DBlog Week 2016: Language and Diabetes
Day Three: Language and Diabetes: "There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.”
I could have sworn I'd posted about this before but I can't seem to find it. So here we go again!
As a student health professional I use patient first language religiously. When referring to other people I use it. When referring to myself I really don’t care, but I know other people do so I try and respect that by starting off with person first language. I call myself a diabetic, other people can call me a diabetic. As long as that's not all I am.
In terms of testing and checking, I’d never thought about my language. I use checking, no idea why. Habit? The fact I like to check things? I think I use test for more formal things like blood tests, HbA1c tests, that kind of thing.
I fundamentally believe I’m more than my condition, but I don’t think calling myself a diabetic takes away from this. I'm Bec. Bec's a diabetic. Bec's a student speech pathologist. Bec's a pianist. Bec's a person.
I’m pretty boring on this topic, but I know for many people it's a very important issue. So today I pass the microphone to you!
What do you use? Are you part of the majority that prefer not to use labeling/judging language? Or are you like me and don’t spend much time thinking about it? Share your passion (or lack of) about this subject, I'm interested.