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What are some of the best ways to tell people you're diabetic?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Jelaca, May 15, 2014.

  1. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Yeah, fashions change that's for sure..........:D
     
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  2. Flowerpot

    Flowerpot Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I usually only tell people who need to know, it's just easier that way.

    A couple of months ago I was having a cup of coffee with my neighbour who doesn't know I'm type 1 when my insulin pump started alarming. She said "Aren't you going to answer that"?, instead of pretending it was an important call coming through I gave what I thought was an easy to understand, concise explanation of Type 1 and insulin pumps. Ever since she has brought me a family box of chocolates every few weeks to -as she puts it -"cheer me up"!

    1. I'm not miserable.2. I don't eat chocolates. 3. I wish I had pretended it was a phone. 4. How do I stop her doing this?
     
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  3. Diddly

    Diddly Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is an opportunity not to be missed. Recycle the chocolates by giving them as birthday present to friends and family! Save you a fortune in the long term!! Lol

    t1
    Diagnosed 14/02/2013
    44 years old
    basal/bolus
     
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  4. Dyadya_Maykl

    Dyadya_Maykl Type 1 · Active Member

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    I think this is a difficult one.
    We understand the issues, and the problems. Not everyone understands. And it is difficult to explain to people - <<Yes, I need to eat carefully, and try to avoid sugar.>> <<mmmmh...and why you scoffing jelly babies now then?>> <<Oh, sometimes I need to eat sugary things>>
    My partner does not like me testing my blood, or injecting in public. It is a cultural thing with her, and I appreciate her dislike of my premeal rituals. She is not English.
    Toilets are usually the most discret place to do the jab and test. Contrary to an earler posting, when doing bacterial testing I found the lab had more micro-organisms than the loos. That is because toilets are bleached, and cleaned. Micro-organisms are everywhere, and abound in restaurants, bars, and other places where there are peple.
    I believe that discretion is the better part of valour. Anyway, I do not want to have to explain myself, or be pitied, or end up in a medical conversation with people I am with.
     
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  5. lucyturniptree

    lucyturniptree Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was first diagnosed (at age 16) I hated the thought of telling people. I felt awkward telling people. Very few of my friends knew and the few that did know didn't really understand. Then I had a massive hypo at school and needed help (ended up with 3 cans of diet coke and a packet of sugar free sweets before I got the can of full sugar coke I needed). I used to hide in the toilets and take my sugar levels and insulin or just not take them if there wasn't a toilet.

    Then I met someone in another class who was Diabetic, had been all her life, and her attitude towards her Diabetes really woke me up. It was MY attitude towards Diabetes that was the barrier! I hadn't fully accepted that "Big D" was a part of me and I felt ashamed that I was Diabetic. Since then (sounds easier than it was) I have tried to change my attitude towards it. Most people don't have a problem or issues with you being Diabetic- sure there might be a few questions about it or the odd person who might start treating you differently, but the majority of the time, it is fine as long as you are fine about it. Would you feel awkward about telling someone you were a vegetarian if they were going to cook for you? Or if you had an allergy to peanuts? Being Diabetic might be a big deal to you, but to most other people, it isn't something that really concerns them.

    Also, Maybe the people who you took you reading in front of did notice, but didn't think that you were comfortable talking about it. Maybe they misread your awkwardness for not wanting to talk about it.

    On the other hand, you don't have to go around shouting to the world that you are Diabetic (I had a Diabetic friend who used to bring it up in every conversation). If someone notices that you are doing your blood sugars "Oh, I'm just doing my blood sugars. I'm Diabetic" No big deal, easy peasy. If a teacher calls you out on it and you don't want to announce it to the entire class, just say you have a medical condition that you could discuss privately.

    It isn't easy at first., it doesn't ever really get to be easy, but it gets easier telling people. In the past I have told people in a round about way, talking as if I expect that they know: example if you are talking about watching something on TV, "I was so cross, I was enjoying it and then I had to go and take my blood sugars- darned Diabetes!!" "oh, your Diabetic?" "Yes, didn't you know? Anyway, when I got back I'd missed the results...". Sometimes they don't even question it, just accept the information or might talk to me afterwards.

