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Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

why am I so ashamed/embarrassed to tell/show people I'm diabetic?

Discussion in 'Young People/Adults' started by JShep07, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Member

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    Haha thanks @slaxx. I do feel it’s a bit late now but that’s ok! Diabetes itself hasn’t REALLY stopped me doing anything but I think the shame has. I’m meant to be going to learn to ski with colleagues who don’t know I’m T1- how am I going to handle THAT?!
     
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  2. mytype1.life

    mytype1.life Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’ve just come back from skiing! You will be fine. My advice would be talk to your colleagues about diabetes - communication is key. Also go prepared... always have glucose tabs/meter to test on you. You’ve got this!
     
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  3. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks! You’re obviously right and
    - how dumb is this- I think it’ll be a bigger deal that I’ve not told them before, rather than the Diabetes being a big deal!
     
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  4. mytype1.life

    mytype1.life Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You might be pleasantly surprised! Some of my colleagues are really interested and curious!
     
  5. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'm so pleased I just read that.
    @mytype1.life I would rather my colleagues didn't even know about it. It may be "your type 1 life," it was my entirely not type 1 life until a few months ago and I was quite happy with it. I do not want or need to be the perpetual special case. I do not need that sort of feeling special. The surprises as you say are not usually that nice, I would rather talk about work or fun rather than endlessly about illness.
     
  6. cristis

    cristis Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    About five years ago, when I found out a younger guy I was supervising had diabetes, I was like "wow! that's an awful illness from what I heard!" (like cancer or TBC, in my mind). The guy calmed me down and told me it's ok, he was having a hypo and was just looking for an apple to eat.

    Two years ago I've been diagnosed myself with prediabetes, and it is very likely I have T2 now.

    My point is most people - like myself 5 years ago - may still be biased or may have no idea how diabetes is actually like. The image I had in my mind, at that moment, was of a 13 years old I've met in my childhood, with T1, using syringes with insuline. It was and it still is a daunting image for me.
     
  7. Kikeena_

    Kikeena_ Type 2 · Member

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    I understand your reluctance to tell people. There's the judgement even if it's not your fault. Then there's getting lots of unwanted advice about food exercise etc etc etc etc. I hate that too. It's ok to feel reluctant to tell others.
    As is so often said here, we're all different. You need to manage your life in a way that works for you. And once you've told them you can't untell them. You're only 20. Life does get easier as you get older and you get less self conscious and more assertive. But until then, it's ok to keep it secret.
     
  8. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Why on earth should being diabetic stop you from being a doctor? Yes, the army's out, so is being an astronaut and, I believe, an airline pilot, but I can't see why diabetes should prevent anyone from taking up a career in medicine....
     
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  9. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've always been open to friends and colleagues about being T1. And if I go swimming on my own, I also tell the lifeguard, and tell him where I've put my emergency carb (not that I've ever had a swimming hypo). I did once have a bad hypo at work, and was rescued by a colleague, so I'm glad that everyone knew about it. Maybe I've been lucky but I don't remember anyone ever making a big deal about it. Would you hide your inhaler if you had asthma?
     
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  10. leahkian

    leahkian · Well-Known Member

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    If you do not tell people that you are a diabetic and something happens at work how are they to no what is wrong, i did hide my diabetes away when i first started out drinking but sometimes having a hypo can look like you are drunk. I had some good friends and always had something with me when i was out and a card saying i was a diabetic, if i was talking to a girl i would tell them that i was a diabetic as i had nothing to hide. The media paint diabetics as fat, lazy and that they have caused their own problems, well i got it when i was 3 so i had none of these but if you look on the news people with type 2 always seem to be reported as fat. The fact is no one asked to be a diabetic and most people do not want it but the only way forward is to educate people from a early age so the facts are out there. I have no problem talking about diabetes and the things that it has done to me as 30 years ago only children were the main age group for type one but now you can get it at anytime of life and yes it does effect the rest of your life. As there is no cure you either bury your head in the sand or try and make the best out of a bad illness and i know people say you do not no what it is like to get diabetes when your in your 20s and yes them people are right i was lucky i got it when i was 3 and by the time i had just turned 21 i had 3 years of eye problems and was told i would need a new kidney. If i had got it at 20 and had a normal life it would mean i would have had 18 years before i had ant problems, if a child gets cancer aged 3 and is still here when he is in his 20s you do not hear people saying you were lucky you got it at 3 i am 20 and have had a life. I am now 41 had a double transplant which showed the damage the diabetes had done over the 35 years i have had it and i am in worse shape than before the transplant but i have been unlucky, the people i feel sorry for are my children and parents who have had to watch me before the transplant and now after it. I feel guilty and angry that i cannot do the things that other dads can do but i will listen to anyone who has a problem with diabetes and try to help them with there lives, i mean i am not a diabetic at the minute but i am still under the care of a diabetic team. If you find it hard to tell anyone that you are a diabetic there are local diabetic groups all over the UK who you could talk to and ask them how they have did it. In the UK we need something that is on TV that explains the different types of diabetes, the problems of everyday life but also to clear up the people who get diabetes are all fat. Many people get diabetes and then see how different it is in real life and not what the papers say it is and their should be a mental health team who only deals with diabetes all over the UK as people who suffer wirh mental health problems and have diabetes do not no what diabetes entails so cannot relate to the person unless they have had the right training.
     
