Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

I Support YOUR Diabetes, Too

I have a friend who I love dearly. For the sake of respecting privacy, I will not mention any names, but this is a friend with diabetes who is going through a lot of personal challenges and problems. Some of those problems are related to financial and relationship difficulties and some are related to diabetes. I’ve tried, in the ways that I’ve could, to extend a helping hand.

But there are areas in which all I can do is be a listening ear.

You see, my friend has advanced retinopathy, and she’s not even yet in her 30s. She is slowly going blind, and is now trapped within her circumstances. She is in a not so great relationship, in which her partner takes care of her every day needs. She cannot work, and cannot afford many of the things that might make her life easier. Every day, her depression worsens as her circumstances and financial challenges worsen. She used to love devoting time to personal hobbies and crafts which she can now no longer perform. She regularly becomes suicidal because of her difficulties and why she is where she is.

And my heart aches for her.  I am reminded of all my dad had to go through, and I instantly suffer flashbacks from the many sacrifices my family had to make in order to care for him.

We don’t do enough for people with serious complications

Now, it’s fine to focus on the positives of living a life with diabetes; of persevering and enduring. But I think that we do not do enough for those people with diabetes who have developed serious complications. We don’t do enough to bring them into the fold, and say ‘you are one of us, and we accept you, and it’s okay for you to talk about your complications, even if they scare me.’ We do not do enough to include the families and loved ones of people with diabetes who have developed serious complications, or who have died from diabetes. We may shun them, and say, “your experience was not mine, and it’s rude manners for you to tell me about it.” And that worries me.

I ponder, why do we do that? No, in all earnestness – and not just because it makes us uncomfortable – why would we ever do that? Do people not embrace the hurt and pain experienced, for other chronic health conditions? Do other chronic health condition sufferers tell people “please don’t tell me about your emergency procedure, or your loss of an organ, or your metastasis?”

Yes, certainly some folks, especially strangers, might not be tactful when they come to us with stories of their relatives who suffered, or lost limbs… but some folks are really just looking for the release that comes with empathy; the sharing with someone who can understand the pain they’ve just gone through. They may not have very many people to which they can relate, or connect.

Maybe in November, when we call out to others to be more aware of diabetes – we can exercise some introspection, and perhaps seek to be more aware of the loss that others have suffered within our own communities.

Is the luxury of MY living in a bubble devoid of negative diabetes stories worth the denial to others of positive support and uplifting during the darkest times of THEIR diabetes?

Surely we can all agree on an answer to that. And surely that answer is a resounding NO.

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