Some friend

I was out with a friend who not only could not fake interest or happiness for me when I showed them my new medic alert ID that is actually pretty (Lauren’s hope site) but they then made fun of me being diabetic. And then they started asking why I did not list all the diabetes medications I am taking and stated what they felt should be on my piece of jewelry. (It’s actually just one med.) Anyways, I said why list that when people like you don’t know how to treat people with this disease? Then my so-called friend said just she’d give me insulin if I were ill. I said “what does that mean?” I pushed further, said “Ok, so if I were laying unconscious and you came along, then you would just give me insulin?” They said “Ya.”

Big sigh. If that were to ever happen, I asked this person to just call 911 and say what was on my medical id, and please do nothing more or they could kill me.

I’m so tired of my friends and family not even trying to understand what it is like for a PWD because I am one of them. I am so tired of having to make the choice of lesser evil when all the options at restaurants they bring me to are full of carbs and crap I can’t eat etc. It’s like they are doing me a favour by still hanging out with me, even though I, and my damn diabetes, are such a burden.

The friend discussed here is a registered nurse. I expected more from someone like that. I can no longer tolerate being around people who don’t get it and don’t even want to try, just a little bit, to understand what PWD go through every single day.

Diabetes stole my spontaneity. Diabetes stole my $aving$. Diabetes stole my hope and now it has stolen my friends and family. This disease sucks on so many levels.


I can so easily empathise. Most social functions in my ‘world’ involve food, food that I cannot eat. Coffee and cake morning teas, when I say I can’t eat cake the answer is always that there are sandwiches available!
The last dinner function I went to I was so hungry after eating the meat and miniscule vegetable portion I had to come home before the music and dancing to have a meal. I also have friends who do not ‘get it’, but not being on insulin it is easier for me to just fend off stupid comments.


I’m sorry to read this about your nurse friend, @Sheepdogs. Knowledge of pertinent facts or status as a medical professional does not necessarily mean that person is empathetic or wise. It’s tempting to think that someone who knows the basic facts of diabetes will of course make it easier for them to emotionally connect with the challenges we encounter.

It took me a long time but now I don’t expect any medical professional to really “get it” about diabetes any more easily than a random stranger on the street. Maybe my position is more skeptical and negative on this issue but I find it more realistic and I can then be truly surprised and grateful when I do encounter a caring and enlightened person.

Spontaneity can be reclaimed, savings can be replenished and hope can be restored. I would consider your friends’ and family members’ knowledge and empathy regarding your diabetes to be a long-term project. Think about how much you knew about diabetes before it intruded into your life. Try to manage your expectations and your disappointment in others regarding diabetes may be lessened.

I do agree with you, however – diabetes does suck on so many levels! But I really believe that we can each find a way to rise up and live well and happily despite our diabetes. It took me a long time to reach this emotional outlook and I find myself happier now than in any time in my life. And that includes the 30 years I lived life without diabetes!


:open_mouth: I am still picking myself up off the floor. A registered nurse said that if you were lying unconscious they would just automatically administer insulin? I’m speechless (or at least as close to speechless as I ever get).

That said, @Terry4 is right; the disgust can be (mostly) overcome. The traditional AA prayer is worth repeating:

“God give me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Diabetes indeed sucks in more ways than there is space to list. But like any of life’s real adversities, it can often help reveal who our true friends are.


Diabetes sucks, but after 30 years, I have different expectations of life. I celebrate when I find a way to become healthier. In some ways I am healthier than my friends because I watch what I eat, exercise regularly and see a doctor multiple times a year. In other ways, I celebrate when I can improve my health - even if improved health is less than healthy for someone without diabetes.

As for friends, I agree with you, most friends don’t have a clue about the challenges of diabetes. I have found, however, most family and GOOD friends want to know how they can help.


Pastelpainter, Terry4, David_dns, Michael_Birch

Thanks for the replies and words of encouragement. I’m just mourning the loss of what friends I thought I had. Not knowing but being open to learning what I as a PWD have to put up with and do would show, to me, true empathy and compassion. I’m not asking that they become experts. Just admit they don’t know and are interested in some of what I hafta do to stay alive. I.e., not be mad when I choose their company over eating a meal at a place they selected, because it is loaded with processed chemicals and carbs. I don’t want to have to choose being alone vs being around people that don’t help me stay/be healthy. Alas, it seems I must make that choice. Diabetes is yet another reason I get to be different and it sucks. :confused:

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I’m also next to speechless that an RN would respond to an unconscious diabetic by immediately giving insulin without a blood test.

