Having your cake and eating it too

What makes people think they know so much? I’m still getting used to being diabetic and found sometimes people (who, I admit, mean well) can be frustratingly presumptuous.

A couple of days ago I went out to lunch with some colleagues, one of whom knew I was diabetic. It was one of those buffet-style lunches, so I figured I’d give myself insulin first and then match my carbs to my insulin, to make things more convenient. After injecting, i noticed that there were NO CARBS to be had at this place, except at the “dessert table”. I was told by my doctor & endo that having dessert was fine, as long as I practiced moderation and matched it to my insulin, so I went ahead and got a small portion of the dessert-y sweetness and went to my seat.

As I was happily munching away at my food, my colleague looks at my plate, then at me, and shakes his head. “Don’t forget you’re diabetic!” he says, as if I’m a misbehaving child.

As if. I’m not very good at controlling my reactions sometimes, so I made a snarky comment about how I hadn’t forgotten I was diabetic and could he please mind his own business. It wasn’t until I explained myself later that he even understood that I hadn’t done anything “wrong”. Diabetes seems to be one of those diseases that everyone thinks they know something about. Its hard enough to figure out how to coordinate my new life without other people interfering because they think they know what’s best.

Anybody else feel this way, that diabetes can be a frustrating label?

Sometimes I look the offending “diabetes cop” in the eye, and as sweetly as possible, ask something like,“is there a particular reason you are saying that? Would you please explain?”. It usually leaves them off kilter and off my case.

Oh yehhhh I’ve definitely been there & done that. You’re right, it seems like everyone thinks they know diabetes, and even if they don’t say anything there are a lot of sideways glances.

I remember my stepdad’s mother liking cheesecake, and the way everyone thought she was a horrible diabetic for eating it… I feel so bad about that now that I understand! But at least it gives me the perspective of someone who’s been on both sides of the fence.

I think the best thing we can do is explain gently but wisely. I’ve yet to find the right words - something short & sweet & easy to understand & doesn’t look like I’m lying just so that I eat sweet stuff. Still working on it!

I usually explain to them that diabetes means that I have to keep my blood sugar in a specific range, not only to prevent it from going high. This is a balancing act. Sometimes I can’t eat any carbs, sometimes I have to eat carbs quickly.

Then when they see me eating something that I shouldn’t, they say “oh so you need to eat that now”… and I smile and say yes (no matter what my blood sugar is). 'Cause usally if I’m eating something bad, it’s cause I “need” it in someway, physically, spiritually, or otherwise. :slight_smile:

I found this to be the shortest and simplest way to explain it. People that I am closer too get a longer explaination.

Great ideas! I’ll have to try some of them next time the diabetes police give me trouble :-).

check out the video on the diabetes police (my life as a pincushion) on the main page for a good laugh…

Personally I look them in the eye and tell them when you live with diabetes on a daily basis then you can tell me what I can and can’t eat and in the mean time butt out of my life. Normally gets the point across pretty fast.

Those types of comments are aggravating, but the more often you’re able to shrug them off, the better off you’ll be. Unfortunately, you have a lifetime to endure them. When I’m in the right frame of mind, I try to see those times as opportunities to educate someone, and hopefully the person will be receptive to a little clarification. Ultimately, I try to remind myself that no matter what they say or think, I’m doing what I know is the right way to manage my diabetes, and that’s the part that counts the most :slight_smile: