who died from a food allergy after eating something in a restaurant that ostensibly didn’t contain peanuts. I think about her and that awful situation all the time. Servers are doing their best (usually) but they really don’t know what goes into the food or understand the relevance of people’s questions.


I stopped trying to explain D long ago. One time I heard, “He’s a diabetic, he can’t have any calories!”

Yes, I am on a water and ice diet. No calories for me.
I am the Gandhi imageof 4th grade.

But good for Liam getting to eat something like that!

Those are great teaching moments for him. As long as you dose for it, you can eat it.


I am paying you to serve me, please serve, if you want to judge me, please have the consideration to do it behind my back.