Laurie, you have made a very good point about there being a lot of blame being put on type 2 diabetics and not a lot of support by most anyone. My husband used to have a really good doctor who helped him a lot and who my was motivational. We had to switch because of insurance. Our last two doctors have been okay in that they do the appropriate testing, prescribe the appropriate meds, etc. But, it is obvious that, to them, my husband is just another patient and they don't really care what happens to him.
Family and friends are worse, much worse, about being judgmental and non-supportive (or trying to provide support in the wrong way). My husband and I have been told numerous times that he's given this to himself by eating too much sugar (which is not true). Go to someone's house and they will make a meal laden with carbs, serve it up with some fruit juice and then haul out a desert made with Splenda and make a point of telling him he can eat that because it doesn't have sugar in it (never mind all the flour that went into the cake or cookies that they made with the Splenda). Or, they will see my husband eating, for example, a piece of candy (e.g. an M&M) and they will tell him he shouldn't be eating that (or ask him if he should be eating that, like he needs to be asked that). Um, I'm pretty sure that he knows what he should and should not eat. Yes, it's okay for him to eat a couple of M&Ms. No, it's not okay for him to eat a plate of the spaghetti you made for him and then eat some cake made with Splenda afterwards.
Overall, I think that most people really lack understanding of the disease and they lack an understanding of the struggle that it is to deal with it on a daily basis for a lifetime. It can be really demotivating for someone with diabetes to deal with the prejudice, judgment and know-it-all attitudes of others (don't mean from the folks here, on this thread, though, just stuff in general). It's bad enough to be overweight (and many diabetics are), but then add in something else that people blame you and judge you for and I can only imagine what that must be like.
It's also not really easy for someone who has diabetes to really know what they need to be doing to manage the disease. I remember that, when my husband was first diagnosed, he had no idea what to eat anymore. The diabetes classes really weren't much help, either. They were actually so basic that I'm not sure how they were helping anyone. They didn't offer the in-depth information and nutritional advice that was needed. The nutritionist he went to see...well, for some reason, he only got one visit and it wasn't enough. It took a few years for us to really figure it out. I do think that it's not uncommon for diabetics to be in denial, but I also think that it's pretty common for them to not actually know what they need to do and I think that this can also look like denial.
I know lots of people...family included who have it and seem to do nothing. I had an aunt who had it. she lost 1 leg then the other and then her life. It is something that cannot or should not be ignored. High blood sugar numbers should be a worning sign. With my hypoglycemia and my low numbers it is sign I need to do something so I do.
These posts are a real eye opener. I didn't realize how hard it is to deal with. Diabetes runs in my family with brothers on insulin and an older sister recently told she was borderline. I know she will not do well as she has a food addiction. I am sad for that.
I have been battling a rising BS over 30 years but have managed to hold it at 100 (the US scale) and recently got a report in the high 80's. I was thrilled. And yet I fear it's just a matter of time....
I thank SP for giving me the nutritive and motivational info I need. And for great people like you all.
5/1/13 6:28 P
I am a insulin dependent type 2 diabetic. Everything everyone is saying here is quite true but you do need to know that there are often no symptoms until your bs (blood sugar) is sky high. And it's not an easy disease to acknowledge because so many, even those within the medical professional lay blame on the individual, like having a chronic progressive disease is a choice. While it is true that weight loss and lifestyle changes can reverse the course of diabetes it is like being an alcoholic; even though someone may have stopped drinking they are and always will be an alcoholic. A diabetic is always a diabetic no matter how much they may have reversed or delayed the onset of the disease - it is a life long condition that you need to address each and every day and by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and making good life choices you may avoid the more severe consequences and the medications associated with diabetes. There is nothing more I hate than being made to feel like a failure because I am on insulin. There is nothing worse than having your doctor tell you to lose weight - yes, I know that and I am struggling with that - without offering any kind of help. It's such a judgement. Dealing with diabetes in a positive maner so that your health is a priority is really, really hard. Imagine - I'm fat, I'm lazy, I'm useless, I'm ugly, and now I have diabetes and I'm going to lose my eyesight, my limbs, I'm going to have to take 6 injections a day for the rest of my life. If y'all think the weight loss journey we are all on is tough, throw in the complications of diabetes. So yes, it's very easy to deny and extremely difficult to tackle it head on. Honestly, there's not alot of support out there - or at least it feels like that. So, there's alot of head games when a person is diagnosed with diabetes. When I was told I was diabetic when I was pregnant and the doctor prescribed insulin, my very first shot I bent the needle, got a huge bruise and some bleeding - and then sat down and cried and cried. Not an easy disease.
