As a diabetic for many years it is still a wonder to me how the average person has very little knowledge about diabetes. Everyone knows someone with diabetes, a friend or family member, but there is still stigma out there that it is something we as diabetics have done to ourselves. We all know that diabetes is challenging every day of our lives. It is watching everything we eat and drink, taking our medications, monitoring our numbers and try to figure out why our blood sugar has spiked or dropped.
When I am with my friends, they don’t understand why I don’t always have an alcoholic beverage. The concept of “carbs” never enters their minds. As far as they are concerned I shouldn’t eat bread or pasta and that would solve all my problems. Or I should just lose weight and exercise more and I’ll be cured. Everyone has the answer because they don’t understand the disease or what we go through as diabetics.
“Are you allowed to eat that?”
I decided to educate my friends about diabetes. There are many sites out there, like Type2Diabetes.com and the American Diabetes Association that will explain in very easy to understand terms what this disease is all about. They not only explained what the disease is but also living with diabetes, exercise and what is good to eat. The results were amazing! They actually read the information and now I find that they are asking questions instead of giving advice on what they never really knew in the first place. I love my girlfriends and we have a great relationship. I have known these amazing women for more than 50 years and we get together at least 2-4 times a month and we cook, talk and just laugh, usually with adult beverages involved. They now know what is good for me and what may not be so good for me. They have finally stopped asking “are you allowed to eat that?”
Having me educating them they have realized this disease is something that can be controlled. Someday I may get off insulin, but I will never be cured; it is something I will have to monitor the rest of my life. They also understand now the implications of not taking care of yourself. One friend texted me and just said “WOW” I never understood.
Take the time to educate those that do not understand, you will see that their outlook may be a little different and you won’t have to always explain to them what diabetes is and what it does to us.