Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Diabetes Blog Week - Judgment

                        Diabetes Blog Week

Blog week day 3 has arrived.  Thanks for sticking with me, and if this is your first visit thanks for stopping by!  Today’s topic is about judgment. 

Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgment from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!

I don’t get much negativity from my endocrinologist, because he sees my A1c and my CGM trend and can’t argue with the results.  We disagree profoundly on the subject of statins, but that conversation is fortunately brief each time I see him.  So instead I’m going to talk about some of the things other people have said to me since I was diagnosed.  There are several:
  • You don’t look diabetic.
  • You can’t/shouldn’t eat that.
  • You got diabetes because you ate…
  • Are you sure you don’t just have severe Type 2?
  • I read an article about diabetes and it said you should/shouldn’t…

Most of these are more silly to me than anything else.  They’re all based on ignorance, not anything remotely malicious.  Yet they can be hurtful.  In a very short time I’ve become an expert in an auto-immune disease I never knew a thing about until 3 years ago.  While it’s relatively new to me too, I’ve become expert in how my body reacts to most of the things I eat and do.  You, whoever you are and however well you know me or how well intentioned you are, do not know as much as I know.

What do I want to hear?  I want you to ask.  Whatever the question is, ask me and I’ll be happy to talk.  One thing I’ll never be offended by is curiosity.  The thing that makes me craziest is some variation of “you aren’t supposed to eat that” or “you can’t have that.”  I have a friend who periodically slips on the food subject, and virtually ducks each time anticipating the very quick reminder that I’m going to eat what I choose to eat.  I know what I can do, I know what I choose to do, and I willfully make exceptions to my own rules on occasion.  But I will happily respond to “I know you don’t normally eat that, how does/will it affect you?”  I’m also good with “I just read an article about diabetes, does this relate to you at all?”  Assumptions don’t go well.  Make it a conversation, and I’ll give you as much or as little detail as you want to hear.  Just talk to me.  


See what the other 80+ bloggers are saying about this topic here.

Did you miss my earlier posts this week?  Check them out below!