Do we bring our families on board with our Diabetes??

By MewElla Latest Reply 2011-10-22 19:42:29 -0500
Started 2011-06-21 08:55:33 -0500

Don't hide your diabetes…some patients try to handle this disease all on their own, diabetes affects all areas of our lives and we need the cooperation and understanding of our family members in dealing with this.
Bring home literature about diabetes management from the Dr's office-we may understand it like knowing that we may need to test 3-4 times ea day, watch calories and carbs, what we cope with, your family needs to know this.
If you need help from the family, ASK…Don't brood, others can not read our minds, perhaps it is a time you need daily for exercise and you need help with the kids while you are away from the house.
Train your family how to recognize and treat low blood sugar- rapid heartbeat, sweating, confusion, double vision,-and how to take emergency measures to help you. Family needs to know where you store emergency foods and how much to give to you. If you have a prescription for glucagon, train your family how to inject it.
Teach them about high blood sugar, too-usual symptoms, unusual thirst, urinate more frequently, blurry vision, reduced energy-be ready for emergency actions. Make sure they know how to check your blood sugar and if you are on insulin, how and when to administer it.

19 replies

SlatonLeo 2011-07-19 11:51:30 -0500 Report

That is great advice MewAlla except for those of us who can not afford to buy the BG strips on a regular basis, they cost about $30.00 dollars at Wal-Mart each time and that is the cheapest I have found so far, if there are suggestions for a better way I would welcome them. My wife and I are on fixed SS income and barely pay bills as is.
Please understand I am not complainig, but that is the way it is for us right now.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-06-24 16:21:22 -0500 Report

Hi May Ella,

These are some reall great ideas.

Family members really need to be educated. If the patient takes control of their self-care, and gets empowered, then families learn by example. They also learn that the patient is taking this seriously, so they need to do the same thing. If the patient doesn't take it seriously, neither will the family members.

The key is communication.

I reallly like the idea about training family members to take care of emergencies. Families experience the fear factor just like patients do. So the patient can help to dispel the fear with informaition, training the family to handle emergencies, and giving them some reassurance along the way.

Too often, the medical conditiion, and all the helplessness and fear that family members may be experiencing, is like an elephant in the room, with everyone elee stepping around it. But it doesn't go away by itself.

I hope you have a great weekend!


Dev 2011-06-23 13:44:54 -0500 Report

Thanks for mentioning the need to bring families on board MewElla. Being a wife of a person with diabetes, I wanted to tell you how this feels from the other side.

It was very scary for me after the diagnosis. It felt like something that changed both our lives had happened but I had no control over it. It wasn't my body, and I couldn't do anything. The best thing that we did was go to the diabetes classes together. That made me feel like I was part of it and we can do it together.

Our friends and family know about his diabetes too. So I feel secure in the knowledge that whoever is around him will take care of eventualities if need be.

Telling family is important not just for the diabetic but for the family members as well so that they can feel in control of and part of the situation. It really helps keep everybody together.

roshy 2011-06-21 20:43:31 -0500 Report

sometimes do you ever feel like a broken record????

Dev 2011-06-23 13:35:00 -0500 Report

I feel like I say the same things over and over again sometimes about my diet and my husband's but it is our lives so I tell what is ok and what is not every time there is a need.

My friends now remember many of the things that need to be avoided. Sometime they get it wrong, for example they will try to make sure things are not sweet but do not realize that they might be carb heavy. I feel that is ok, as far as they are making an effort and they don't push stuff on us when we say we can't eat this.

Over the years I have heard the funniest and craziest ways people try to push food. one example is, you should eat XYZ so that your body gets used to it. I generally don't get pushed but my husband does so I intervene some times and tell people that he can't eat that. Sometimes they think I am bullying him if I do that and that hurts but what the hell his health is more important than stupid remarks.

MarkieMarkie 2011-06-21 14:34:38 -0500 Report

My birthday was June 5. My sister made me a cake… I asked her… is it sugar free. She said "No… it only has a little bit of sugar in it!" I told her, "I can not eat it… you and your famiily enjoy it." We decided that we would celebrate my birthday at Olive Garden instead where I had soup and salad. It was wonderful…

The point I am making is I find that over and over again I can tell the same people, I'm diabetic… they have no clue as to what that exactly means… they will say something like "Oh, I'm sorry." I remember once I asked a friend to get me a diet drink from the store. He came back with a Sprite (which has 27 gms of Sugar) because it has 0 this and 0 that. I told him.. this is not diet… I can't drink it… his response was "Just sip it." Okay if I gulp or sip I still get the 27 grams of sugar, DUH!

I find that people are ignorant to the disease and until it actually personally affects them… then they are reluctant to educate… so you have to take charge of your own educations and make them aware of what you have learned… even if it bores them to death…

Right now everyone in my family knows what medications I'm on, what my doctors name is, my insurance, pretty much what I can and can not eat, what I'm willing to eat and what I'm not willing to eat. I had to get over the idea of "I'll just eat a little bit to keep from hurting someones feelings." I learned it is there feelings or my life… I want to be around for a while, so I had to spare one or the other and it was the choice of eating better even if it hurt feelings.

Now becuase I have stood up for myself I get more respect and family members when they invite me to eat will say, "Is this something you can eat." The worst hurtful thing I think I've encountered was once a family member invited me to Thanksgiving dinner and told me "If you want a Sugar Free dessert, bring your own."

Well, okee dokee… I didn't go… I figured I was more important than bringing my own… I enjoyed Thanksgiving with a friend that was a bit more understanding.

My boyfriend watches out for me quite a bit. He will say. "She can't eat that." And doesn't care if it upsets anyone or not. He will also point out what my medical condtions are and will demand respect for that…

I'm glad I have him…

Take care.

JoleneAL 2011-06-23 13:55:44 -0500 Report

Bravo! Been in your shoes. My husband has been beyond supportive from the beginning. But some co-workers I have are down right ignorant. One even told me to stop eating hamburgers because I wouldn't be able to cure my diabetes eating that (eye roll).

CaliKo 2011-06-21 14:33:46 -0500 Report

Good advice, thanks. I just showed my husband how to test my blood glucose this year from something someone said on this site. He didn't want to learn, but now he's okay with it. He's even tested his a couple of times, but I just call him a show off since his is so low even after just eating a bunch of carbs.

JoleneAL 2011-06-23 13:58:12 -0500 Report

When I was in bed after my lasik, Dan had to check and give me insulin shots! Fortunately he learned the shots part in the military (but I had to teach him to not jab and run, stick and hold) and he had already figured out the testing part by just having watched me and testing himself when I was first diagnosed.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-06-21 12:37:45 -0500 Report

I keep a list of what to do should I be unable to respond right in my meter case. Thou my husband has been great we both eat the same diet now and he walks and bikes with me every night.

Harlen 2011-06-21 12:16:11 -0500 Report

they eat what I make lol and if they dont like it they dont need to eat it I will make them something els for brakefest lol
Best wishes