I understand DENIAL but it annoys me when Diabetics complain about their health and don't take care of themselves

I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 32 years now and the older I get the more I want to smack stupid upside its head. My cousin Patty died from Liver failure at 26 (18 years a Type 1) her Blood Sugar was always high and she went without Insulin for large parts of her life. I get Diabetics can be Depressed & have the same mental problems everyone else has, High Blood Sugar magnifies your mental state though. If you where depressed before than the High Sugar will make you feel worse, but to this day I will never understand not taking Insulin, I feel like Hell with High Blood Sugar & its an easy fix in my opinion, its just a shot for Christ's sake!
Over the last several years I have seen many people chose not to take medications and suffer because of it, One guy in particular has had multiple amputations, his Toes, Feet, sections of the Legs and every Hospital stay He says He's going to do better this time. Then after leaving the Hospital it right back to excuses of being Insulin Resistant or allergic to Insulin, even though in the Hospital stays the Insulin caused him no problems. I am a 45 year old Gay Man with Type 1 Diabetes, I have lost over 100 friends to complications of H.I.V. & my 3 year old Nephew Chaince died of Strangulation from a Mini Blind cord so I can rudely say if I could trade some People who have Died fighting to live with the Dumb Diabetic who is living and complaining about this treatable disease they have... then I would trade them out in a second !
I have had the same complications most Diabetics go through in life and I will never understand why most Endocrinologist's are such Pompous Asses but the older I get the easier it is with Test Strips and Medications. Not to mention all the Sugar Free foods & sweeteners.
My health and Blood Sugar are very important to me, so please understand why I have such a tone in my writing.
I do wish all Diabetics could lose the Denial and just live a Happier more comfortable Life!

It is an understandable frustration, however I do not think diabetes is a disease for stupid people. Some might be offended by that statement, but I sincerely think that some people simply cannot comprehend the idea of a silent killer. If you were to take a person off the streets and tell them that they had HIV, they would probably take action as soon as they could and try to start medication. However, tell them they have diabetes, and they probably will not take it as seriously.
My mother is Type 2, and she had it for a few years before I was diagnosed with Type 1. Even I was unaware of how serious both diseases are, but I have done my research since then, and I've sat her down multiple times and tried to stress how important it is to try and take care of the small things (like not missing doses, eating correctly, taking care of your feet as you age). I'm only 19, so I haven't really had to deal with complications yet, but she has ulcers on her feet and refuses to believe that they could in any way be related to her disease. It's denial. I love my mother and she is a good woman, but this disease is going to kill her in 10 years or less unless she really does something to help herself.
It's a sad situation for too many people in the world.

Compassion. Education. Patience. Very few people actually want to die.

Reach out and help them with all your knowledge of this scourge. If they can't hear you today, they might tomorrow or next week.....Blessings on us all.....Judith in Portland...

I totally understand the frustration, and what bothers me the most is that those who are totally careless create a bad stereotype for all diabetics. I always get some of my acquaintances telling me how someone died from diabetes (like that story would make my life "easier"), later when I ask additional questions I find out that person was not taking insulin for days, had DKA for weeks or some absolutely insane things, which has nothing to do with me. I cannot imagine not taking insulin I am diabetic for 13 years and that thought never even crossed my mind, I wish injecting insulin was enough problem solver without any additional dose corrections and carb counting. Insulin is actually the easiest part, all the math is much more complicated.
Because of careless diabetics it is much more inconvenient for me to be open about my condition with other people, because of their preconceived views of diabetes and ultimate sympathy and stupid questions like if I eat any food at all, ro if I will die or hear some stupid story how some diabetic lost eye vision. Honestly, those stories affect me a lot on emotional level, even though I control my diabetes, i always think the worst when I hear all that.

David, How wonderful you care so much about your health and blood sugar. Wishing all diabetics lose denial and live happy, doesn't make up for the hateful hurtful tone of your post. Wishing death to those who don't live their life the way you see fit is about as hateful as one can get. It's called empathy, those of us who have well controlled diabetes should offer help and support to struggling diabetics. I don't believe for a minute anyone struggling with this disease deserves or wants complications or death. I'm in tears just thinking about your post.

