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We were at a family gathering, having ice cream for dessert, when "Uncle" pointed his finger at my son, who has type 1 diabetes, and said, "You can't have that!"
My son sat in stunned silence, so I spoke up and said that he has good control of his diabetes and can have sweets as long as he gives himself insulin to cover the carbs.
Friends and family usually have good intentions. Uncle had a good friend die from diabetes and was a little emotional. Keep in mind that diabetes affects the whole family, not just the person with the disease.
Other family members often don't understand why you get frustrated with diabetes management. Or, they don't see the need to change their own lifestyle. Do you ever find that some people think that diabetes shouldn't be all that hard to handle, and that you just need to make more of an effort?
So what can you do to deal with the diabetes police?
As a mother of two sons with type 1 diabetes, I've resisted the urge to nag. However, when one of my sons expressed to me his frustrations with 24/7 diabetes management and took a break from it, I expressed my concern. I acknowledged his feelings and offered support. I told him I didn't want to nag, but wanted him to know I'm there if he needs support. He was appreciative and even gave me permission to call and "hassle" him once in awhile.
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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