Diabetes is one of the most common diseases today. More and more people are being diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes than ever before. This means that most people know someone who is diabetic – whether they are family or a friend.
So what do you say to someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes? There is not really much you can say, however, there is a lot you could not. What does that mean? Simply that there are certain “catch phrases” that are used to make diabetics feel better or to see if they are doing alright that while meant to make them feel better, only serves to make them feel worse.
When a person is diagnosed with diabetes they are continually told certain things by family, friends – even their doctors. Even the written word, such as a magazine or book that deals with health issues or diabetes, has those same phrases written down. And while people with diabetes know that the doctor, their family and friends, and even the authors of these books are trying to help them, it can be monotonous at times.
Here are a few common phrases that people with diabetes tend to get tired of hearing:
You Can Live A Normal Life
When someone is diagnosed with diabetes most endocrinologists and doctors will try to emphasize this point to make their patient feel better, especially those who are dealing with young children. After all, no one wants a child or an adult to feel as though they will be “different” simply because they have diabetes. But the truth is – they are. And they won’t be able to live a “normal” life.
Yes, diabetics can live a long, healthy life if they take care of their blood sugar. That is a given and has been proven over time. And there are great strides being made every day with diabetes in order to make living with diabetes a little more easier. Things like insulin pens that can be carried around instead of the older insulin in a bottle and needles. Monitors that take blood sugar readings with lightening speed – some that even announce your blood sugar reading in case you have bad eyes and cannot see the monitor’s digitalized reading.
But even though life can be made easier with diabetes, it is still not a normal life. Examples? When a diabetic goes out to eat they can’t just stroll into a restaurant, order anything they want , eat and then leave. A diabetic has to look at the menu and take into account how many carbohydrates their meal has in it. A diabetic person will then have to calculate how much insulin they will need to off set the carbohydrates they are eating and then take their insulin shot. Not exactly normal life.
Does your diabetic child want to spend the night at a friend’s house? Are they going on a field trip at school? Do they want to play sports? Great. However, there are many more things to be thought about with a diabetic child than with a child who has no illness. Things like finding out if there is someone there that can give your child their shot or make sure they take it. And many times, younger diabetics will be worried about being away from their parents for just that reason. Sometimes parents of other children do not want to take on the responsibility of a diabetic child and will refuse to have them over once they find out. Sad but true.
So diabetics do not want to hear that they can lead a “nomal.” life because in reality, they cannot. A good one? Most certainly. But not like everyone else.
You’re Not Supposed To Eat That, Are You?
Many people think that diabetics are not allowed to have any sugar whatsoever but that is not true. Diabetics can have the sweet treat every now and then as long as they do not over indulge themselves and take their insulin.
Diabetics often wonder why people do not ask them that question regarding other foods like spaghetti, whjch contains many carbohydrates in the sauce. Guess the answer would be that lots of people do not realize that carbohydrates are just as bad for diabetics as sugar can be.
Still, diabetics can have both sugar and carbohydrates as long as they eat them in moderation and take the appropriate insulin – it will not kill them.
How Hard Is It To Take Your Blood Sugar?
People with diabetes often hear that when they complain about having to check their blood sugar. To people who do not have diabetes, this seems like such a simple thing. However, to a diabetic, it means just another time that they have to be poked with something.
People who do not have diabetes do not realize that diabetics have to take their blood sugar at least four times a day. Once before every meal and then again at bedtime. That is not counting all the times they have to check their blood sugar if they feel their blood sugar is low or high.
So while it is not an overwhelming hardship, taking your blood sugar can become an annoyance to diabetics – not to mention having someone who does not have to experience this telling them that should not be annoyed.
Are You Feeling Okay?
Another simple question, asked out of concern, that can become very annoying for many diabetics.
People often ask this question when a diabetic seems tired, sick or just plain out of sorts. Yes, normal people have all those times but for some reason, when a diabetic goes through this, others become concerned.
It is best to remember that everyone has their ups and downs, mood swings, having a cold or being sick, or just downright tired because of a long day at school or work. Diabetics are not immune to this. And every time they are tired or cranky we should not assume that it is because of their blood sugar. It is best to just keep an eye on them and be there to help them out if they need it.
After all, diabetics are human too.
Are You Allowed To Do That?
Some people do not believe that people with diabetes can do everything that they can do. Often times, friends or family members are heard asking a diabetic if they are supposed to do something simply because it involves exercise or daring of some kind.
There are many diabetics who do various things as careers – including daring ones. Bobby Clarke and Nick Boynton, who both play hockey. Brett Michaels and Nick Jonas both singers. Adam Morrison and many others who play basketball. Charlie Kimball who is a race car driver. So yes, people with diabetes can do many, many things – even become Miss America like Nicole Johnson or an actress like Halle Berry.
So the next time that you are around your friend with diabetes, or a family member with diabetes, please make sure to not fall into the trap of asking these questions. They will appreciate it.