    As for the rushing off to the toilet around meal time- you wouldn't believe the number of people who used to think I had an eating disorder and were actually relieved when I told them I was diabetic!!
     
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  6. Paul J

    Paul J Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Im happy to chat T1 with any interested party, and I don't hold back...worts an all as they say... but only if they are genuinely interested, and that's normally led by their questions, ,
    I often MUST inform some people for health and safety reasons, so that they know how to react if I collapse in their factory or office,
    and as far as insulin and testing, I work on the martini rule.... any place anytime anywhwere!!! :)
    It works for me, and no one has ever critised
     
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  7. JRW

    JRW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a difficult one as there re so many preconceptions, my work are great, and will try to accommodate me, for a big team meeting last week I was asked by my bosses PA what I wanted as a snack as "I can't eat biscuits", reality is I can eat what I want as long as I balance my insulin, however it's just too much to try and explain succinctly each time. Even if it's well meaning questions can be hard work. Generally I find it easier to test at mealtimes in the toilets at work, not because i have any stigma, just as it's easier to do in a predictable, safe environment,
     
  8. minidvr

    minidvr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the need to hide the fact that I'm diabetic T2. But than I don't have to test or inject routinely as I'm on tablets. So far, everyone I know or have met who've heard that I've had the diagnosis and am coping has been supportive. Someone asked about type 1 and hypo's etc, and I said that I don't know enough about that to comment as I don't suffer from it or inject so far.

    I do know someone who is in his nineties and is type 1 and has been for about 30 years or so. His condition is complicated by recent operations and has become a bit unstable and has meant his wife having to call for medical help as he has fitted during hypo's a couple of times. But he and she are both open and clear about his condition. And we are prepared to do what might be necessary if he has a hypo in church (they both attend regularly). It's if something happens when they're both home, he can't be left alone just in case something happens. You can imagine how frustrating he finds it all - says not to make such a fuss? Perhaps typical of his generation. As his wife says, when he's out of it, he's not worried, she's the one trying to sort it out.

    I think that their attitude of being open about it, without embarrassment is refreshing and I can't think why people should think any the worse of you because of a medical condition, unless they've got some misconceptions about what the causes are. For the record, I have been t-total and a vegetarian for nearly 25 years, long ago having abandoned the habits that I had. But it appears that diabetes runs in my family so genetics are involved. My father died from the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes. Both siblings have been diabetic for years and I believe that I've been fortunate to have gone so long without an inherited condition affecting my life. Perhaps I'm too long in the tooth to get embarrassed about something like diabetes, there's more than enough stuff around to be concerned about without that. :)
     
  9. Hooked

    Hooked · Guest

    Only reading through this thread now and sorry, your post really made me LOL. Number one, the idea of you "answering" your pump and number two, your neighbours thoughtful, and yet thoughtless, idea on how to cheer you up. :)

    I just tell people that I work with etc as they need to know if something happens me. As for friends/acquaintances, when they see me inject/test if they ask, I let them know what I'm doing and why. I haven't had anyone ask since I started on the pump though. I could be "answering" it yet! Lol.
     
  10. dtennant9

    dtennant9 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was first diagnosed I would go to the toilet to test and take my injections when in public and at work.
    The only time I go to the toilet now is when doing my morning Lantus at work as I do this in a more discreet place which I'm sure my colleagues don't want to see.
    If I am with people that I don't know I will make sure that I ask if they have any issues with needles etc. If they do I will move away.
    I've only had people stare at me a couple of times so far and never had anyone approach me about it.
    The only issues I've had with the condition in general is people thinking it is caused by bad diet etc however I think the press have a lot to answer for with regards to that.
     
