Food Wardens and Diabetes Police...How Do You Handle Them?

By MAYS Latest Reply 2015-08-06 03:55:57 -0500
Started 2012-08-19 10:04:53 -0500

We all have family and friends who are concerned more about "our" diabetes management and well being than we are.

Or so they think!

They seem to have more suggestions, advice and real life experiences as "non diabetics" that they feel that they can educate a person who is a diabetic on how to live their life as a diabetic.

They know more about what we should do, should not do, eat, and should not eat.

How do you deal with them, other than to try and educate them?

Although I do not wish this (diabetes) or any chronic illness on anyone, a taste, or touch of diabetes in ones life will go a long way towards teaching one about what it is like to experience having diabetes, but until then…


61 replies

tootsma 2012-08-22 09:01:19 -0500 Report

My youngest daughter always saying you dont need to eat that and i say you need to shut up and leave me alone!!

jigsaw 2012-08-21 14:29:36 -0500 Report

TEll them, once, twice, three times unlike a lady!!! Sometimes I think that's what they need. Not to worry, I would never do such a thing. I just humor them, as their words go in one ear and out the other.

flipmom 2012-08-21 13:29:40 -0500 Report

I divorce them!!! LOL!!!! kidding aside, the people in my lifenow . even though overbearing at times just care about me… so I just smile.. it seems to change my attitude. Remember, you still need to take care of You.

Momma Day's Girl
Momma Day's Girl 2012-08-20 11:37:11 -0500 Report

Educating them is what we need to do. I Still have people that call this illness "Sugar" You got that "sugar" girl and I just laugh and say I am still too sweet!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-20 06:28:40 -0500 Report

I usually just say I am doing fine and it's okay! I can get annoying I guess with my hubby since I am constantly sharing my problem solving tactics out loud. He is supportive though! I did get irritated with a certain individual who said I couldn't have T1 because you had to get it when you were a kid so she thought she'd solve all my problems by saying just to eat right and exercise and it would go away! If I see her coming I stay clear of her and her problem solving ideas!

limo-dan 2012-08-24 03:18:43 -0500 Report

how true you are,,Yeppp I was one of thoes people, When i would here that someone i knew had Diabetes i would think to myself so what" Big deal,,Well now i have diabetes and yes it is a big deal ,,So right you are Mays

Jccandals 2012-08-20 02:10:29 -0500 Report

Good convo starter: yeah with both of us being diabetic we are more supportive with eachother, but I remember when I use to think "he is worse off because he's a type one", ha his readings were always so good and guess what mine were coming back terrible.. I learned to take that humble pill, and think collectively, we now support one another, I am now hearing him say.. "that meal has alot of butter in it, didnt you say your cholestoral was high and you had alot of products this week with butter in it".. ( oops).. so now I am paying attention. I find that coworkers are the most difficult when they find out your diabetic.. they says stuff like "you cant have any pie can you?" Im like, sure if I have not eaten anymore junk and my levels are wonderful and we are going out for a walk this evening, I certainly can have that piece of pie, thanks for offering it! I don't torture myself, I just try to be thoughtful of what I have eaten. I just love the ppl who offer me a candy bar when I am low.. they are just trying to help.. but I am sure they simply do not get it when they are sitting there holding in their hand and I am looking at them like they are crazy.. ( how about some fruit) or some juice or a glass of milk with peanut butter crackers!

Nana_anna 2012-08-19 20:45:15 -0500 Report

I say thanks, the first time. But its annoying when they keep reminding me, @ "Hubby!" He's the worst. My son I don't mind. He does it more in a fun way.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 19:56:54 -0500 Report

Mays I have learned that the "expert" family and friends who are the food police do not want to be educated about diabetes. They simply want to control something. When you tell them you can have something and why you either get the look of total boredom or they move on to something else.

