Diabetes and Insensitivity/Sensitivity of Friends

Sorry for using this thing again, guys, but I was wondering how your friends handled your diagnosis if you were old enough to have well established friends or how new people handle your condition.

I've got this friend. I used to consider her my best friend, but lately not so much. I guess when something tough happens, friends either rise to the occasion or disappear, but I've never heard of a friend being absolutely unsupportive. I don't know what to do. She acted interested and concerned when I first got diagnosed, but lately her ignorance or cruelty with regards to my diabetes is upsetting.

There are a few well-meaning ignorant remarks she made, such as pressuring me to drink because she got sugar-free margarita mix. I tried to explain it isn't the sugar that'll mess me up but the way alcohol will effect me, but she keeps telling me I'm just being a chicken and need to stop worrying. I don't how to communicate to her that it's scary not knowing what your body is doing. I'm not as nervous going to sleep now but in the first few months, I was scared I wouldn't wake up. She thinks I'm overreacting, but it's like she thinks diabetes is this formula that you just need to follow.

On that note, she gets made at me when I have a low or a high. We went out of town together and I overestimated the carbs in ice cream and ended up going down to 50. I was on top of it and not really afraid as I had someone with me who know my condition and had sugar to correct the low, but she kept bringing up that I shouldn't have been so "irresponsible". The same thing goes with highs. She'll tell me I shouldn't have eaten what I did and that it's really reckless and dangerous to be high even if I'm only at a high level (and by high I mean under 300) once every few days. It's like she thinks that if I know my I:C ratio it's a fixed thing and I can know for a fact what my blood sugar is doing.

The last ignorant thing that really hurt me feelings is that she gave blood and I said I wish I could go give blood right now, but she was like "Ew. Who would want your blood?" I just hate this idea of "ew". Really? Am I so gross? Plus I told her if my BG is controlled, I'm healthy enough to give blood. Then she followed that up with "but can't you transfuse diabetes?". I swear she thinks diabetes is the equivalent of HIV/AIDS.

As for the mean remarks. I'm really scared that people are going to perceive diabetes as a flaw and label me as "not worth it", but I've been trying to stay positive and treat it like a quirk. She doesn't let me, though. We went out together and she was drinking, but I wasn't. I needed to test so I asked if she could share the table we were standing by and she again responded with "Ew" and told me I should test in the bathroom. I tried to explain that I didn't want drunk people to gawk at me or to have to wait in line just to test, and she shrugged and was like "Well, that guy you've been talking to won't like you. I mean he seems to like you for some reason. You don't want him to find out you have... You know..." I almost cried. It didn't help that he did ask what I was doing and I told him point blank I was checking my blood sugar, because maybe if I act like it isn't a big deal, he wouldn't, but he ended up ditching out. Oh well. I don't want to be with him anyway.

There are so many other examples of her meanness, but I just need advice. Did any of you have any friends who were just ignorant and/or cruel? How did you deal with them? I just feel like I have to feel like a freak around her and don't want that kind of energy. It's hurtful and sad that I used to consider her my best friend. On a positive note, my roommate has been a gem. She keeps reminding me I shouldn't feel ashamed because I don't have to feel ashamed for something that's not even a big deal. I love her to death. I just wish my other friend was more supportive. Sorry for the rambling.

you are NOT the freak, she IS.
Nobody needs friends like that. yes she might be scared of what she does not understand, and if that is the case, advise her to seek counsel, but my my advice to you is to ditch her. the last time I had to deal with insensitive people was when my kids were in elementary school and a kid taunted my son with candy, singing that he could not have any. I was on that kid and his parents like a honey over bee and he never did it again.

There are some people who just can't resist talking and spinning everything every which way all the time. I think when I was a kid there was a song to the effect of "talks too much". Tried to find it with a search engine, but my googles, they do nothing!!!

Lyrics from memory: She talks about people she doesn't even know, she talks about people, wherever you go, she talks too much, she talks about people that you've never seen, she talks about people she just makes me scream.

I was only 9 when I was DX'd, so the nasty comments I got were actually kids repeating what their parents told them. I did have a few friends who weren't allowed to play with me anymore because they might 'catch it'.... *facepalm*

If you haven't tried having a heart-to-heart with your friend, I'd give it a shot. Let her know how she's making you feel and that you are afraid your friendship is at risk because of her lack of understanding/compassion.

