How (T1) diabetes affects your friendship

Excarlibur

Newbie
Messages
3
I have been diagnosed with T1 diabetes and struggling with making friends with this medical situation.
For example, when making new friends,
  • What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
  • Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
  • Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
 

NicoleC1971

BANNED
Messages
3,450
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
I think its really important to decide how you feel about your diabetes first then situations with friends get easier.
I've been open but not made a drama of it but that's because I've always been diabetic and with new people I've only brought it up when it came up e.g. at a meal time or if someone's asked why I've got my pump out.
e.g. do you want sympathy? do you want to share this important part of your life now with others whether you are feeling pride in dealing with it, worry , guilt or shame? Perhaps others you know have a chronic condition that they also have to live with and I wonder how you'd feel about their asthma, epilepsy or chrnoic depression for example?
Most people I know are briefly interested or may come up with the usual stereotypes and you can help by dispelling the myths OR you can just keep it to yourself as it won't be obvious to your friends that anything has changed.
The disadvantage of the latter option is that you may feel more isolated and lonely or need their help with sorting out a hypo for example.
If you did tell them you could at least get on with testing and jabs at the table (why go to the bathroom ?).
You've got this for the rest of your life and if it isn't a drama in your head then it needn't be to your friends so going back to my first point, I hope you can work out how you feel about it.
 

Zhnyaka

Well-Known Member
Messages
687
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Homophobia, racism, sexism
I'll try to answer (This is ok for me, but I don't know if it ok for you)

What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
I'm talking about the fact that I'm diabetic when we eat something together for the first time or as soon as my BG drops.

Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
I think you can talk about it if you want. I give the injection without getting up from the table and no one pays attention to it

Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
Do you feel embarrassed because you have a insulin pen? Do as you feel comfortable, no one cares

For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
When we go to eat together, I say, "I need to get an insulin shot before eating." In fact, you can just say something like, "you know, I was scared to tell you about this, but I have diabetes." At any moment, for example, when you drink tea together

Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
No, I don't. If they start doing this, I first make a remark that it is unpleasant for me, and then, if they continue, I stop communicating. People who mock me are not my friends

How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
I ask them, "Will I be a burden to you if you have to do something?". My friends know what to tell the doctor if I lose consciousness. They know how to inject insulin and measure BG.

If a person is your friend, then he will be friends with you regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. And if he's not your friend, then diabetes doesn't affect it either. You are liked or disliked for your character, not for diabetes. Think about how you would react if your friend was ill with something. Even if your friend just gets really drunk, you'll have to take care of him and maybe call a doctor, but you'll do it and you won't feel like it's something special, isn't it?

Nobody cares about your diabetes, it's only you who cares
 
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MommaE

Well-Known Member
Messages
398
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I'll try to answer (This is ok for me, but I don't know if it ok for you)

What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
I'm talking about the fact that I'm diabetic when we eat something together for the first time or as soon as my BG drops.

Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
I think you can talk about it if you want. I give the injection without getting up from the table and no one pays attention to it

Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
Do you feel embarrassed because you have a insulin pen? Do as you feel comfortable, no one cares

For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
When we go to eat together, I say, "I need to get an insulin shot before eating." In fact, you can just say something like, "you know, I was scared to tell you about this, but I have diabetes." At any moment, for example, when you drink tea together

Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
No, I don't. If they start doing this, I first make a remark that it is unpleasant for me, and then, if they continue, I stop communicating. People who mock me are not my friends

How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
I ask them, "Will I be a burden to you if you have to do something?". My friends know what to tell the doctor if I lose consciousness. They know how to inject insulin and measure BG.

If a person is your friend, then he will be friends with you regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. And if he's not your friend, then diabetes doesn't affect it either. You are liked or disliked for your character, not for diabetes. Think about how you would react if your friend was ill with something. Even if your friend just gets really drunk, you'll have to take care of him and maybe call a doctor, but you'll do it and you won't feel like it's something special, isn't it?

Nobody cares about your diabetes, it's only you who cares[/QUOTE
A thoughtful reply Zhnyaka.
 

EllieM

Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
9,547
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
Dislikes
hypos and forum bugs
I've always been open about it, and as a result I have had my life saved by friends/co-workers who knew about hypos. (I had a bad time with hypos during my pre cgm T1 pregnancies. :))

It's a (small) part of who I am, don't believe it's ever affected my relationships/friendships. (Though my partner is a saint for the way he helps with my hypos.)