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  11. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    I too was embarrassed when I was first diagnosed 6 years ago, I felt I had to hide it from people, but one day at a restaurant my partner told me to inject at the table rather than running off to the loo to do it, that was my turning point and since then I don’t hide it but I only tell the people who need to know around me, I also take time to explain it if people are interested but also know when to stop when their eyes glaze over with info overload. It doesn’t have to be an issue but you do need to inform those you work, exercise and socialise with as they are the people who need to be aware of what to do if you have a hypo.
     
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  12. spaceman

    spaceman Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    me too im a type 1 diabetic had it for 6 years at first i hid it too now , when i was first diagnosed a bloke kicked off shouting at me calling my a junkey he told a police officer who came over to me , the police officer when he found out it was diabetes told me it was ok and gave the other bloke a telling off for waisting police time.
     
  13. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Member

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    It was 1990. I think the long hours and stress?! Bizarre.
    As an adult I got hired as a flight attendant but failed the medical as T1 and it was legal cos it was a middle eastern airline...
     
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  14. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a comment about the "stigma" of diabetes. When I became diabetic (1970) half the people at the diabetic clinic were T1s, so there wasn't any "fat and lazy" preconception because half the diabetics got it as a "skinny" pre 30 T1. In those days, young people got T1, "old" people got T2, a few young people had gestational diabetes which turned into T1 if you had too many pregnancies, and that was about it on the form diabetes could take.... There weren't any fat T1s, and there weren't any thin T2s. Obviously, we know that things aren't so simple now! :) But it does explain why I never felt any stigma about my diabetes, and the people I told about it were interested rather than accusing. Oh, and in those days most GPs lost at least one new T1 patient because they didn't diagnose them in time. (Hopefully that isn't the case now.) I've always felt that I'm doing a public service by educating as many people as possible about hypos!
     
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  15. olivem1612

    olivem1612 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Unfortunately I feel the same as you. I think many people misunderstand the condition, out of the handful of people I've talked to about my T1, all had absolutely no idea what it means, not even to some degree.

    Furthermore, I had a really bad experience in which I have told just one person besides family- members and I immediately became the talk of the town. I really hated this attention and think it had a negative impact on me and my personality developed as very reserved. I'm not so happy about this :/
     
  16. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's just a desire to want to be perceived as normal (Whatever that is), like everyone else and not be looked at as though you somehow have a weakness. Unless you have diabetes, people just don't understand what you give up, what you are capable of achieving and what strength it takes to just live a normal life each day. At times people seem to think they know your condition better then you do, what you should do and not do. Some days are easy and some are not. Maybe I'm just rambling and this makes no sense at all.
     
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  17. JShep07

    JShep07 Type 1 · Member

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    Hey im sorry i haven't been on this site for a while so have only just seen this. Would you mind me having the name of your insta page? Im really struggling with my diabetes and i think i need to start talking to people around my age who have it but i unfortunately live on the isle of wight and don't know any other diabetics
     
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  18. Madmaureen

    Madmaureen Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes so do I try to educate people who deal with the public in shops etc.to keep lucozade in just in case and explain to them to look out for signs if possible do not give food to them and loads of different ideas and how to cope whether they listen or not at least they know if things happen like this around them.
     
  19. jlarsson

    jlarsson Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't generally talk about myself at all unless specifically asked nor do I care what people think of me, so I give myself injections in public without a care in the world and find it quite enjoyable when people give me that look of what the hell is he doing. I've worn a wristband stating that I'm a Type 1 for years now and I think I can count on one hand how many people have actually noticed it or at least asked about it.
     
  20. Celsus

    Celsus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I often travel in planes for long-haul trips for my job, so sitting there I don't want all the trouble of sneaking off to the toilet just to take my insulin or measure my bg. I stopped doing that probably after having type1 for maybe 1 years or so. So I just pull down the side of my pants right yen and there or open my shirt front and shoot away!

    You may be surprised, but its actually very rare my neighbor passenger even notices anything.
    And if they do, most are quite polite or positively interested. And the few that looks suspiciously at me, I immediately take my pen with needle out and hand it forward to them and ask if they also wants some of my good drugs?
    Haven't had any takers so far. A bit disappointed actually...

    Had my first "pants down, shoot in public episode" when I was 12 years old. Missed a train in a foreign country. Together with my friends. They got back with a nice bag of fresh pastries, so it was time for breakfast right then and there.
    And mind you, back then it was syringes, needles and insulin vials in separate kits to get all ready for the injection, so quite a show. But you shouldn't really mind the attention or whatever you feel you get from doing this in public.

    What you should care about is your own personal health!
    That is priority #1 in your life !
    Everything else is secondary.
    So if you need your shot or you need sugar right here and now, go for it !

    Because if you try and be 'nice to those foreign people' around you, well then you compromise your own well being and livelihood. And believe me, none of those people will care about you or visit you in hospital in case you get diabetes complications due to you not doing optimally with your insulin shots and bg control. Its a tough world out there, so make sure you take best care of yourself at all times. And despite the diabetes you can still have a great life full of amazing ventures!
     
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