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Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Diabetics Want You to Know


Diabetics find it frustrating to hear things from others who are thoughtless and bothersome when they say things they know nothing about. Many diabetics have felt this way about how ignorant some people are. Some people are just darn rude in making comments without knowing what the diabetics are really going through.

Thank goodness, some diabetics are not concerned too much about this anymore but others still do, so I hope writing this will make others more understanding and compassionate about making comments. It is easy to do so. All you have to do is put yourself in the shoes of the diabetics and you will be more careful what you say. Here are other things the diabetics want you to know.

1. We Feel Bad and We Can’t Tell You Why Because We Don’t Know the Answer.

When you ask me what’s wrong and I say I don’t know, just accept that. Just know that we are not pretending or making it up just to get sympathy. All we know is that we felt it as soon as we woke up and knew we had to take it easy that day. It could mean cancelling plans or staying in bed.

So, please we need you to believe in us. Do not ever think we are exaggerating the pain we feel. Even you saying that we look well is hurtful because that is a veiled denial of how we are actually feeling. Please don’t think we are being very sensitive when we react strongly to criticisms.

We get lonely and scared as to what will happen to us in the future but we know we have to stop thinking this way so we can cope. So instead we ask ourselves what’s bothering us and thought of how we could cope with this. How did we overcome this last time it happened? Did we talk to a doctor or did we ask for any other support?

We thought of how we could go through this bad day. Sometimes we run out of ways to cope and so we just give in. But that’s okay knowing we can’t control everything and we can’t blame ourselves for that. Ah, we know another escape mechanism which would be to just do something we enjoy doing like reading or watching a movie just to take the mind off the bad day.

We think of the big picture which is our life full of fun on the beach. This bad day and even a succession of bad days are just a small part of our life. So instead we force ourselves to be grateful, thankful for all the good days we have. And then we listen to our body and what it needs. Are we working too hard, then we slow down and get rested. You see, if you give us time, we can make the bad day a positive one for we learn to take care of ourselves better.

2. We Don’t Need Criticisms

Please do not criticize our choice of foods unless we asked your help with our diet. Know that we are already trying to control our meals to stabilize our blood sugar but there are always variation and not only from the food. Our medicine cabinet is testament to all things we have to do to achieve that control.

Just understand that there’s more to blood sugar control than food alone. There are dozens of them, hundreds in fact that keep us occupied. And all these can change our blood sugar level, minute by minute, despite all we have to do. So just leave us alone when we want a taste of that piece, a tiny piece of the slice of chocolate cake.

Keep your suggestions on how to fix our illness to yourself. Believe us when we say we have read research after research and all the cures and remedies. If there is one that will solve the situation we would have tried it already or our doctor would have recommended it. So don’t even think it that we caused this illness ourselves.

Good Control - Taking Control of Your Diabetes

3. Sometimes Our Emotions Get To Us

Our blood sugar is not the only thing that goes on a roller coaster ride, our emotions do too. If we get mad at you, it is not us that is doing the talking; it’s the diabetes and the emotional burden it brought to our lives. So please don’t judge us if we are being unreasonable sometimes for our words are not interpreted the right way. Why?

Understand that our moods change. We could be loving and kind one minute and all of a sudden become cold. That is because the illness is taking a toll on the body mind and spirit. Our emotions can go from sadness and anger, feeling let down and depressed. You see, the illness also affects our ability to maintain equilibrium.

It is because we have a chronic illness and we do not feel the same way like everyone else. Sometimes we feel we are not being supported so we feel misunderstood many a time. You say we look fine. This we hope will not lead to a communication breakdown that could affect the relationship. We are stressed enough without having to deal with more problems.

It is not easy for us to communicate our feelings. Sometimes we can’t find the words to describe how we feel about things we can no longer do. It is not comfortable to talk about them anyway so often times we just want to be left alone. We know this is also hard on our loved ones but it is what it is.

