Advocate Answers: How Can People Support You with Diabetes Management?
Type 2 diabetes advocates share how they would like to be supported with their diabetes management.
Thomas: To be there for me and not hand me a bunch of myths or misinformation that they've heard from someplace. To understand what it's really like and not be judgmental of the way I handle myself. If I do have to go back on medications or take different meds or start shots that it's not because I had done something wrong or failed in the way I was following treatment. It happens at times. To understand that it's a chronic disease and at times does get worse no matter what we've done. We can only try to keep it from being worse if and when it does.
Shelley: My ask is more from the systemic point of view. All countries need a National Strategy to deal with diabetes! It’s fine to say deal with it individually but that’s not tackling the big picture. In Canada, we have a proposal for a national strategy called Diabetes 360. It has not been accepted yet but we won't quit bringing it to the attention of our politicians.
I also want my drug plan to pay for my interstitial blood glucose monitoring system until we have the National Strategy. I am not seen as important in covering this because I’m not on insulin. In my humble opinion, the powers that be are very short-sighted when it comes to what they determine is a treatment when it is not a drug. Diet and exercise are a treatment. Testing blood sugar without the restriction on strips is a treatment. Interstitial glucose monitoring is treatment. This is how diabetes can best be supported.
Get educated about diabetes management
Rachel: The best way that people such as family, friends, and co-workers can support me with my diabetes management is to be curious about how I manage the condition and ask questions, including the one about things that people have said to me about diabetes that I have foundhurtful. Educating others is the best way to bust myths about this condition that is so often labeled as a lifestyle disease instead of taking into consideration genetic components and comorbidity of other health issues. People should also understand that no two people with type 2 diabetes are alike in how they treat their diabetes. Some of us may choose a slice of cake or a bowl of pasta once in a while, and others may choose to stay away altogether.
Phyllisa: I would like people to know that sometimes I won't eat, have any extra carbs and other times I'll ask them to bring me juice as fast as lightning. In either case, I don't want to be judged or flooded with questions. Being available, kind, and caring is the best support I can have from someone.
Corinna: It would be great if people could see me out in the world as I go about my business doing things to manage my diabetes and just accept it as-is. No comments. No judgmental looks.
Just accept that people have to do all kinds of things to take care of themselves. Sometimes this includes sticking themselves with a pin and drawing blood to check blood glucose levels. And sometimes these things happen in a public place.
Have you experienced any foot complications from diabetes?