I do understand that people aren't stupid, I do hope your Mother will try harder to take care of herself though. I had just visited the individual who has had over 20 Hospital stays for amputation so I was in a mood, he is a Drug addict and oddly enough Denial for Addicts and Diabetes is very similar. I have also known many people with H.I.V. who have not cared about their health or anyone else's, most Type 2 Diabetics go without treatment and I have run classes to try and educate the best that I can. When I was your age I thought I could change the world, now I just do the best that I can to help and never get stressed about their Health problems, stress really screws up my Blood Sugar. My Best to you and your Mother.

I thank you for your comment, I do get Frustrated at times with Diabetics I know and typing when I am in a mood doesn't show me in my best light. Its strange how I feel compassion for people in many Countries but when Diabetics in the United States don't take care of themselves it reminds me of just how many Friends & Family members I have lost who should not have died in such pain. My Best Regards !

I have been a Type 1 for so long that when people make such odd comments quite often about the PROPAGANDA they hear from some-one in poor health I always think its like when somebody new meets me (I'm 6foot 5inches tall) and wants to know if I play Basketball. In 2008 my 3 year old nephew Chaince died and so many people would break down who never even met him because of how they felt about a child's death, oddly enough as a Type 1 Diabetic we get so many things said to us about Diabetes but these people forget to ask us how we feel about it. When I see the Woman on TV complain about how Blood Sugar testing was Barbarack and I remember the Glass Syringes that had to be boiled to Sterilize them with huge dull needles (I still have one) so I could take Insulin, a little prick on the finger is a big deal why exactly. I learned early on that my Blood Sugar is effected by stress so I rarely take on the silly things people say about Diabetic care, I have been a Type 1 for 33 years and I am still healthy so it can be done.
Years ago I started going to Diabetic Fund raisers like the Walks wearing a T-shirt saying (Please ask me about Diabetes but don't tell me about all the Diabetic complications, I already know about them) and sad to say every time I wear them people ask me if they can buy them some where. My first walk selling those I made an extra $4300 for the walk, so its nice to know some people are just as Bitchy as I am. We all need little signs saying -Stop Talking- to put up when we can't listen to the borage of ignorance anymore, or maybe a Light-up button just saying Shut Up.
Thank you for your comment, My Best Regards !

I am sorry if my tone is harsh, I just came from visiting an old friend who has had the last of his left leg amputated, he is a Type 2 Diabetic and a Meth addict so I was in a mood seeing that with over 50 Hospital stays and 20 for removal of body parts it does become trying to see what he has done to his body. I did say that for how many deaths I have seen in my 45 years if I could trade one life for another I would. I have my way of thinking and have seen some disgusting things in my life so everybody getting together singing Kumbaya is not who I am, I do wish you well but please don't ever be brought to tears over something in a Forum its just not worth the energy.
I saw my Cousin Die in a similar way to what my friend is going through and if I could knock some sense into him I would but I can only led the horse to water so many times before the well is dry. I do take what you said to heart but we do all take a different path. Have a Good Day, David !

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that somebody took time and wrote that down. There are so many people complaining here, and they have the full right to complain, no doubt, but it is great that there are more people out there like me, living a peaceful life WITH, and not AGAINST their Diabetes.
Still, your tone is a bit aggressive, next time would be nice if you could find a nicer, more gentle voice...

I do understand my tone is Harsh but sometimes I have my mood when it comes to just about every subject. I wish people could hear a light tap on the shoulder but I'm more of a knock em through the wall type. I don't think anybody will have a sudden change in how they care for themselves from reading this post, but Thank you for your Reply. People told me growing up as I age I would become more Docile, I'm 45 now so I guess (I am what I am) Lord did I just quote Shirley Bassey & Gloria Gaynor !
My Best Regards !

This has been a good thread, got me thinking (again). When I consider my personality/traits and the differences between the types of D I am reminded that for me, type 1 is the better. Why Because - aside form the quirks and surprises that pop up - it is basic math and science. To me, handling insulin resistance is like nailing jello to a wall. Way to effusive for me.
I think an other "benefit" of being dx'd with type 1 is that there is no way a person cannot take it seriously. We all remember when we learned it was "shots for the rest of your life" Yeah, I guess it's serious. From what I hear, at Dx with type 2 the cassette goes into the doctor and "watch your eweight, eat better, get more exercise" comes out. Well, whose doctor doesn't tell them that -D or no D?
Some endos are considering insulin from the get go for newly dx'd people with type 2 - it helps get things like bg in order, and it lays down that it is a serious thing that has to be heeded.
You also brought up HIV/AIDS. I think I can relate to those who were Dx'd with HIV/AIDS in the early days (I'm old enough to remember) you know, being blamed. We've all been told it is cuz we ate wrong (even as kids) etc. I think a lot of that comes from people who want to reassure themselves that they are "safe". You know, they didn't (or don't) overeat so they won't get it.
It was here, in an interview with an HIV/AIDS activist that the guy suggested PWD take a couple pages from the AIDS activist playbook. Get the correct info out there.

