Sickeningly Sweet

 CHAPTER 6: TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL?

 

Should Others Know You have Diabetes

Far too many diabetics try to hide every aspect of diabetic life. Some break the rules and eat all the wrong foods because they don’t want to be different. Or they make excuses and “tell little white lies” about why they are not eating certain foods. Others completely avoid eating with other people for fear that their “secret” will be found out.

Should a diabetic tell other people about his illness? That is a decision which only the diabetic and his family can make. And yet, as that old saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy.”

One teenage girl was so embarrassed to have diabetes that she refused to tell anyone, even after several years. She was careless about her diet and was irregular in her use of insulin. She gained a lot of weight but lost her energy. Finally her parents sent her for counseling, which she at first thought was just a joke! In time, she had a change of heart and decided to tell her friends about her diabetes. She knows that she has lost some friends, because she lied to them. Now she admits, “It wasn’t worth endangering myself just because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me. I wish someone had told me not to be embarrassed.”

There are some people who should know if you are diabetic. Of course your immediate family members ought to know because they are the ones most likely to be available to help you in case an emergency arises.

Because of his frequent hypoglycemic reactions, Roger Lee has told his friends about his diabetes. At times, Roger begins to have a reaction without realizing it. Then, what he needs most is a drink of fruit juice or something else very sweet to bring his blood sugar back up to normal. Sometimes, however, Roger reaches a certain stage when none of his friends—and not even his wife—can convince him to eat or drink anything. Roger’s brother, Steven, and their father are often the only people who can persuade him to take that sweet drink which he so urgently needs. And everyone who knows Roger well

 

also knows the telephone numbers of his brother and his father, just in case of such an emergency.

Robert, a diabetic for 49 years already, believes in being selective about who he tells. Close friends and family members know about his diabetes. His wife is his partner in the diabetes care—even when she sleeps, she seems to be alert to changes which signal a hypoglycemic reaction.

Willingly Robert tells others who have diabetes, and he often conducts classes for newly diagnosed diabetics. Possible employers, however, Robert hesitates to tell because of the misunderstanding and prejudice that he has met through the years.

Type II diabetics often find it rather simple to hide their diabetes from other people. Since they don’t have to take insulin or closely monitor their urine or blood sugar levels, it is easier to hide. Or they may occasionally talk about their “sugar” being up a bit, but never mention the disease by name.

In Nancy’s work, she finds it is best to be “very straight and open about telling people.” In her travels—sometimes she is away from home for six weeks or more at a time—Nancy not infrequently receives invitations to luxurious meals—like the US$400-per-plate dinner on the 21st floor of a lovely hotel in Japan. Nancy says, “People wine and dine you, and sit back to watch you enjoy!” At such meals, she wonders, “How do you not eat?” When she takes only tiny servings of the delicious foods and desserts, Nancy finds it easier to simply state that she has diabetes. “I don’t want the hostess to feel bad if I just don’t eat, when I can see that she has really gone to a lot of work.”

Once she received an invitation to a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister of Thailand. As the guests ate their food from the most gorgeous crystal plates, the Prime Minister noticed that Nancy had taken only one teaspoonful of the dessert. He asked if she were dieting. “I wish I were on a diet!” she exclaimed, “But I’m diabetic, and this is the way I have to do it.”

If a student is diabetic, the school principal, the school nurse and teachers must all be informed. Counselors, playground supervisors, canteen workers, and school bus drivers should also know that a student has diabetes. Teachers may need to make exceptions to the usual rules when a diabetic child needs to eat during class time or go to the toilet more frequently.

Other school personnel should know because playground emergencies or other diabetes-related problems may arise, and they must know how to respond.

 

Diabetes on Parade

While some diabetics are afraid or ashamed to tell other people about their illness, others seem to want everyone to know.

As the daughter of an insulin-dependent diabetic, Norma remembers that her father always seemed to parade his blood glucose testing and his insulin shots in front of everyone. At home, “he marched out to the big round kitchen table with all his equipment. Then he’d take up a hunk of fat and give himself a shot. Even if we had guests!”  When the family attended big dinners, “he always brought everything out where everyone could see!”

Through the years, Norma has known several  diabetics. To her, it seemed that every diabetic she ever met liked to let the whole world know. “It was just like they wanted to get everybody’s sympathy!” It is possible, however, that Norma met far more diabetics than she ever realized—many of whom did not choose to tell.

To tell or not to tell. To hide one’s diabetes, or to announce it to the whole world—the choice is yours. As with every aspect of a diabetic’s life, probably a good balance is best!