But I think it may be easier for those of us who were diagnosed as children, because we don't have any pre-T1 friends, and we are much more used to living with the condition. I certainly don't consider myself disabled, or at least no more than someone who needs an asthma inhaler, and I've never got the impression that my friends think me so either.

I think its really important to decide how you feel about your diabetes first then situations with friends get easier.
I agree with Nicole's statement here. It's hard to handle the situation with friends when you are still struggling with how you feel about it yourself.

Good luck, and welcome to the forums @Excarlibur .

(Edited to add. Disclaimer, I haven't been a young person/adult for a long time, but I did have T1 when I was.:))
 
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Excarlibur

Newbie
Messages
3
I'll try to answer (This is ok for me, but I don't know if it ok for you)

What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
I'm talking about the fact that I'm diabetic when we eat something together for the first time or as soon as my BG drops.

Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
I think you can talk about it if you want. I give the injection without getting up from the table and no one pays attention to it

Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
Do you feel embarrassed because you have a insulin pen? Do as you feel comfortable, no one cares

For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
When we go to eat together, I say, "I need to get an insulin shot before eating." In fact, you can just say something like, "you know, I was scared to tell you about this, but I have diabetes." At any moment, for example, when you drink tea together

Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
No, I don't. If they start doing this, I first make a remark that it is unpleasant for me, and then, if they continue, I stop communicating. People who mock me are not my friends

How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
I ask them, "Will I be a burden to you if you have to do something?". My friends know what to tell the doctor if I lose consciousness. They know how to inject insulin and measure BG.

If a person is your friend, then he will be friends with you regardless of whether you have diabetes or not. And if he's not your friend, then diabetes doesn't affect it either. You are liked or disliked for your character, not for diabetes. Think about how you would react if your friend was ill with something. Even if your friend just gets really drunk, you'll have to take care of him and maybe call a doctor, but you'll do it and you won't feel like it's something special, isn't it?

Nobody cares about your diabetes, it's only you who cares
Thanks for your honest opinion. It means a lot to me.
 
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Excarlibur

Newbie
Messages
3
I think its really important to decide how you feel about your diabetes first then situations with friends get easier.
I've been open but not made a drama of it but that's because I've always been diabetic and with new people I've only brought it up when it came up e.g. at a meal time or if someone's asked why I've got my pump out.
e.g. do you want sympathy? do you want to share this important part of your life now with others whether you are feeling pride in dealing with it, worry , guilt or shame? Perhaps others you know have a chronic condition that they also have to live with and I wonder how you'd feel about their asthma, epilepsy or chrnoic depression for example?
Most people I know are briefly interested or may come up with the usual stereotypes and you can help by dispelling the myths OR you can just keep it to yourself as it won't be obvious to your friends that anything has changed.
The disadvantage of the latter option is that you may feel more isolated and lonely or need their help with sorting out a hypo for example.
If you did tell them you could at least get on with testing and jabs at the table (why go to the bathroom ?).
You've got this for the rest of your life and if it isn't a drama in your head then it needn't be to your friends so going back to my first point, I hope you can work out how you feel about it.
The reason why I go to the bathroom is because I feel intimidated. I see my diabetes as a disability. I know that I should overcome this feeling and eventually be brave to not hide this from others.
 

Zhnyaka

Well-Known Member
Messages
687
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Homophobia, racism, sexism
I see my diabetes as a disability. I know that I should overcome this feeling and eventually be brave to not hide this from others.
You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but even if you treat diabetes as a disability, what's wrong with disability? It doesn't make a person bad or less interesting. For example, Roosevelt ruled the country in a wheelchair, and his disability does not in the least diminish my admiration for him. I think that if one of my friends became disabled, it would not change anything in my relationship with him. However, if I found out about my friend that he, for example, beats his wife or mocks animals, I would stop communicating with such a person
 
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Fenn

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,405
Type of diabetes
Type 1.5
Treatment type
Insulin
Hi, I am a little embarrassed about my db so I avoid injecting in front of people, I even avoid injecting in front of my wife, unless I have little choice, she cringes when I do so… I eat a lot when I go out with my club so my biker buddies all know, they don’t care but they are mostly puff heads or alkies lol

I kinda feel like it’s no ones business unless you want it to be, I don’t see any harm in hiding it, I really don’t think I’ll need emergency help from them, no more than educating someone I’m with on cpr techniques in case I have a heart attack. So my vote is hide it if it makes you feel better, tell them if not. Why would anyone care? If someone I know told me they were say epileptic I wouldn’t think anything bad, I would just chat and show some interest (once)

I hope you find a path that works for you, try to stop overthinking it :)
 

RoughcutAU

Well-Known Member
Messages
710
When first diagnosed last year for the first month or so I generally hid the mechanics (BG Testing/Insulin Injections) but was quite open with sharing about the condition. Now i just do it at the table ... its much easier then running back to my car or the bathroom and probably more sanitary. :) It took time to wrap my head around it all though and be comfortable.

