Am I an expert?

I’ll be visiting my mom this weekend. She was just diagnosed with diabetes and this will be the first time I’ve visited with her since she came home from the hospital. I think my dad and brothers and sisters think I can be some kind of expert on diabetes for her. Well, I am, of course, an expert on my diabetes, having lived with it for 26 years, but not my mom’s. Any advice?
Actually, I probably wouldn’t have come to this site if not for her diagnosis. Hmmmm…

My buddie John was diagnosed with T2 and after using byetta for 6 months his doctor put him on NPH and regular. It’s not so much that he needed a expert, but the whole insulin, carb, carb ratio, and correction thing is very confusing to a newbie, I’ve been doing it for 31 years and it’s not so confusing to me. I would just try to be available for her. It’s scary at the beginning.

I suggest honesty. It is always the best policy. (Sorry for the cliche.) Anyway, like Joe said, be there for her and answer the questions that you can answer, but if you don’t know the answer, just be honest and tell her you don’t know. Maybe it is something that the 2 of you can find out together.

I’ve been diabetic since 1970 and I had an aunt who was diagnosed in the late 90’s. When we talked about it, we discussed “real life” situations. She had come back from the doc’s with really a lot of theory and "you’ll do fine"s. That seemed to be the kind of stuff she needed to hear then, but she was also “selective”, let’s say, on what she “heard” on a couple of things. A lot of this stuff, as you know, we just have to learn as we go along and knowing someone is there that can understand helps immensely

You know your mom. That probably makes you the best expert around…

I think it’s a combination. You know what has worked for you and you can give anecdotal to your mom, much like what we do here. I think everyone is an expert on their own diabetes, and doctors are experts on diabetes in “theory” but not always in practice, but the combination is what is important. Doctors have often come across many different situations and experiences through their patients that we as individuals haven’t encountered. That’s why combining your own experience, peer anecdotal experiences and the doctor’s patient experience is the best combination for success. You’re coming at it from all angle. Hope that makes sense!

I think the fact that this site exists and the sharing that take place is amazing. Sometime we need to vent. Sometimes we need to be heard. Sometimes we look for a different way to do things and the amazing thing is someone here probably has already been there done that!!! These little bits of guidance help us all along our way. I may have only been diagnosed in July but after being on here and getting involved reading and replying to posts I have become better at taking care of myself. My father is on oral meds and is type 2. My father in law is also type 2 but, on oral meds and insulin. I asked them both who did not know what to tell me but, when I came here I asked questions and I got lots of answers. Now they ask me things. As Joe said its scary in the beginning. I was there not so long ago. I am still there in many ways and now my endo suggested the pump. I got scared all over again. As long as there are forums here with lots to read I will prob try and get a pump in a year or so but for now I want to get comfortable with this. Every day I learn something new here. We are all experts at our lives and sometimes other can learn from us. Thats what makes this great. Good Luck and Thanks to all the experts!!!

Thanks for your advice. Reading it, I find that mostly what I needed was reassurance, which I got. Reassurance that the shared experience of dealing with diabetes is what’s going to be important, that that’s what’s going to be the important thing I can bring. I realize that I’m not worried about the medical issues around diabetes as much as the emotional issues and it’s the emotions around having diabetes that I can help best with.
Just as with this group – a group of strangers brought together by a medical condition but held together by shared emotional experiences.


If your mom is diagnosed with Type 2, some things are different, but not as much as her doctor will tell her.

Also, with you having Type 1, she may well have autoimmune components to her “Type 2.” This is more frequent than realized, and when it is the case, there is insulin deficiency, not just insulin resistance. If oral drugs for IR don’t make much difference, it might be wise to move to insulin sooner, not later.

For that matter, there is a lot of evidence accumulating that insulin early does great things, long term, for Type 2, even if it is stopped after a few weeks.

There is a lot of info about Type 2 on my Blood Sugar 101 web site. You mom may be blaming herself, as doctors lay huge amounts of guilt on people with Type 2. My site has a page that addresses the real reasons for Type 2, and many people tell me that reading it really helps them cope.

If she is a Type 2, she might find Gretchen Becker’s “The First Year” book helpful too.