Monday, December 12, 2016

Five things NOT to say to a T1D during the holidays

The holidays are fast approaching which means you will be reunited with relatives from all over that barely know much about you, except maybe that you have diabetes, people don't forget that. I decided to create a list of the top things people say to people living with diabetes during the holidays.... I'm sure everyone means well. Don't worry as people living with diabetes, we know the answers to your questions, well I mean we have the politically correct answers and the answers we keep to ourselves.

1. Can You Eat That?

 If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I could eat something during the holidays, I'd be living on an island in the Caribbean, with a large yacht right about now.  I am not sure why people like to pick apart the plate of a person with diabetes, but it's become all too common. So common, that I already know when a person is going to ask me before they even ask me.    I must admit my grandparents are so bad for this.   Every get together my Grandma usually gives me that face like, "you little rebel you, eating a cookie with diabetes..."   

2. What's Your Blood Sugar?

Next time someone asks, I am going to directly ask them their weight, followed by asking them their blood pressure.   Seriously, asking me what my blood sugar is, is a little intrusive... I mean, I usually do not care, because half the time when people ask, they have no idea if it's 'good' or 'bad' (That is usually the next question) But really,  unless I am low or seriously high, you likely do not need to know.

3. Are You Still Taking Insulin?

Nope. I'm cured.    Okay, so I haven't been asked this directly, but I know people have been asked this before.   The thing is is that a lot of people mistake different types of diabetes for others... and to add on that, a lot of people do not know about diabetes regardless of the type. This leads to all kinds of strange questions like if we still have diabetes, if we still take medication for diabetes, if our diabetes will go away, the list goes on.   I'm not asking Uncle Joe if he still takes medication for his cholesterol, so Uncle Joe, don't ask me if I still take medicine for my diabetes. [I don't have an Uncle Joe, but I am going to assume if I did, he would have high cholesterol.]

4. Should You be Drinking Alcohol with Your Diabetes?

Well, diabetes doesn't always make the perfect drinking partner, a person living with diabetes can likely still drink unless told otherwise by a professional (not by a relative or a stranger).    While there are some cautions to take with drinking and living with diabetes, there is just as much caution with other conditions and umm, personalities.   So, if you see someone enjoying a glass of wine, who also happens to have diabetes, I am sure they will be okay.. no need to police them.

5. I am glad you're doing well. You know Bob, he isn't doing very well with his diabetes, so he is running to major complications, but you, you're doing well, so you're okay! 

This one is more of a statement than anything.... this is something that people say A LOT.   They know someone with diabetes that isn't fairing so well.  Often followed by reasons why this person ended up with complications due to lack of care.  This comes with some assumptions that the person you're telling this to is a 'perfect' diabetic and does not need to worry about complications. But, the truth is, is that many people with diabetes struggle and especially around this time of the year. It is likely that the person you're making this statement to has seen high numbers flashing on their meter screens and in turn is now worried they're on the same destruction path as poor Bob... please stop the horror stories, it's Christmas!

There are so many other statements and questions that are asked at this time of the year and SOMETIMES these questions come out of curiosity, and that is OKAY! I am totally fine at giving a diabetes education lesson at a party, but the most important thing is that if you are curious, be sure to carefully think about how to ask the question! I'd assume this translates to any medical condition and other issues that people make blanket statements about... I won't even get started on this one.


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