Lately, I have noticed more and more people refer to my son’s diabetes rather than to him as a person. He has had teachers call him “my diabetic kid”. Nurses have referred to him as “the diabetic one”. He is “the one with diabetes”, “diabetes kid” and “the diabetic”.
They are not talking to him when they say these things, they are usually discussing him with other adults. I know they don’t mean to be negative, I know they don’t want to upset him, but he is 6 years old and will notice the new labels he is being given.
He will notice them and maybe, he will start to see himself that way.
So please, don’t call my son the diabetic. Yes, he has diabetes, but that isn’t who he is. It isn’t a part of his personality. It isn’t what defines him.
My son is funny. He is smart. He is kind, caring and goofy. He easily makes friends wherever he goes.
He can play soccer. He can swim. He can play the piano, dance and do martial arts. He can build anything out of lego.
My son is a big brother. He is a nephew. He is a cousin, grandson and great-grandson. He loves his family and we are extremely important to him.
He likes pizza. He likes cake. He likes chicken with cheese and tomato sauce. He likes to be adventurous and try new things.
My son is so many things to so many people, so please, don’t call him “the diabetic”. Don’t define him by his disease. Don’t give him a reason to define himself by it.
My son is a kid, who happens to have diabetes.