Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another. And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault. Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger. Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had. Now, the game part. Let’s turn this around. If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself? Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us! (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)
I can only talk from a moms point of view, but I can't even count the number of times people both close and not have said some pretty hurtful things. Some may not even notice that they do it, or that it's hurtful.
- I've been told that he has the "bad type" of diabetes.
- I've been told that its because of what I ate while pregnant
- I've been told I allowed him juice too early or too much
- I've been told that he must eat a lot of junk food
- I've been told that if he "eats right" he can stop insulin
- I've been told that certain "natural" drinks and magical potions will cure him
Instead of making assumptions when you don't know about something you should try and offer support, and I realize that people will share their "cures" meaning well, but I'm not sharing random things with people to cure any other disease. I guess maybe I'm in the minority, but even before diabetes I wouldn't have said these things to anyone. Maybe say I'm sorry your going through that, It must be hard, if there is anyway I can help let me know!" Not just hear the word diabetes and make assumptions about my parenting or my child.
Now while many have said hurtful things, I have way more people around that are very supportive. Obviously our local T1D families are the best and understand completely what it's like! But I have a few good friends who will listen to me vent or talk about T1D and even though they don't understand that language will listen and try to learn and offer support any way they can.
Try and ignore(yes it's hard) those who say hurtful things and know that they are just misinformed and trying to help even though it doesn't seem like it.
Embrace those who stick by your side on this journey, they will be your lifeline and keep you from going crazy!