Dealing with Relatives with Diabetes

Hi all of my fellow medical oddities. How nice to have so many who are in this boat with me (nice that you’re here for support, not nice that you have it, too).

I’m the first Type 1 (LADA) in my family, but not the first PWD. My dad and many of my other relatives have Type 2. I was wondering whether you find that it’s very difficult to communicate with your other relatives. My parents are like the opposite of the average parent of a diabetic. Since I wasn’t diagnosed until I moved out of state, with my own career, etc., they really have no clue what my daily life is like. And my dad is so uninterested in managing his own diabetes. I worry about him, but trying to get him to even walk around the block each day is impossible. I sometimes feel like the more I push, the more he resists. I know you can’t make people want to take responsibility for their health, but I sometimes feel like a bad daughter for not pushing him harder (I’ve kind of given up). Also, he sometimes tries to give me advice - which can be nice because it’s a bit like commiserating with other Type 2s on these forums (only better since its my dad). But he doesn’t really understand the difference so he’s always surprised that I “take so much insulin” and says things like “why can’t you just take one shot of lantus and call it a day?”

Does any one else find these issues challenging?

Yes! I have a number of relatives who have type 2 and they just don’t understand the differences in the two. They take a pill and think I am on the edge of death because I take insulin when my A1c is actually way better than theirs and they don’t understand why I test so much. I try to get them to understand that this is what it takes to gain real control. Just popping a pill won’t do it.

Yup. Though I would add that I was dx at 16 while living at home and my parents still have no clue as to what my daily life is like, and how much work it actually is. I’ll admit that I try to make it appear effortless, but it’s still frustrating. Even today, 18 years later, every time I visit my mom for dinner she gets mad when I tell her that nobody needs 7 different kinds of carbs at a meal, lol. Exercise? Nope. Granted, she doesn’t have diabetes, but there is no doubt in my mind that she is doing damage to her body. My dad takes reasonably good care of himself. His family has a lot of T2, so he’s definitely at risk and will almost certainly develop it at some point, but I think he can manage it. It’s my mom I worry about, which is probably atypical because men are usually the stubborn ones!