  11. AndyS

    AndyS Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I made the decision pretty much from the get go that if I have to learn to live with this then so can everyone else.
    Hell it's not like I am doing and IV shout or anything so drastic.

    For the most part I have found people are actually more curious than anything. I have had only two pompous bigots try and get all high and mighty though. In one case I pretty much took them down with some comment about the state of t he toilets in the place being far from hygienic and I didn't care what her opinion was. The second was in a KFC I think and some woman got all uppity saying it was unsuitable for her kid and she was going to complain to the manager. While she stormed off the kid actually asked me some questions and was more interested in what I was doing and why. Shame the mother didn't pay more attention to her kid, the young lad had a much better attitude.

    I don't feel the need to hide this, yes I will exercise caution so that I won't get knocked or risk accidentally sticking someone with a used needle but the thing is this was not my fault and I a trying to live with it.
    Educating the people that stare or what have you is the best thing I think I can do, perhaps in the longer term people that are less able to discuss the condition will end up in a more friendly environment as a results.
     
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  12. Josef1980

    Josef1980 Type 1 · Active Member

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    This is my take on the matter :cat:
    [​IMG]

    :cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat::cat:
     
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  13. zed

    zed · Active Member

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    I was 7 when I was first diagnose but I never told anyone at school they knew I was diabetic but didn't ever see me injecting and checking my BG. In college I told one friend and showed her now I have just finished uni and really couldn't care less if someone looks or makes a comment at the end of the day if they don't like they don't have to look and your health comes first :) I have never had any comments when I am
    Out and injecting or checking my BG


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
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  14. Cloe-1992

    Cloe-1992 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi jelaca :) .

    When I was a bit younger I felt the exact same , was conscious of people knowing and what people would think .
    But as I have got older and was in my teens it's all different . I was diagnosed at 7 , I'm now 22 .
    I was nervous when I started meeting my partner , didn't know how to tell him or how he would take it .
    So I didn't for three days then got further , and thought if I'm going to be with him , he needs to know , so I just came out with it .
    Best thing I have ever done , were now engaged , been together four years , and we are planning to have a baby .
    His very understanding and knows just as much as I do about my diabetes .
    But my point is , I think if the important people know and care about you that is all that matters , I am not a confident person , but I am now when it comes to my diabetes , it's my diabetes no ones else , so if they don't like it or make funny comments , then that's their sad life , and they have to deal with being that low . As long as you are happy and happy with your diabetes . Don't worry about what others think . It's you that counts your the one dealing with it , and the people that care about you won't mind about the diabetes .
    I hope this helps if it doesn't I'm sorry I rambled on haha .
    Take care :):):)
     
  15. s-s-i-i-c-c-k-k

    s-s-i-i-c-c-k-k Type 1 · Member

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    When I was first diagnosed, I didn't really feel ashamed of testing and injecting in front of my closest friends. My long-term boyfriend also was really interested in studying diabetes and this is how we started talking. However, as time passed, I noticed a lot of people keep asking the usual questions when they see me injecting. You know, "does it hurt?", "I couldn't do it!". I even got asked how many years I have left to live. All these things made me keep everything more hidden than usual. They also hurt a tad, but thanks to my boyfriend I could easily go through everything. I think you need to share your diabetic habits with people, but only with those who you are sure would understand. It is perfectly normal to be scared of their reaction, but I wish you good luck in finding the nicest ones soon ^^
     
  16. mark no sugar

    mark no sugar Type 2 · Member

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    Hi jelaca,you must have more confidence in yourself.I have had 2 kidney transplants,and with the side effects of the medication,and people not really knowing about the subject.,I used not to tell people what I have to do and what help is needed.now Its not a issue.am a diabetic aswell .tell people what you have and what you have to do,if they are uncomfortable with it ,it's there problem!
     
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  17. mark no sugar

    mark no sugar Type 2 · Member

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  18. mark no sugar

    mark no sugar Type 2 · Member

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    Hi just read ur message to jelaca ,great piece of advise.you sound very level headed.
     
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