4. We Love Getting Your Support

Living with diabetes is not easy. It is a constant struggle every day and you won’t know it when you look at us. Why? Because we force ourselves to smile through the tears to mask the struggle we are going through. The struggle is real for it takes work and time to control the diabetes so support us for we do not want to become the statistics that too many diabetics fall into. So you know how much we need your love and support and we thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Just because you say we look fine, don’t assume we do not have a disability. Not seeing someone in a wheel chair does not mean there is no disability. Disability is sometimes invisible. Though we cannot see it does not mean the unbearable pain, tiredness and weakness do affect our daily life.

Besides, unless you’re living with this illness, you won’t really know what we are going through. We know you try to be understanding but when you say you’re tired too and wake up in pain, then you diminish our suffering. Say it differently like “Poor you, I can’t imagine how you feel.” Statements like that can make us feel better.

Then there is the worry about our loved ones because we need them so. When they are a little bit late coming home from work, we worry so, that is how dependent we are on them. Can you imagine how much harder our life would be without them? We are grateful for them for trying to help and understand us.

5. We Try Hard But Accept That We Can’t Control Everything

We work hard at controlling our blood sugar so please do not lecture us that if only we could control our blood sugar level we would be feeling better. Just know that we prick our fingers every day, sometimes several times a day and we visit our doctor often. Despite this the blood sugar still goes up and down no matter how hard we try.

And you know why? Stress can affect the blood sugar. So do pain and sleep patterns. And even any change in the barometric pressure can cause variations in the blood sugar. So that darn thing could keep wandering around. Even most doctors don’t agree on blood glucose targets and with diabetes treatment for that matter. How can we therefore control everything? How can anyone lecture us on what to do when even our doctors don’t agree on this?

And that machine we use to monitor our blood sugar? Well they are not accurate; they generate either minus or plus 15% of the reading. Why do we put up with this equipment? Actually the diabetes community is working hard to make it better. Meantime we put up with it because it is better than urinating on a strip and tasting it to see if it is sweet. So we accept the fluctuation because it is probably due to the fact fluctuations in blood sugar is normal blood sugar.

6. We Are Afraid What The Future Holds For Us.

We are afraid of getting worse. What will happen to our legs and feet when they hurt so much now? Our eyes are getting dim now too. What will happen if we can no longer see? What kind of future will we have? We don’t want our loved ones to suffer so from our disability. We will hate it so much to be a burden to them.

7. Despite The Pain and the Fear, We Remain Hopeful

We are glad to be hopeful because it helps make the situation better. How much more devastating this illness could be without hope. For one thing, we can deal with the challenges and accept them for what they are. We are also able to deal with our fears by maintaining a positive attitude.

Just like identical twins, no two diabetics are alike. They are not the same from day to day. Even for the same person no two days are alike. It is confusing I know but let us just accept that confusion and keep moving forward.

Just like no two people with diabetes (or pre-diabetes) are alike, neither are any two days for the same person alike. Anyway, we don’t want to accept and known as a sick because we are just as lovable and talented as the next guy. We just have to embrace that chaos and move forward!

Our loved ones give us hope for they are willing to get to know more about this illness. We find comfort in this. Someday we hope the researchers will find a cure for this so no one has to suffer from this. You see, being hopeful makes us feel better already. Being hopeful is empowering. Let us all join hands and hope and pray, a cure will soon be found!


There you are. We have expressed our feelings and feeling better for it. Please just ask me about my diabetes and how I feel. The more we share, the more confident we can become in controlling this disease.

Your Turn

How about you? Have you tried to express your feelings. How did you do it? What did you say? Which ones work well with you? Please, share them with us in the comment box below so we can help all our friends who are suffering from the same situation.

By Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman

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Copyright 2014 Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman All rights reserved. Feel free to copy and distribute this provided the names of the authors and links remain the same.

Disclaimer: This is not a medical advice. We are just freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences. Bottom line: You still need the professional advice and treatment of a licensed medical professional.