Diabetes is a long game. Sometimes we all have crap weeks with respect to our numbers, but you just have to keep motoring on. That becomes infinitely more difficult when the people around you are neither positive or supportive.

Good luck! :)

Marie get away from that girl she is poison. D comes with its own set of negatives. We know/learn what they are and we don't need people constantly harrassing us about. Or worse making up stuff like she would get D by being infused with a diabetic persons blood. Please.

Oh, I gave many gallons of the red stuff to the red cross and friends over the years. I ain't been hurt and neither have they (at least that I am aware of).

Find another friend, Marie. Someone who likes you for who you are and give that...other person the heave-ho.

Just my opinion. She doesn't deserve to have you as a friend.

It seems like a matter of ignorance. Your friend doesn't understand diabetes, but acts as though she does by giving unsound, unwarranted advice. Ignore her suggestions. You know what you have to do to take care of yourself. Just do what you have to, with or without her support.

Hi Marie:

I'm sorry that you are going through this your friend quite frankly sucks. I was diagnosed in high school so over the years I thought my friends understood what was going on. Not so. About 3 years ago I went to Vegas with my "friend" from high school for New Year's Eve which is also her Birthday. I had several lows one day and this nutjob left me to go get a drink. I was fumed, I couldn't find her after I'd gotten a bottle of juice so I called her and let her know I really needed to sit down and eat something she just said ok. I asked her if she was coming she told me she had just gotten her drink. I walked down the strip got a table and ate. I was really done with her at that point. Only to find out months later she told some mutual friends that I left her on her birthday to go eat. What a loser. I'd had other non diabetic issues with her so at that point I was done. I haven't spoken to her since. You have to make the decision whether or not this friendship is worth working out or if its run its course. Either way I'm wishing you the best.

With friends like her you need no enemies. She is ignorant and not worthy of your friendship. I would speak to her and tell her she is really hurting your feelings when she says the horrible things that she says to you. If after your little talk she still is like her old self, then I would tell her you can't be friends anymore. I wouldn't test in the bathroom for anyone.

My friends were cool. We all partied a lot when I was younger (I guess we still do? It's more logistically complicated now though...) so people were passing out here and there fairly regularly. I had a few hypos but not nearly as many as "booze outs". And probably wasn't the "leader" in the number of times that happened? I've done the overbolusing for ice cream and just about everything else. I usually lug enough sugar along on benders to offer to share as the festivities wind down. These days, I have a spare 1/2 lb of Jelly Beans in my car I can always go fetch?

Nobody ever "pressured" any of us to do any of that stuff though, unless we were all sort of on a bender, "c'mon dude, let's go..." but if anybody had an excuse of any sort, or wanted to be responsible (to impress the ladies, of course...), I think we'd usually let it slide since, of course, that meant more for the rest of us and we were a greedy bunch of wastoids? I didn't worry about drunk people gawking at me though. I'd rather do that than go into the bathroom at some of the grungy places we used to hang out at. Then again, it was 1987 so I was only testing 4-6x/ day?

I have to say my friends were all pretty cool too. Now I drank at parties BUT it was always my own choice to do. But I agree you shouldn't let someone make you feel defective or anything else. It could just be ignorance and fear. I mean NO ONE really understands D unless you have it, and you live with it day in and day out. You have a choice, you can either ditch the friendship, and hang with people who are more supportive, OR you can attempt to salvage the friendship by telling her exactly how her comments make you feel. HOwever, if after telling her how she made me feel, the behavior didn't change, I'd be looking for a new friend.

Most of my friends were cool about it and generally still are. I don't often talk about my treatment moment to moment though. I just handle what comes my way.

I did have a few friends get worried and sort of became the police to remind me to check my sugar and to eat right and all that.
Annoying but from a good place I think. That's why I don't involve people in the day to day.
It gives the people you are with the feeling that you know what you are doing and are fine.
You have to be aware enough to dump this "friend" of yours, She sounds stressful for a million reasons not even the diabetic reasons.

She sounds like she is very young, Maybe she needs some time to mellow with age

I actually met my last girlfriend at a bar when I was drunk. I joked about why I was drinking a crappy light beer because I didn't need the carbs and how I was a diabetic. Turned out she is a nurse and got it as well as someone without it can.

I was diagnosed a year and a half ago at 24, so I have friends I've known since middle school. They poke fun at me for this and that every once in a while, but nothing malicious. And I dish it right back at them because no one is perfect. I'd talk to her straight up, and if she keeps disrespecting you like that find someone that deserves your friendship.

And keep testing your bg in the bar...the day I see an attractive girl doing that I may just have found my wife!


+1. Marie, when you said "There are so many other examples of her meanness" and "I have to feel like a freak around her and don't want that kind of energy. It's hurtful and sad that I used to consider her my best friend." my initial reaction was to toss this friend. But I think christy is right, and also LadyD who said You have to make the decision whether or not this friendship is worth working out or if its run its course.

Wow! I am saddened to hear that your "friend" would behave this way. It's actually quite shocking. All of my closest friends have been nothing but supportive, and asked a lot of questions so that they could understand what I was/am going through. I was diagnosed about 1 1/2 years ago. I am grateful that my friends have my back, so that I didn't have to feel like a "freak". I do drink, responsibly, but my friends always make sure that I check my sugar regularly. I wondering if you have actually tried talking to your friend yet, about what you go through on a day to day basis? Maybe send her some helpful links, so that she can understand the disease. Be strong!

Wow. Thanks for all the feedback. Yeah, I think I just need to vent. I've confronted her about her selfishness before because the past few months she's only wanted to talk about her boy problems and whenever I tried to discuss my problems she wouldn't even listen. And as we were walking home after her cruel remark, I mentioned that I feel like I shouldn't be banished to the bathroom to test because it isn't like it's my fault I'm diabetic. I'm scared to confront her because no matter what I do I feel like she'll still think diabetes is gross. Even if I do manage to explain to her how difficult it is, she'll still think it's nasty and it upsets me because honestly I think it's pretty nasty too. The thing is, though, that I have to do all the nasty stuff to, you know, LIVE, so I want her to get over it. No one hates more than me the bruises and prick marks. I want a pump one day, but I'm really into fashion and don't know what I'll do with it. I don't feel pretty. I hope that will change one day soon.

Worse is that I was really depressed the past few months and she totally fell off the face of the Earth to hang out with her boyfriend. The reason we started talking again was because we ran into each other and she was like "I figured you were depressed, and I can't be there for you all the time, so I just wanted to let you deal with it." Thank God my roommate is a good friend, but I hate that she's really the only true friend I have right now. The rest of my friends took off when I got diagnosed or at least got awkward, but my roomie is still there. I just don't want to annoy her or burden her because she's my only person I can vent to. Hopefully being on here will take some of the weight off of her because now I have other people to talk to. Ahh, I don't know. All I know is that I feel mad and angry about my one friend, and I feel guilty and scared that my roommate will get frustrated with me and stop listening. At least I'm throwing her a birthday party. I feel like I owe her that much from being such a pain. :/

I was fortunate enough not to count any such people among my friends. I've met people with that kind of attitude, but not my friends. Somebody who pressures you to do dangerous things, and tries to make you ashamed of who you are, is not a friend.

Some of my friends took the time to learn about diabetes or have listened to me or paid attention in the years since I was diagnosed. A few of my friends still don't really understand that I do okay with sugar even when I'm not hypo. None of my friends would call me irresponsible. None of my friends who even hint that I had to hide something I was sensitive about (and I have stuff I'm sensitive about, although not diabetes) for other people to like me, because my friends are not interested in hurting me.

Your "friend" sounds like somebody who feels like she is in competition with you and needs to sabotage you in order to succeed.

she sounds kinda shallow, no offense. She doesnt build you up, but breaks you down. Not much of a friend. More like a snobby acquaintance.

timmy FTW!!


After your main post, I thought, Eh, well maybe the friend is really worried about you but doesn't know how to express it well and it comes out as criticism and meanness.

But after this update, it seems she is just rotten and selfish all around. You can do so much better than her. Drop her like, yesterday. Stick around on these boards and you'll find tons of supportive people that have been where you are. We all struggle every day and the world does not yet completely understand this disease. You have to stop thinking of yourself as "nasty." It's true diabetes can be a pain to manage constantly, but there are SO MANY worse diseases out there!

Your roommate sounds awesome. Do you live in a good sized city? Can you find out if there is a local JDRF chapter in your area and meet up with them sometime? I think they could help you a lot too. Overall, I think the more "normal" you act around your other friends, the more they will be normal around you. Don't be shy about your disease. Don't be afraid to speak up and educate the people around you. You'll be more comfortable in time, but if it helps you now to talk to a therapist, don't be afraid to do that either!

Best of luck with your friends and please be careful going out!