 

TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL?

          Should Others Know You have Diabetes

Far too many diabetics try to hide every aspect of diabetic life. Some break the rules and eat all the wrong foods because they don’t want to be different. Or they make excuses and “tell little white lies” about why they are not eating certain foods. Others completely avoid eating with other people for fear that their “secret” will be found out.

Should a diabetic tell other people about his illness? That is a decision which only the diabetic and his family can make. And yet, as that old saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy.”

One teenage girl was so embarrassed to have diabetes that she refused to tell anyone, even after several years. She was careless about her diet and was irregular in her use of insulin. She gained a lot of weight but lost her energy. Finally her parents sent her for counseling, which she at first thought was just a joke! In time, she had a change of heart and decided to tell her friends about her diabetes. She knows that she has lost some friends, because she lied to them. Now she admits, “It wasn’t worth endangering myself just because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me. I wish someone had told me not to be embarrassed.”

There are some people who should know if you are diabetic. Of course your immediate family members ought to know because they are the ones most likely to be available to help you in case an emergency arises.

Because of his frequent hypoglycemic reactions, Roger Lee has told his friends about his diabetes. At times, Roger begins to have a reaction without realizing it. Then, what he needs most is a drink of fruit juice or something else very sweet to bring his blood sugar back up to normal. Sometimes, however, Roger reaches a certain stage when none of his friends—and not even his wife—can convince him to eat or drink anything. Roger’s brother, Steven, and their father are often the only people who can persuade him to take that sweet drink which he so urgently needs. And everyone who knows Roger well

Also knows the telephone numbers of his brother and his father, just in case of such an emergency.

Robert, a diabetic for 49 years already, believes in being selective about who he tells. Close friends and family members know about his diabetes. His wife is his partner in the diabetes care—even when she sleeps, she seems to be alert to changes which signal a hypoglycemic reaction.

Willingly Robert tells others who have diabetes, and he often conducts classes for newly diagnosed diabetics. Possible employers, however, Robert hesitates to tell because of the misunderstanding and prejudice that he has met through the years.

 

Type II diabetics often find it rather simple to hide their diabetes from other people. Since they don’t have to take insulin or closely monitor their urine or blood sugar levels, it is easier to hide. Or they may occasionally talk about their “sugar” being up a bit, but never mention the disease by name.

 

In Nancy’s work, she finds it is best to be “very straight and open about telling people.” In her travels—sometimes she is away from home for six weeks or more at a time—Nancy not infrequently receives invitations to luxurious meals—like the US$400-per-plate dinner on the 21st floor of a lovely hotel in Japan. Nancy says, “People wine and dine you, and sit back to watch you enjoy!” At such meals, she wonders, “How do you not eat?” When she takes only tiny servings of the delicious foods and desserts, Nancy finds it easier to simply state that she has diabetes. “I don’t want the hostess to feel bad if I just don’t eat, when I can see that she has really gone to a lot of work.”

Once she received an invitation to a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister of Thailand. As the guests ate their food from the most gorgeous crystal plates, the Prime Minister noticed that Nancy had taken only one teaspoonful of the dessert. He asked if she were dieting. “I wish I were on a diet!” she exclaimed, “But I’m diabetic, and this is the way I have to do it.”

If a student is diabetic, the school principal, the school nurse and teachers must all be informed. Counselors, playground supervisors, canteen workers, and school bus drivers should also know that a student has diabetes. Teachers may need to make exceptions to the usual rules when a diabetic child needs to eat during class time or go to the toilet more frequently.

Other school personnel should know because playground emergencies or other diabetes-related problems may arise, and they must know how to respond.

 

Diabetes on Parade

While some diabetics are afraid or ashamed to tell other people about their illness, others seem to want everyone to know.

As the daughter of an insulin-dependent diabetic, Norma remembers that her father always seemed to parade his blood glucose testing and his insulin shots in front of everyone. At home, “he marched out to the big round kitchen table with all his equipment. Then he’d take up a hunk of fat and give himself a shot. Even if we had guests!”  When the family attended big dinners, “he always brought everything out where everyone could see!”

Through the years, Norma has known several  diabetics. To her, it seemed that every diabetic she ever met liked to let the whole world know. “It was just like they wanted to get everybody’s sympathy!” It is possible, however, that Norma met far more diabetics than she ever realized—many of whom did not choose to tell.

To tell or not to tell. To hide one’s diabetes, or to announce it to the whole world—the choice is yours. As with every aspect of a diabetic’s life, probably a good balance is best!

Hits 409
Rate:

0 Comments

avatar