Saturday, April 11, 2015

Is Facebook becoming like the Gestapo?

Recently, I experienced something I never thought would happen.

I came back from a very emotional meet up with 89 diabetics in Las Vegas for the 1st Diabetes unConference (#duncon) – and had not been on Facebook (FB) for close to a week.  I logged in, to catch up on all the latest and greatest among the many diabetic groups that I belong to there, that I also run as an administrator.  

My first greeting when logging in, was that someone from the state of Texas had attempted to log into my account.  I sorted that out with a simple yes/no … and on I went merrily to play catch up, especially with the gang from the conference.  We were all feeling much like myself … like they’d lost their left foot due to not being with the rest of the “family” (who all got each other thru’ the roller coaster ride of life that we lead with diabetes).

Four hours later, when checking back in, I discovered that I could not gain access due to my ... WTF? - not having a legit name.  They demanded government issued documentation, with a picture to prove who I was in order to consider allowing me back into the fold.  Something similar had happened back in December last year, and I had changed my name at that time to one that they “allowed”.  I did not have to go thru’ the ID demand that they were doing this time around.

Whether someone had snitched on me that I wasn't blue eyed, blonde haired (sorry – I felt like Facebook was acting like the Gestapo with my not conforming - and I apologise to those who felt it was a horrible word to use) – I’ll never know.  Since it was occurring again, in such a short timeframe, was a great puzzle that I didn't quite understand due to the amount of "legit" people who contact me on FB for friendship (and in the end - turn out to be promoting sexual things, or wanting to a new woman in their life).  Uhhhmmm,  like FB .... those are the people YOU should be tracking down!!!  Get with the program!!!!

Depression set in … I felt it was highly un-American that I be asked to supply personal info over the bandwidth to the “offices” of Facebook.  I dug in my paws heels, and figured I could survive without going to get my daily quota of gossip, lurking, etc. on Facebook.  I turned instead to Google+ but found that many people are die hard addicts of Facebook, and not only use it for all their communication, but also use Messenger (that does not work if you are shut out from your FB account).   What has happened to mankind that they have to resort to only using FB for communicating to others? 

Depressed Cat by Angel Tarantella 
The sad part was, most of my diabetic contacts I only knew through FB.  Very few I knew via personal email or telephone/SKYPE.  Being shut out of FB, not being able to let anyone know what had happened …. it was difficult ... I attempted meditation - moved on with life ....

Advance 2 weeks later - April 1st … after sending multitudes (3) government issued ID’s to prove who I was (each time I had sent something – I was told it was not enough to identify that I was legit).  Informing them of what I do for a living - giving them my work place info to contact my bosses for confirmation of who I was – the explanation for my ``other`` name of FatCatAnna (which I’d always used as a Nickname – which is permitted by Facebook)  .....

I finally was given the go ahead to gain access to my account by “Barry”  … except … his  reply was odd …


Thanks for your response. It looks like your name on Facebook doesn't match the name on the ID(s) you submitted.

To help us confirm that you're using your authentic name:

1. Log into your Facebook account
2. Follow the on-screen instructions
3. If you still can't update your name, you'll be able to fill out a contact form

I logged in … held my breath … and viola … I was back in - no updating required … even despite what they were saying above.  The weird thing?  The name they have me being allowed to use? It is the same friggin' name I had been using all these years, that was questioned back in December.  WTF??

I've had quite the discussion on my wall post from April 1st, with my use of “Gestapo” – I do realise to some this is a harsh word to use … but at the time I was feeling very emotional – and with the recent problems that Native Americans have also been having that an article was written up about back in February at Business Insider … something just is not right.

So, for now, while I’m still permitted to use Facebook, before I’m reported again for some reason or another (maybe the person reporting me is a cat hater?) – you will find me posting still - though not as frequently as I used to, as this has left a stale taste in my mouth.

The good thing, when it comes to diabetes advocacy, you can find me at many places that are not associated with Facebook ….  Such as Blogger, Instagram, Twitter, Tudiabetes, and of course, the original website that started me off with diabetic blogging/advocacy back in 2008 … .  

No, I won’t disappear completely …. yet .... I'm not a fraidy cat!

Friday, April 3, 2015

My Grandmothers fear of becoming a diabetic

I just found out today from a conversation with my Mum, something that was abit sad about my Grandmother, my Dad's Mum who died I believe when she was in her mid 90’s. She lived a full and good life!  I wish I had pictures, but sadly, with my moving, what ones I took, are packed, and my Dad hasn't kept many pictures from the past to share with the family.

The first time I remember seeing my Grandmother was when she came to visit us in Canada, about 10 years after we had immigrated.  It was her first time travelling by air abroad.  She came with my Aunt, and my parents who didn't normally like visitors to stay at our house, kicked my brother and myself out of our rooms for the guests (yee!haa!).

Oma en kleinkind an online colouring book  from Kinderlines 
I'd only been diabetic for about 8 years at the time just about to enter teenage life, and I really didn't think too much of it at the time since I'd had it since such an early stage of life.  Sometimes I think I'm blessed since I didn't know any other way of living other than being a diabetic, and it wasn't all that bad, even with injections, etc.  I was just what my life was like, and still is (but made easier now with newer technology).  I did the urine testing, injected (once a day then), and ate like a little soldier on a schedule since that was the way insulins worked in our bodies in those days. 

I always remember my Aunt criticise my Mum's choice on having a take-out pizza (from a great pizza joint in the west end of Ottawa called El Toro's - they made the best crust and toppings EVER).   My Aunt felt it was "junk food" and I think she thought Canadians must be savages at that point in time as we crammed dripping, gooey pizza into our mouths.  Whether she enjoyed it or not, I will never know.  I just dug in, with whatever my Mum dished out to me according to the diet the dietician had set out for my growing body.  I was a happy camper!

The next time I saw my Grandmother was when she was placed in the hospital in the UK during her 80's about 15 years later.  My Dad at the time couldn't take time off work, and I was temporarily without a job. He paid for year open flight for me to go overseas (not cheap in those days), to make sure my Grandmother was okay.  When I'd arrived, she was already back home from the hospital, doing her own thing.  I really didn't need to help her at all (this woman had the flexibility of a gymnast), and I think I was more of a hindrance being with her as I was disrupting her life.  I found a job, moved out quickly to a bedsit in the village.  Life was good (if only back then I'd appreciated beer the way I do now).

86 year old Johanna Quaas from Halle, Saxony - see her in this fantastic video

What my Mum relayed to me today, after talking to my Dad's brother, and obviously this was disturbing him for many years since her passing away  ….

she was afraid of being like me, a diabetic giving injections for the rest of her life

I'm wondering while she came to visit Canada, if I'd had some hissy fit about giving an injection or a bad urine test (I don't recall doing that - but maybe I did).  I wonder did the glass syringe and 18 gauge stainless steel needle that could be sharpened on a stone scare her when I was living with her in the UK?

I'm really not sure what made her make that comment to my Uncle, but it saddens me to think she felt this way about my having diabetes but know that others today probably have that same feeling when they are faced with the diagnosis of having diabetes.  

That's why I do what I do today with having diabetes for most of my life ....  


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