In case you missed it on Instagram or Facebook, Here are a few essential points of diabetes etiquette in social card format for you to download (right click on mouse) and share with friends and/or family. This is primarily for those managing Type 1 diabetes because it takes a heck of a lot more work than most are aware of.
Editor’s Note: If any of these statements or facts offend you, it’s because I’ve simply spoken the truth which you refuse to hear and accept.
1) Unsolicited advice is rarely ever welcomed especially when it comes to managing an exhausting disease such as Type 1 diabetes. So please, keep your thoughts to yourself when it comes to what we can or cannot eat – no, cinnamon won’t help us reverse T1d (not reversible) and cutting back on sugar is such an outdated belief. T1d’s can eat anything any non-diabetic can with proper dosing and timing of insulin and accurate carb counting. 🥟🍤
2) Realize and acknowledge that managing diabetes is a lot of work – a job I didn’t want, don’t get paid for and can’t quit.* There’s so much more to it than just multiple blood sugar checks (pokes), daily injections of insulin (T1ds need insulin to live, no other medication will keep them alive or maintain safe blood sugars), stress factors, growth hormones, and counting carbs. Not to mention the steep learning curve immediately following diagnosis. Seriously, cut us some slack. We deal with enough pricks already. 😓
*Inspiration: behavioraldiabetesinstitute.org 🖥
5) This is the bare minimum I must do [for my child] to stay healthy and alive. If you’re ashamed or grossed-out, then educate yourself and turn away. Don’t expect me to make my autoimmune disease more comfortable for you. 💪🏼
6) Try to ask me how you might be helpful. It may not be what or how you expected, but just hearing and knowing you care would mean a lot. For example, grandparents can help check their grandchild’s blood sugars while Mom finishes the dishes, does some laundry, or gets her nails done. 🍽
7) Don’t offer me false reassurances by saying thoughtless things like, “It could be worse – at least you [or your child] doesn’t have cancer.” Don’t be a prick like my moms BF and say this the day after diagnosis. This implies that Type 1 diabetes isn’t as serious as cancer – both are severe conditions in their own way. The main difference is my baby requires insulin by injection and/or pump in order to live for the rest of her life. There is still no known cure yet or any other form of treatment for her autoimmune disease. 😑
Every day is an opportunity to spread diabetes awareness and educate others who WANT and CARE to learn
8) Try to be a positive influence in my life by surrounding me with healthy options when dining with you and not constantly tempting me or my child with sweets or any type of carbs when her blood sugar is high (over 180 mg/dl). It’ll be beneficial for all of us to live well, exercise, and eat certain foods in moderation. 🍕🍜🍷
9) Friends and family members may not realize this, but constantly questioning or criticizing a T1ds blood sugars is annoying and frustrating. They may mean well, but it’s best not to go about it without a T1ds knowledge like peeking at their Dexcom then shaming them for high or low BGs (just an example). Although this disease is manageable, some days will be harder than others and that’s when they need to be even more understanding and supportive. 👨👩👧
10) Offer your love and genuine support and if no words come to mind, a hug will be just fine. To learn how to genuinely support a T1d or their parent, read my previous posts and take the initiative to educate yourself about this disease. The more support a T1d has, the greater the chances of him or her succeeding in taking control of their diabetes and minimizes any feelings of isolation and depression. ✊🏼
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*NOTE: Examples given are not to be taken literally. Apply each Diabetes Etiquette card to your life in situations you see fit. Always use good educated judgement for self-care and be kind before commenting on other people’s posts especially when you barely know the person. Share and tag @type1diabetic_life on Instagram. Mahalo and live well.💙
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