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Feel like my friends are getting bored with my diabetes

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Abzio_Cappuccino, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Abzio_Cappuccino

    Abzio_Cappuccino Type 1 · Member

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    I'm 18 and was diagnosed with Type 1 four years ago. My friends are pretty much indifferent to my diabetes, which is great because I don't want them pestering me ;) but lately I've been talking to them about it more often, and it just kind of feels like they're bored with me repeating myself about my blood sugars. Whenever I talk about it they seem to just change the topic... I'm the only one in my group with any kind of physical disorder, so I think they might think I'm attention-seeking or something. Maybe it's because they don't understand (they still ask me "is that a good number?") but I that may be because I act like it's completely normal, so they think it's not a problem. What do you guys think? :)
     
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  2. jakejayeden

    jakejayeden Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It may be that these people are unsure on how they can communicate with yourself on such. As they do not have any primary experience with Diabetes, it can be difficult for them to empathise or understand how you feel regarding it, some aspects of what you say regarding (Blood Glucose levels, ketones, Clinic stuff etc.). Another feeling is that maybe they feel they have nothing to add regarding the topic (referring to an earlier point I made regarding empathy). I'm not saying they don't care, and nor would I suspect them to, it's just that indifference it what makes them feel that if they do add something to the conversation, they may say something that could be incorrect or inconsiderate if taken the wrong way.
     
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  3. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Well, when you have to test, inject, test, inject, (repeat as required), then after a while it does become the new 'normal' and those around you become 'normalised' to it.

    I just do what I need to do. If anyone asks questions I try to answer as politely as my current mood state will allow but I don't bring up the subject myself in conversations.
     
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  4. Nidge247

    Nidge247 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Lots of my friends know I'm diabetic, but you find few really want to talk about it, as they feel they can't really contribute to doing much about it. They'll ask you if you're ok, but really want to hear "fine, thanks", then move onto next topic. There are a select few who genuinely want to know in-depth details, and my daughter frequently looks in my DAPHNE diary to see what my levels are that day. Perhaps come on here more to discuss your T1D, where we're all happy to listen and help where we can.
     
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  5. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    @Abzio_Cappucino When I was first diagnosed my diabetes was on my mind all the time, and I told everyone I met about it. But I soon realised that most people who don't have it seem to think that it is diabetics fault that they have the condition through 'lifestyle choices' and eating too much, and they don't really want to know too much about it. There are exceptions of course, usually people who have diabetics in their family and know they might become diabetic too.
    Now I don't tell people, though sometimes I have to explain that I will only have a half pint of beer instead of a pint because I am diabetic, and beer contains carbs, or I can't eat certain things when I'm out for a meal.

    But you can talk to people on here who do understand and are supportive.
     
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  6. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    I'd guess it's because they don't know very much about it, so don't know what to say. They might worry about saying the wrong thing and upsetting you, or they might worry about saying the wrong thing and 'looking stupid', or they may just be stumped for a response so change the subject.
     
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  7. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    I mean this reply with the best will in the world..

    Your friends know you are T1 diabetic. As long as they can offer practical support in a "crisis", then enjoy a slice of non D down time...

    I'm in a band with a T1 bass player. That's how we roll.. :cool:
     
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  8. Freefall_Ash

    Freefall_Ash Type 1 · Member

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    Hiya Abzio,

    I'm 19 and was diagnosed last may and I often feel exactly the same. I try not to make any fuss over it and although they were concerned/interested when I was diagnosed nobody has said much since. I sometimes feel as though if I made a bigger deal over it (even though I don't feel any need too) they would take it more seriously or be empathise more. It's not a pressing situation for me but I'm not really sure how to tackle it either.
     
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  9. Abzio_Cappuccino

    Abzio_Cappuccino Type 1 · Member

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    Sometimes I feel like I'm bringing everyone down if I tell them I've had a bad diabetic day, or having a bad low. I guess it's just one of those things ;) Thanks for all of the support, guys!!
     
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  10. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Abzio_Cappuccino I have had type 1 for a long time, and a couple of years ago I found I was really having difficulty with my obsessive control of it - it was the focus of absolutely everything I did.

    In the last six months I've experienced some massive changes, both in my treatment (I'm now on a pump) and in my controlling over-control of my control (forgive the cumbersome expression, but that's the only way I can describe it).

    My diabetes often comes up when I'm talking to people, not on purpose, but purely because it has been my absolute main focus. I'm desperate to stay well, and to stay safe. I know that I shouldn't let 'it' control 'me', I know that I'm a person, not a condition, etc etc etc, but to stay comfortable in my skin, my diabetes is, at least for the moment, while things settle down with my pump (and my attitude!), at the forefront of my mind, and therefore inevitably features often in conversation with friends and family. I feel often as if I might come across as self-obsessed, but actually, I'm just being me. My 'me' is inseparable from my diabetes, and that's just the way it is. Just for now, not forever. I will lighten up eventually. But in recent times I have had to deal with it in this way - and I make no apology for that. And I have excellent support.