I lived in New York City for years and remember AIDS being call Gay Cancer, I was in the Jewelry field during the day, some Modeling and once a week worked Coat-check in a Gay Bar for maybe 8 years, many customers would use Steroids to keep from wasting, before 1996 when Protease Inhibitors started people in a matter of days would lose 30-50 Lbs and die. The Steriods as well as other Meds cause Type 2 Diabetes, it was strange that some people although took HIV Meds but do nothing for Diabetes or High Blood Pressure, they had a block in their mind. In a why I understand the Denial aspect, I personally was in a Coma from High Blood Sugar (no one caught the warning signs) so in getting out of the Hospital I took Insulin because I new what extreme High Blood Sugar felt like. Most Type 2's still produce some Insulin so they don't get that high. I have known 3 Type 1 D's who had bad Health my cousin who died, & oddly enough 2 guys at the Bar, 1 a drunken mess (Bartender) and a Waiter who also took good care of himself at the start 3 years and then he went wild eating anything, no insulin, Depression, I don't know what clicked in him but he died from kidney failure. He was a very talented artist and great person before the Depression took hold.
I don't understand going without Insulin, no one who goes without has ever had a reason that seamed legit. I have been told by over 50 Diabetics that they did not deserve it, I of coarse ask SO Do You Think I Deserved It ? They are always quiet after that question by the way. I also have a rare Blood disorder called Spherocytosis which make my Red Blood Cells change their shape and break apart (most research done is in Germany) so I have to do endless searching for info when I have a problem, most US doctors only know information if multiple people have it, not just 1 freak in NY with spherocytosis and Type 1.
I understand people being put on Insulin with Type 2 at the start, most patients have a stigma that they can't get over and I think it is increased by not taking shots right off. I have worked with support groups for years and it is the strangest thing about Pills verse shots for Type 2's. Oddly enough its like Liposuction, fat can be sucked out but without complete changes in diet and exercise, the fat will come right back.
Thanks for you comment. Good Health and My Best Regards to You !

Agree on silly ignorant people, I try also not to take them seriously, but I naturally worry every time I hear someone died of diabetes. I would not want to but it just happens, I am young and have entire life ahead and I would really hate to end up blind or amputated. But it is always inspiring to see people living with diabetes for long long years and I wish that kind of example was more advertised, but people just seem only to remember the careless ones.
I would love to have a t-shirt saying "yes I am diabetic, no I do not need yoru sympathy" :D but anyways I only let people close to me know about my condition, just erases all that unnecessary conversations with ignorant people. Shut Up button is a great idea too ) regards.

well, i don't know much about type 2 but as a type 1...i kind of agree. i can't understand why any type 1 would not take their insulin - there is no other choice or alternative. Just as you, I feel horrible, horrible, horrible with high blood sugars, would do anything possible to keep those blood sugars in check...and once they're high, it takes forever to bring them back down. the thought of going DKA again (when diagnosed) scares the h#ll out of me, being that ill and the thought of possibly dying..no thanks! Still, it's a very, very difficult disease to manage, on all levels, physically, emotionally, etc..and many people have true fears of lows.

I don't think you're being harsh, I think you're being realistic. I come from a family of Type 2 deniers, most of whom are now dead. The most difficult thing I found in trying to talk to them reasonably was that they were mostly following their doctors' incredibly counterproductive orders and that's what killed them.

Don't be sorry, David. The truth is not always better expressed with "nice" words.