This may sound jaded or harsh, but your non-diabetic friends and family will never truly get it. They can’t. The simple truth is that there are some things about this disease that can only be truly comprehended by someone who has lived it firsthand. That’s not their fault–I would encourage you to forgive them for it. It will do both sides’ hearts some good.

If these folks are important enough to you that you want to do it, it is possible to do what they want to do on your terms. Out to eat? Do some research into menus ahead of time and find a place where everyone can get something. Clubbing and don’t want to risk the alcohol? Be the DD. Dinner party? Host it and blow them away with a recipe good enough to hide the healthiness. If you are willing, give yourself one night off of a few of the stringencies. There are always ways to find balance.


How true!

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You don’t owe anybody any explanations about why you aren’t having any cake or why you order steak with a salad instead of the French fries. It really isn’t any one’s business except for yours.

And when people say stupid things, just let it roll off you. I have found it’s better to not let your friends into your diabetes management. They mean well, but they aren’t equipped to be of any real assistance or support. It’s better if they don’t know all your personal health business. That way, they just be a friend.

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I get frustrated by my siblings and even my wife sometimes Not Getting It, even after 33+ years. But then I “Got It” (T1) when I was 28, and I have quite a distinct memory of transitioning from not-getting to getting it in the psychological sense. This was back in the R/NPH, pre-glucometer days. I think it was about four-five days after being dx’d when It happened. I was still in the phase of adjusting dosages, daily check-ins with my PCP (didn’t have an endo) to gradually pull my levels down out of the stratosphere. And yeah, I’d read the note on the insulin box about “May cause drowsiness yada yada, heavy machinery yada yada,” but I figured, come on, they say the same thing on the cough medicine box, can’t be that big of a deal. And then day four or five I woke from a nap, maybe I’d skipped lunch, dunno–my BG had been high high high up to that point and eating on schedule had never been a habit for me–but that was The Day The NPH Kicked IN and Oh. My. God. What IS THIS??? “Lois!!!” (my wife) “NEED SUGAR HELP!!!” I tried to yell, but couldn’t seem to be heard. I remember clinging to the bannister and my legs going out from under me trying to get down the stairs to the kitchen, which I somehow managed. And thus I transitioned from not getting it to GETTING it all in one appalling moment. Thank God there was OJ in the fridge.

I do still refer to that memory when I’m with people who don’t understand what it means when I say "I’m low, honey–no I mean low low, like right now." Because I still vividly remember what it took for me to get it.


I remember the first time that happened to me – 31 years ago. Thank God I was in a hospital bed at the time. I had no idea what was happening - only that my hands were shaking like a leaf and all the other symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. Nobody can understand that feeling unless they’ve actually been through the experience.

Although, now after almost 20 years of marriage, my wonderful wife has a pretty good idea.

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The first time I suffered a scary low was not long after dx, and I’m T2. It can happen to anyone.

Here’s what happened. I took some glyburide. This was in (my) early days when it was still highly effective, and I mean highly. We were staying with some friends, having a good time, and I forgot to eat. We went hiking in the hills. Suddenly I couldn’t walk and was in danger of passing out. This was long before I really knew what I was doing and had begun routinely carrying glucose everywhere. I had to sit down and try to stay awake and focused while everyone else went foraging. Luckily there were plenty of wild blackberries growing in those hills and they gathered enough to get me functional to where I could walk the short distance back to civilization.

It can happen to anyone.

Hello Sheepdogs,

<<Diabetes stole

STEAL em all back !!!

No way anybody who does not possess whatever illness they’ll get the in’s and outs of the disease. Some of the big picture maybe, but the daily annoyances nope. Hard to understand what you dont own yourself…

I guess I am just too sensitive.

Hello CIndertella

I get the sentiment, I do… Ive just never understood the whole I can’t have XYZ.
We can, if we wish! I want french fries, I get em. I just pay the price immediately where non diabetics can ignore the “bill”, short term anyway.

I know its two servings, so lunch is less, and breakfast is lighter if, if we choose to go that route. Certain quantity of food, certain types will harm everyone, diabetic or not.