I must admit abit of humour helps me - if you don’t mind being the butt of a few jokes. When I’m out with mates the line “have you had too many or are you Hypo” is thrown about - it makes light of the situation but also reminds me of the importance of checking in on myself.

Everyone is different so you do you!
 

NicoleC1971

BANNED
Messages
3,450
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
The reason why I go to the bathroom is because I feel intimidated. I see my diabetes as a disability. I know that I should overcome this feeling and eventually be brave to not hide this from others.
Of course and it must feel weird to have this new part of you and something quite personal that you maybe don't want to talk about just yet. Maybe you will start with close friends until it feels more comfortable. In my experience people are immensely curious and keen to know more so you can think of it as an educational process maybe? Perhaps just take the chance to notice if your feelings change too as I think they will!
 
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Danni_pinay

Member
Messages
13
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I have been diagnosed with T1 diabetes and struggling with making friends with this medical situation.
For example, when making new friends,
  • What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
  • Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
  • Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
I think people will feel bad for your situation. But that's ok, I feel bad for us some days! We burn out, we get annoyed, we get tired of diabetes too sometimes but once you accept it, it's easier to, laugh and tell them how look at us still living, because life goes on!

I still get anxious in public spaces, I even had friends, years back, that shouted 'druggy' when I was injecting and as the needle was in my arm or leg, I couldn't quickly hide it at that moment either. But I gave up on bathrooms to inject, too gross and I worry I'll drop my pen in to someone else's cubical and that would be harder to explain!

I usually tell new people when I'm about to inject and their eyebrows raise in confusion, it's a good laugh. But after 25 years, I've accepted laughing is a good way round it.

But we all have a story to tell and deal with life our own way, so honestly, do what's right for you. If people don't seem ok with that or you aren't happy with their reaction. Remember, you have a whole team of dead pancreas' here, happy to listen to you.

Our blood monitors judge us enough, we don't need people too
 

Grant_Vicat

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,184
Type of diabetes
Don't have diabetes
Treatment type
I do not have diabetes
Dislikes
Intolerance, selfishness, rice pudding
I was known as "Junkie" throughout my senior school. As it was always said in a humorous way and during the years 1972-1977, I didn't worry about it. As others have said., many people wanted to know more, - even to be able to look at the glass syringe!
 
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Ali_Type1

Newbie
Messages
4
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Uneducated imbeciles, bullies, judgemental people (end of the day we are all human not one or the other is different) we are all one :) .
I have been diagnosed with T1 diabetes and struggling with making friends with this medical situation.
For example, when making new friends,
  • What is the appropriate time mention that I have T1 diabetes? Would it be dropping the bomb too early for someone who I just went out a few times?
  • Should I explain that the reason I need to go to the bathroom is to inject insulin?
  • Should I hide my insulin pen to avoid embarrassment?
For your old friend who does not know about your diabetes, how do you bring up this fact smoothly?
Do you feel that your friends start pittying you or consider you as a disabled person (even if they mean well) after they know you have diabetes?
How do you deal with the worry that you might be a liability to other friends if you join them, travel somewhere but they might need to take care of you?
True friends will accept you no matter what , I defo understand how you feel about this beacuse I haven't told exactly everyone about my type 1 but I pick and chose who I want to share that with and best way to bring it up to them when your comfortable and ready to tell them it shouldn't be something you must say it totally your choice but it is safer them know and they accept you it so if you was having a hypo they will be able to bring you your hypo treatment cus of ur symptoms
 

Ushthetaff

Well-Known Member
Messages
947
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Mountain out of mole hill makers ,queues , crowds , shopping on a Saturday hmm just shopping I guess no matter what day it is
I’ve never had a problem telling anyone , I’m a very open person , plus if it bothers anyone its their problem not mine , never had an issue with anyone , in fact quite a few people can relate to it as they have friends or family who have diabetes , normally T2 but they can relate , I too inject under a table if in company , but not always ,