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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.

Be understanding

Tom wears glasses and a maroon sweater.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.

Government support

Shelley wears a turquoise top and a jade beaded necklace.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 wears a polka dotted shirt.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.

Be kind

Phyllisa wears a green square neck top and a gold necklace.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.

Acceptance

Corinna wears a gold scarf.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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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