Fitness Minutes: (32,775)
5/1/13 5:40 P
My husband is on medication. and he says that he tries, but no one is going to make him do anything he does not want to do for himself, so it is up to me to show him that its not a huge deal.
Edited by: JONEC14333 at: 5/1/2013 (17:41)
5/1/13 1:39 P
My husband also has diabetes and I see him struggle with it every day. The decisions that he makes about which foods to eat are much improved from what they used to be, but often still not good. It's kind of cyclical. He goes through time periods where he does really well and then periods where he makes a bunch of bad choices. It kind of reminds me of someone who's on a diet, trying to lose weight and not really accepting that permanent changes need to be made and then consistently applied, forever.
It's a difficult disease because it requires you to make permanent lifestyle changes which involve a whole lot of saying "no" in the present in order to avoid long-term consequences. I think it's easy to make bad decisions in the moment. It's easy to think "just this once" or "I'll stop doing this tomorrow" and then tell yourself the same thing the next time and the next time, etc. It's the same thing with weight loss...easy to keep saying "tomorrow."
Fitness Minutes: (2,033)
155 5/1/13 1:26 P
The person I love most, has it... my husband. I watch him struggle or worse just continue to make bad choices, and when his blood sugar sky-rockets... I pay. I pay because he becomes un-reasonable... angry... and difficult to live with. We are working together at this... exercising together... and losing weight. But I wish he would join sparkspeople where he could get the support his really needs. I am just his wife... right? But when I am here reading the message boards... etc, I get strength in my own struggles- to exercise even though I deal with daily pain from an accident. I was good for a while... but then tried walking longer distances- on land instead of at the aquatic center. It set me back, cause of the immense pain. But Sparkspeople just being sparkspeople, helps me not to cave in and give up. I want this for him also... more support. I know it is really hard.
Fitness Minutes: (80,447)
5/1/13 1:24 P
I am an "improved prediabetic", my HA1C went from 6.4 to 6.0 after losing 40 pounds. My doctor congratulated me on that last week as we discussed my lab results. I am quite aware that is not good enough and I need to get the HA1C to be under 5,6.
Great thread, it's good to be reminded of all the diabetes facts!
I suppose it is similar to those who experience smoking-related health consequences, but choose to "ignore" the warning signs and the extremely elevated disease risk...
Or those who experience the physical and emotional health consequences of alcohol or other substances, that choose to "adapt" to the symptoms rather than change the lifestyle...
I have to say, I agree it is mind-boggling, how we can *know* the risks and *feel* the consequences and still place more value on our freedom to indulge in our vices (the smoke, the drink, the Double Down). But - tell me one person you know, that hasn't done exactly this? I smoked for years even as my grandfather died of it. I sabotaged my health with my food choices, putting myself at elevated risk for diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers...
WHY?? You'd think an organism's first priority would be self-preservation - yet SO MANY of us take the path of self-harm. It's confusing and counter intuitive. What a strange species we are.
Fitness Minutes: (80,447)
5/1/13 12:43 P
I know several folks who are borderline...and doing NOTHING to prevent crossing that line. I know that it's not easy, but seriously - THINK about the consequences!
My aunt never changed her habits, she died with missing toes that were amputated. I did not write this to be gruesome, but you will start losing toes and such if you do not do what is necessary when living with diabetes. She died fairly young. My mom is older then her and is still alive, my aunt died about 10 years ago.
Of the people I have talked to I am always amazed at how so many are either in complete denial about having DIABETES or don't really do much of anything about.
I have it and it's a constant battle for me.
I think the problem is that since doesn't immediately show harmful effects that some folks just either ignore it or adjust to the problems like blurry vision, or sweatiness, or eventual loss of feeling in their feet. This disease sucks (like others, too) but honestly it CAN be managed....and yet some choose not to do anything about it.
Do you know anyone with diabetes that's ignoring it?
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