I think I'm so involved with the daily struggle of managing my D that I don't think about others with D as much and not in an angry way and no one else in my family has D. I can see that you feel pain to see people disregarding their health or seeming to and that your family members died from this. I think that my own struggle has taught me just how hard it is to manage D, denial or no denial, and I could just see people giving up really. It is so exhausting and it seems you have to be deprived of so many things others can enjoy without giving it a second thought. As a type 1 I wouldn't be able to ignore it for very long I think because I would end up back in hospital where I never want to go again. I do wonder how people with type 1 can go without insulin for long though and stay alive? I also do not use the word diabetic anymore because it seems judgmental in itself. I think the things that annoy me the most are the "cures"- someone who works at a docs office I go to said "had I heard about the new cure to get off insulin: boil okra and drink the water", lol. I told her I'm type 1 and will be on insulin for life unless a real cure is found and so will most type 2 who become insulin dependent. I set her straight on all of that, but really why should I have to? Her father has insulin dependent type 2 and a close family friend of theirs died from a low- he was type 1. The doc, who is a dermatologist, also asked me when I was first diagnosed if I changed my diet could I get off insulin?. Someone with a medical degree who didn't realize type 1 need insulin to survive. It scares me.

I guess the only thing we can do is to try to manage our bg as best as we can and try to help everyone else when we can.

I definitely have fears of lows, they can kill us and I would rather run high for a while than have a bad low.

David, I'll admit that when I first read your post I was a bit angry. But I see your calm and measured responses and will give you my take in the same way. First off, I think that some people do abuse themselves foolishly. And I agree that makes me mad too. But D is such an incredibly complex disease and there are all sorts of facets to it. I'll list a couple here.

Firstly, one of the biggest problems I see is education. Many of the "stupid" diabetics I know follow their doctors instructions to the letter. The doc is not well educated (probably got about an hour of diabetes training to become a GP - most don't see endos) and can't pass along any information. We, who research and seek support online are, unfortunately, the minority. We have educated ourselves and in some cases, manage to educate our doctors to our way of thinking. But not all people have the mental faculties or inclination to do this. Some of us are better learners/students than others.

Then there is the abuse factor. Along with the misinformation or lack of info, many d's get an awful lot of abuse from their docs and medical practioners. I remember being in my mid-teens and seeking help from the diabetes nurse. I admitted that I was having problems following my prescribed diet (back in the restrictive days). She said...."Now dear, stop doing that." Really? That was it? I had a 20-somehting friend see her eye doc and he coldly told her that she would be blind by the time she was 30. Since she had no family support, she decided to live her life and party it up while she still had some time. In the end, she took good enough care that she didn't go blind, but other things happened. She was depressed (as was I) and all either of us got was abuse and disinterest. It is very hard to get back on track when each diabetic is very different from the other and all you get from your doc is "follow my directions and it will work" along with one-size-fits-all instruction. Well often it doesn't work and people lose hope, and don't get proper help because they are "non-compliant" and end up not knowing where to turn.

And then there is the information overload. Have you seen all the crap out there? Take this and you'll be cured.....drink that and.....buy my book, I'm a Dr..... How to choose what route to take?

And then there is the issue of financing. I have a couple of friends in the US with no insurance and are relegated to old-school insulins. And it's much harder to get control with R and N than with lantus/humalog or a pump. But it is beyond gthe reach for many. As are test strips at a buck a pop if you don't live close enough to a wal-mart to buy cheaper ones. And even those, together with insulin, syringes, and all the other crap we need is sometimes a significant burden. And some folks just are forced to do without seeing the doc, or buying that book, or testing as often as they like, or buying newer insulins.

So, to sum up, yes. Some people are in denial. But some have other legitimate problems like depression, lack of help, lack of information, and lack of money.

It is strange that the Doctors still don't understand how to take care of Type 2 Diabetes, the ignorant way they think about the disease has been the same & its just not working. In the U.K. Doctors get paid better for bringing Blood Sugars down, but in the U.S. the Drug companies pay Doctors to prescribe more, I remember that PRILOSEC was the most prescribed medicine for 3 years running they than came up with Prilosec OTC because the original didn't cover all it was being given out for - The makers of the Drug gave really good incentives for every prescription our Doctors gave out, so how is that good for the American people, Meds we don't need to pad a Doctors wallet.
So many things like Diabetics saying the syringes are to big - Half size needles now or its painful to test blood sugar so they don't test, I am old enough to remember having to test my urine to find out what my Blood sugar was 4 hours before. Are people Insulin Resistant or are they just not taking their INSULIN.
If Doctors start treating Type 2 Diabetics with more care and see what is truly going on than maybe Type 2's would live longer, happier lives.
Thank you for your comment. It does get trying to see people I love committing a slow suicide. My Best Regards !