My husband and I have been married for a year and a half now. His family is kind of weird about accepting my diagnosis of diabetes and they don’t want me to give myself injections or check my blood sugar around them. It’s a problem and I’m really tired of having to hide the fact that I’m diabetic. They also continue to make carb heavy food, and I struggle with having to calculate how much insulin to give myself at meals. Any suggestions on how to deal with this in a constructive manner? Have any of you found yourself in similar situations?
WOW! I find that behavior relatively bizarre. My guess is that they have a fair amount of issues with an awful lot of life. To feel threatened by someone else’s health is rather mind numbing to me. Truly, the most constructive remedy I can think of is for them to act more mature.
That being said, you really can’t do anything about their mindset. I’m kind of an upfront and in-your-face person when it comes to this sort of thing. If confronted with this sort of attitude, my response would be to look at them sympathetically and ask why they are so frightened of me taking care of my health. I would not let them off the hook until they gave me an acceptable answer or they came unraveled But that is me.
But I think that it would pay for you to try and have an honest dialogue with them the next time this comes up. I I would ask them why this bothers them so much when it is something that you have no choice in doing. What makes them uncomfortable and how can you help them get over that. Offer them support.
The other thing that I would do, and in fact is what I do, is to make sure that I eat before I go there for a meal. Also, just because someone fixes food for a meal does not mean you must eat it if it poses a danger to you. They just have to understand that and deal with it. You are in charge of your health, not them. You have nothing to apologize for in being proactive and taking care of yourself.
Have you and/or your husband explained your diabetes and its ongoing requirements to them? Maybe they just don’t understand, so they don’t see the importance of what you do.
If it’s been explained and they’re just in some kind of denial, well, you may be stuck with it. In their home, but not in your own even when they are there, go into the bathroom or wherever to test and inject. As for the carb-heavy meals, I wouldn’t expect them to change the way they cook and eat, but is it possible to eat more of the lower-carb things and have tiny portions of, or even avoid, the high-carb ones? (This assumes you’re visiting rather than living with them.) You might explain that you have to eat this way for your health, just like if you were on a weight-loss diet, you might only eat the salad (and they probably wouldn’t have a problem with that). However, in some cultures or even families it can be seen as very offensive to not eat the food you are given, so if this is the case, once again you and/or your husband may need to do some gentle educating. Maybe even leave behind some pamphlets from the ADA? (Push comes to shove, you can always say something like, “Would you prefer I collapse and you have to call 911?”)
Ha! I’ll try that line and see how it goes. I have been testing and injecting in the bathroom at their houses, but it makes me feel ashamed that I have diabetes. I think I will just eat before we go for a visit. It’s so disappointing that people are still living in the dark ages. His mom is a pharmacist, so it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around why it’s so hard for her to accept. I think I’ll just say screw it and start injecting around them. If they think less of me, I guess that’s their problem.
For me this would be a trivial matter. I do not have a burning desire to show the world how I do an injection. If this is an important issue with you then make a stand but do it in a not challenging way, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, try to educate them. If your relationship with your in-laws is unimportant to you then go ahead and burn those bridges.
I understand the concept that it is not fair to ask us to do this in private but the world is not fair. To me some things are not worth the ill will that it might create. If education doesn’t work I would go to the the other room but not to the bathroom, it seems like a small accommodation for family peace.
I’d explain the situation to them and just do what you need to do. For me that’d be testing in front of them etc.- too bad. Unless they are severe phobics you should not have to do that. If they can’t accept it don’t go there for meals or any reason unless it’s absolutely necessary. Explain that they are the ones responsible for it. If you dont address this now it’s going to be a lifelong problem. Your husband should support you in this. As for the meals ask if they can have some less carb heavy options or just don’t eat that part of the meal. Good luck!
Bring your own food. If they ask why you brought your own food, tell them why.
It would be really cool if your husband stepped up and asked your family to deal with your needs to live a healthy happy life. I never do checks or injections “around people” meaning I step away from the group. But I also don’t do them in the toilet! For your last question about “found yourself in similar siturations” I have to say no. But I don’t do my thing at the table.
That boggles my mind. It’s too bad your husband won’t step up to the plate and tell his family they are acting very uncivilized
I can’t imagine someone having such a reaction to my son managing his health. I would be furious. My face got hot just reading your post. I wouldn’t be going there if they are offended by the treatment that keeps you alive. They are welcome to look away. What does your husband say? As for the food…I would either learn to dose for theirs or bring my own. My son has Celiac Disease and I often have to bring his gluten free food to events.
Sorry for having to deal with this. I would make a plan that works for me. It may be bring food,test in a different room,etc. best of luck. Nancy
Just test and inject normally. Whenever and wherever. Don’t hide. Eat what you can and when anyone asks, tell them loud and proud, “I am diabetic.”
Do not bring your own food. That sends a message of weakness. It also makes you feel out of place.
I went to a holiday once and my BGs were raging over 250. I refused to eat appetizers, etc. The commentary was not fun, especially when I had a glass wine. When dinner was served, I ate very little, mostly veggies. “Is that all you are eating??” Afraid so. Ignore them.
It hurt…after 52 years with this family, I get it. ITS ALL ABOUT YOU AS A T1.
One small observance. Every now and then, maybe once or twice a year, I will prick my finger and gently squeeze, the blood will shoot out like a small geyser. I’ve had blood on my face, my clothes, my phone, up to two feet away. It would be horrible if this happened after telling people this is perfectly fine on their nice white sofa.
Not at.the table???I often do it so quickly they literally don’t notice! Lots of times my wife asks curious… did you… and the answer is yup and you never noticed… and she was sitting right across the table. There is a reason the insulin pens click the way they do…
Change your lancet man, no squeezing required… gentle teasing.
Sorry to hear you’re having this one. What’s your husbands take on this… assume he’s known them longer than you? Required discussion there…
How did someone tell you they were… terrified, nauseated, seethingly offended (however someone phrased their tragic foolishness) by actions which keep you breathing???
Yup I’ve had this argument before, different context (Work) but yes, had this one. An anonymous complaint which offended me even more. Cowards…
A little more context might offer insight? On the surface sounds like you married the smartest one in his family, sorry about that.
Before I got my insulin pump I used to inject at the table when in restaurants and I would do it in a way so that it wasn’t a big spectacle. And all those times I never once saw somebody pass out from Fright
For heavy carb food of x carbs (and Pizza and Pasta), I bolus my son as follows:
BG 70-120: 1.1x carbs with 40-60 over 1 to 1.5 hrs
BG 120-180: 1.25x carbs with correction + 45-55 over 1.5 to 2 hrs and wait 10 mins before eating
BG >180: take same as above but wait 20 mins before eating
These work for us but it may or may not work for you.
I wouldn’t do a glucose check at the table, certainly not if I knew it would bother the other folks. It takes a few seconds to step away, do your thing, and return. My people don’t care or even notice what each other are doing, but if I do a check I do it discreetly. And if they did care and I felt I had to hide my condition, I would not go there.
But what if someone spills red wine etc on their sofa? That’d be ok? I’ve had one or two gushers but I make sure I test over my purse or a napkin or something and I change my lancet nearly ever time. Warming my hands up is best because the blood just comes out easily that way for me.