    True friends understand. And if, to quote you, they 'get bored with me repeating myself about my blood sugars', they can of course supportively acknowledge what you're saying and you can then move on and have a laugh with changing the subject together, but at the end of the day your diabetes is part of you. And that's fine. Every single part of you, remember - including that - has shaped you into the person you are today. There ain't nothing wrong with that.

    I read some very wise words the other day.
    Those who matter, don't mind.
    Those who mind, don't matter.

    :)
     
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  11. Lynz84

    Lynz84 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hey! I think all of us feel the same way to be honest. Ive been T1 for 5 years and my family still dont understand and get the vacant look when I talk about it! Honestly I dont think diabetes is something people can relate to unless you have it because it is all consuming! Everytime you need a chat feel free to message me!
     
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  12. fern000

    fern000 Type 1 · Member

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    Agreed with some of the comments above that our friends can't really relate and thus it might be rather irrelevant to them. I'm 21 this year and was diagnosed at 17. Since we are around the same age I definitely understand how you feel, also because I went through the same thing. Last year I had one of the most hurtful experiences ever when my most trusted friend told me that she couldn't handle my problems with diabetes anymore and she felt that it was a burden to her. She said she would rather I tell someone else about my constant problems with diabetes because she had no more advice left to offer. Needless to say I was really hurt but after reflecting upon my actions I guess I had unknowingly made diabetes the center of our friendship and had unfair expectations of her, wanting her to know about my challenges with diabetes and offer some kind of encouragement all the time. She felt troubled that I expected her to listen while she couldn't relate or help in any way. It's kind of like having that friend who keeps talking about her boyfriend or family problems that you can't help with and it could get draining for friends. Not saying that that is what your friends feel but I believe that was what my friend felt. I coped by letting all my negative emotions out on a private blog so I wasn't keeping everything to myself in that sense cheer up!! I think it would make sense to not bring up diabetes so often like everyday, maybe once in awhile if you mention you're not coping so well with diabetes and you need to talk to someone, your friends will be fine with it.
     
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  13. Abzio_Cappuccino

    Abzio_Cappuccino Type 1 · Member

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    I also heard those wise words from Rizzoli and Isles ;) thanks for understanding, a lot of people don't get that being diabetic defines us :)
     
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  14. Abzio_Cappuccino

    Abzio_Cappuccino Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks! And I know what you mean by family giving you the vacant look! I think I saw a good pic to illustrate what you mean by all-consuming ;)
     

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  15. Blackpoolnurse

    Blackpoolnurse · Newbie

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    Abzio, at the end of the day you have to deal with it, not them. I was diagnosed at 14 and that was 30 years ago... Make sure you control your diabetes and not let your diabetes control you. People live with far, far more debilitating conditions, but your friends need you to tell them what a huge impact it has made upon your life and will for ever. If they are true friends, they will understand and love you as always. If not... Well, that's down to you my friend x
     
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  16. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Another way of looking at this is, your friends may not know it - yet! - but you are giving them a gift in knowing about type 1, and that you who they care about so much - what having diabetes means in your life. (I love that cartoon!)

    When I was a little girl I moved into a new area and made friends with the lovely girl across the road. One day, while we were playing at her place after school she told me she had to inject insulin as she had T1D, and we went into her bathroom and she explained it to me and her kit. I was hugely impressed by her courage (as she told me about the dying without it thing - that's pretty impressive), and I felt honoured that she was sharing this aspect of her life with me. Me and my family had to move away, but this memory of how she integrated injecting with insulin in her life, and her sharing it with me has stayed with me my whole life. It informed me for when I met folk with T1 in the future, especially now I have diabetes myself (albeit T2), especially, and I understand the difference between T1 and T2. Now I'm a middle-aged woman, and still fondly think back on her.

    As I say - you are giving your friends a gift! Knowing you, and having you share your experience with them. One day they might know it and they may even tell you that - at least one of them might. :).
     
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  17. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  18. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    I've managed to get my 'diabetes' conversation with mates down to a 1 minute update, I noticed that people's eyes would glaze over and before they started yawning i'd switch it to 'so what about you ?' conversation.

    Sadly unless you live with it, then it's hard to talk to others about unless they really express a huge amount of interest and then those friends I can normally wear out in 2 minutes.

    I personally remember the day I was diagnosed and the flood of information that came in and how quickly it wiped me out, I tend to view my friends like this that they can only absorb so much before it wipes them out. You are still a person though and a friend, you still have a life outside of type 1, this will never change, carry on as much as you can as normal, update those around you if you feel low or need to check your BG, close friends will never judge you or treat your differently, it's our own minds that make us feel different.
     
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  19. Dodo

    Dodo Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately some people don't want to understand diabetes. After 50 years as a diabetic (since childhood), my own mother, upon offering me chocolate, biscuits or a banana when visiting her, and my usual "no thank you", replied "you and your bloody sugar". You would have thought if anyone would understand, she would!
     
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  20. nomoredonuts

    nomoredonuts Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    @Abzio_Cappuccino - I'm too new at this to offer any meaningful advice... so have a hug instead!:)
     
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