Live longer if we avoid lots of things, but if we do not… avoid the habit!!!

Understand and agree, I have no interest in my brothers UTI, my co workers bowel issues. If they are interested, we let them know more than acquaintences.

I don’t know that it’s about being too sensitive as much as it’s about managing expectations.

I’m blind in one eye and have retinal damage to the other from simultaneous retinopathy 13 years ago. My husband didn’t even know I was on the planet back then, we met a few years later. He is the kindest, most understanding, most trustworthy, most empathetic-of-my-stuff person in my life.

When I was getting my drivers license (at 30, long story) he took a drive with one eye closed to try to gain some perspective to help me feel more confident. Every time we go anywhere he watches out for me on curbs, ramps, stairs, etc without me having to ask. He has this sense for when I might have a little trouble.

He makes sure I’m aware a storm is coming so I can watch for lows. He remembers before I do that it’s almost that time of the month when I have weird lows I can’t explain.

There is so much that he gets.

But he’s still not capable of getting ALL things about any of it, because it’s never happened in his body. He will never truly understand exactly what I see unless he goes blind in one eye. He will never get what daily injections or carb counting are like unless he has to start doing it some day.

And that, I PRAY he never does.

It’s unloving of him, for me to expect him to do something he’s not equipped to do. In situations like this, first-hand experience is part of the equipment. That’s why there’s resources like TuD.


You can’t know how a pair of shoes feels until you walk a distance in them. That’s not a criticism; just a fact.

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@Sheepdogs, it doesn’t help now, but eventually you will find friends who get it, who understand that things are hard for you. That you’re not just being picky about what you eat, but have reasons for your choices. I really don’t understand mocking someone for a medical condition they have, though. It makes me think perhaps those weren’t the best sorts of friends to pursue in the first place. I hope you have many opportunities to meet wonderful people like yourself. They are out there. Just look around this place! Lots of great “weirdos” who are every bit as different, special and unique as you are. And we’ll never make fun your awesome MedicAlert bracelet!

I have to say, though, that I was attending a First Aid course one time and showed my heart-shaped MedicAlert bracelet to the trainers (EMTs) who said they would have just assumed it was a charm and not even looked at it! So, there is that as a bit of a cautionary tale.

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My bff is a kind, understanding, special education teacher. We’ve been bffs forever, since age 7 or so. Lived together a few times, traveled together. I’ve had D since age 5, so it’s been around through our entire friendship.
At around 9, I needed glasses for the familial extreme shortsightedness. I wore glasses and contacts until 10 years ago when I had LASIK.
After I had the LASIK, she told me she always thought I needed glasses for D complications. I was stunned. I assumed that she knew more than she actually does. I was sure I’d whinged about choosing two very shortsighted parents. But maybe not.
Another special situation occurred when we and her 10yo lad were on an interstate driving trip. I’d done most of the driving, and was tired and grumpy about it. I thought she could do a bit more. I was driving a bit fast over speed humps etc, then used the windscreen washer to clear off some mud. It smelled funny. She asked me if I needed to go to hospital for DKA. I was confused. I’ve not ever had DKA, nor needed to go to hospital in her company (have had a few injuries requiring attention, but not illnesses).
She was concerned because I was driving badly, was grumpy, and smelled funny! Good pick up, but I was simply tired and grumpy and the windscreen washer smelled weird. I actually got the giggles and it cheered me up no end.
Now this is my best friend. We are closer than sisters. I kind of think she likely has a good handle on the ins and outs of D, but if she hasn’t, I can’t imagine a less close friend having the first idea.
An RN thinking that insulin is the treatment for unconsciousness, that is scary, but unfortunately doesn’t surprise me.
Many of my mates are nurses, midwives or doctors, and when I make a new friend at work, I make damn sure they have a good handle on D basics. Not for me, I’m completely self caring, but for the patients with D we encounter in our work (I’m a flying doctor working in outback Australia).

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Completely and entirely off the topic . . . I emcee a weekly trivia game (pub quiz to the rest of the world). One of the questions that always stumps people is, “what does QANTAS stand for?”. Most people outside Australia think it’s a word and don’t even realize it’s an acronym, but even those who do generally haven’t a clue what it stands for. Fun! :sunglasses: