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This blog is the second in a two-part series in which we discuss how to respectfully support your loved one with diabetes.
Last week, Nancy discussed some thoughts about how to help your loved one with diabetes while maintaining healthy boundaries. I later found these 10 tips for "diabetes etiquette for people who don't have diabetes," from the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, and wanted to share them with you.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Have a great week!
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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I actually looked for this ...diabetic etiquette..as I was recently embarrassed by a friend of mine at a funeral dinner..I had filled 1/2 of my plate with a green salad and vegis..had 1 tbs of corn...1 small chix wing..1 tbs of mac salad...no bread...with a diet rootbeer. Then once dessert was served..I had one serving spoon of a jello that was mixed with whip topping and oranges...even tho I really wanted the pecan pie, the cherry crisp, the vanilla cupcakes..I chose what I thought was the best choice ...when I sat down...this was what she said in front of the entire table..."you cant have that...you are diabetic!!" How can folks be so rude to call you out like that...I didnt even bother with an explanation...that I count carbs...whether they contain sugar or not...So Frustrating...when you are trying your best!!
Mag: We appreciate your viewpoint! Thank you. Having 2 sons with type 1 diabetes, I(Peggy) generally do not interfere but sometimes I find it hard to resist the urge to voice my concern. They seem to appreciate that I ask permission and usually they say yes but I realize that I must respect their answer either way!
Hey! Thanks ladies!! Common sense stuff -- but we need to be reminded.
My husband has been a type 1 diabetic for 40 yrs. My life has been up and down,it is hard to live with a diabetic. I want to know and have asked his dr's why isn't there a video ever recorded to show the diabetics what it is like when their sugar gets low???!!! And no one can tell me why. If they(diabetics) can see one maybe that they would control themselves better. It really is a hard burden on a spouse. I know that they also have heart, eye and feet problems. I just want to know what else is next in store for me? Thanks for listening to me, almost drained.
Amen, mag. And well put!
I am type 1 for 30 yrs now. Every once in a while, I just give up and don't care!! I have my fav cookies and buy them and sneak them until they are gone. In the meantime, my sugars are sky-high, my eyesight is just about GONE (sugar on my lenses) and just feeling awful. My loved one does notice my "binge" and does speak up to me and actually, I am glad he does!! Sometimes, you just need someone who loves you to bring you back to reality and let you know that your hard struggle each/every day is worth while!! He makes me know that those cookies or whatever my binge is...aren't as important as ME living and my eyesight. I get mad, but really, NEED those unwanted comments from my loved ones!! Just another view on this "etiquette" because sometimes, we loose focus, don't care, binge and not only hurt ourselves, but everyone who cares about us. Loved ones speaking up, that makes all the difference and reminds me how much I am loved and needed. Just thought I would throw this opinion in there. Thanks for the opportunity to speak here. MAG
Thank you for the tips - I found them very helpful - they are relevant in other situations. I trust I will remember them when I need to.
Anne- I know how you feel. I really do. While the consequences of neglecting diabetes may not be immediate, they will come. With Crohns, it can mean being admitted to the hospital hours after a spicy or high fiber meal. I am working on weight loss, dietary changes, and daily exercise in order to prevent T2 consequences - or at least slow them down.
My very intelligent type 2 loved one doesn't ask for help, and also doesn't follow any of the standard diet /exercise advice. I am supportive, invite him on walka, buy and cook healthy foods. He cooks too, uses rich foods and eats heartily. It's so hard to sit by and 'watch poor choices being made.
As a T2 and a wife of a man with Crohns disease, I must play devils advocate. Sometimes I ride my husband about what he eats because his flare ups affect the whole family. If he is hospitalized, in pain, unable to work, etc, we all suffer. So, yes, it can be annoying when loved ones offer advice but they be attempting to prevent family upset. People with chronic health issues have more than themselves to consider...myself included.
Shelly: You state "a close relative and has leaned on me to help with diet". To me, your relative has given you permission to help him with diet, etc. The relative may listen and even appreciate your advice but will not necessarily follow through. I do realize that it is very difficult to watch a loved one/friend make poor choices, but it is their choice.
All I have to say is: Here! Here! Well said!
What would you do if the person with diabetes is a close relative and has leaned on me to help with diet but still that person doesn't take responsibility regarding portion control of carbohydrates and doesn't do any exercise despite I have offered support for exercise. When you care about the person and you see that she/he doesn't takes control of her/his health, it is very frustrating and very difficult not to intervene.
Well said Maureen
I wish I had been given such tips ten years ago
when type 1 struck our family
Thank you! Very well said.
My son has had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. Your 10 tips for diabetes etiquette is so helpful that it needs to be heard by a wider audience. Can you send this to Dear Amy or Dear Abby (advise columnists) that get read religiously by millions of people daily. The Mayo Clinic is a well respected medical institution. What a great service that would be to all diabetics!
I have close relatives with diabtes, and also have a chronic disease myself. I think this advice is important. Living with issues like these is hard, and it isn't always easy to hear the "advice" of others. It adds another strain to your day. People mean well, but it usually doesn't translate well.
Great suggestions for those who do not have diabetes. Esp the one about supporting healthy decisions. Even if we slip up sometimes, the encouragement helps maintain.
You can also ask your nurse practitioner or someone else to repeat the test to verify her diagnosis. Unfortunately it is easier to just assign you to a class and equipment pick up rather than open your medical records and do a thorough analysis to see if there has been a trend upward in your glucose levels and why. As the article says, there are many contributing factors to glucose levels.
The American Diabetes Association's classifications for pre-diabetes are; A1c greater than 5.7 or (5.8-6.4)and fasting bg greater than 100 or (101-125) Sounds like your off the hook for now.
My husband was diagnosed w/type II diabetes about 15 yrs.ago & keeps it controlled w/exercise and oral meds quite well. He also tests my blood sugar regularly. Normally my non-fasting blood sugar is mid 70's to mid 80's. Last week I had fasting blood work done for an annual checkup. I rec'vd a call today to go in for a glucose meter and diabetic classes & will be put on diabetic meds. The Nurse Practioner insisted that I'm borderline diabetic. My lab fasting was 100 ( 20 +/- higher than normal w/non-fasting) and my hemoglobin was 5.6. I thought that even their #'s for me were in normal range. What do you think ???????
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