What I do is be my usual frank self and tell them if you spent as much time eating your dinner, lunch etc…, you would not have time to concern yourself with what I am eating and actually enjoy your meal. They will ether eat their meal or be too pissed off to eat. However, they learn to police themselves.

genniedevera 2012-08-19 17:47:40 -0500 Report

Totally agree! My 9 yr old son, the only child in this family asked how my eye appt went yesterday… Nobody else did… When I try to talk to them about my progress or new stuff I've learned, ( I've only been diagnosed 2 months ago), i will either get a 3 word response or nothing at all… Aggghhhh… I can go on and on and on this, but I'll spare you guys …

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 21:07:22 -0500 Report

gennie, you can't make people care if they choose not to do so. You have to accept the fact they are not interested and nothing you can do is going to change that. You cannot educate those who do not wish to be educated.

genniedevera 2012-08-19 21:28:24 -0500 Report

Joyce, that's not what I'm saying. They do care and I'm afraid they are in denial with this whole thing. When I try to educate them with what could happen, since I've been dizzy the past two weeks, they say it'll never happen to me. And that scares me if anything should happen…

Jccandals 2012-08-20 02:21:04 -0500 Report

I kind of know what you are saying Gennie, I agree with Joyce in that we need to be careful of educating too much, but at the same time diabetes runs in families and if the whole family is healthy and on board it brings a cohesiveness but sometimes we have to remember on the whole to keep our family in the mindset of "nutritional" is a great idea but I would also let them cheat once awhile on the "healthy thinking" so they don't miss what they cant have. I too have a habit of trying to help our younger children know the ins and outs of diabetes, lets face it, there are two in their home, and we both have had some serious consequences that may affect them, such as driving while being low or being say "at a fair" lost cause we are low. For the kids to have some education, its helpful but for them to live in our diabetic bubble "not so much", does that make any sense.. I am not saying you do this or anything, I just know the tendency can be there. Hope this helps, and I tell you this out of experiences :)

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 21:56:50 -0500 Report

ok however they may know what to do if you have told them. They may be to the point of being tired of hearing it. If you are constantly talking about it, they will shut down.

My sister had trouble breathing and every day she complained and every day I asked her if she called her doctor. She said no. Finally one day she complained and I said well when you stop breathing I will call either an ambulance or the funeral home. She went to Patient First the next day.

Stop worrying about something you can't control. No matter what you can't stop their denial and you can't make them listen. Give them a break and stop trying to educate them. They turned you off like a tv show they are not interested in. Give them time to let everything soak in. They could be overwhelmed and need time to adjust just like you do. Take care of yourself and let them have time away from being educated.

locarbarbie 2012-08-19 13:57:54 -0500 Report

I kind of wish that my family hounded me a bit…my daughter has always been very nonchalant about my diagnosis and really does not want to hear any updates etc. In the beginning she stated that,"it's not like cancer you know…it won't kill you, I don't understand why you are always going on about neuropathy, retinopathy etc". It is to the point where I do not really discuss any problems with her anymore…that's why I am so glad to have you guys to vent to or pick up new information.
So, let them have at it…and know they just care about you!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-08-24 03:41:31 -0500 Report

It's funny but when I was slammed with cellulitis, a near fatal battle with MRSA, diagnosed with diabetes, then pre cancerous colon polyps, then another possible cancer all within 6 months, a few times family members sarcasticly asked what we would find to talk about about when the surgeries and doctor appointments were over.
Since then it has been their knee surgeries, pulled muscles, a foot surgery, gum procedures, and doctor appointments.
I pray it will be a long, long time before any of us have to be bothered by wondering how a life and death struggle feels again.

locarbarbie 2012-08-24 07:20:00 -0500 Report

Your story reminds me of a time when I was working in ICU as a unit secretary. There was one nurse in particular who always ranted to us about how it annoyed her so when one of her patients was crying and asking for pain meds, even the terminal cancer patients. This went on constantly where she would constantly complain about her whining patients. Then one day she came to work, moaning and groaning about poor her…she had a cold! The sad thing is, I saw many nurses who were sadly lacking in the compassion department. Of course, there were wonderful nurses as well.
It is really a shame when family members are insensitive to what you may be going though, and as you pointed out…at some point we all have our own problems, whether it is medical, emotional, financial etc. We all want to be treated with a little love and compassion. I think so many of us have gotten away from the golden rule…Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 21:33:57 -0500 Report

Barbie, your daughter told you point blank how she felt. Her key words were "I don't understand why you are always going on about neuropathy, retinopathy". etc". If in fact you are always going on about this, she is tired of hearing it. I would be tired of hearing it.

I understand you want support, most people do. However, if you are going on about your problems people lose interest and you lose your support system and they also think all you want is attention. If that is the case, they are not going to listen or support you and probably find other things to do to keep from being around you. I have diabetes, diabetes does not have me. I don't focus on it nor do I have discussions with friends and family members about diabetes on a regular basis. Even my friends and family members who are diabetics don't discuss it. We have more important things to talk about and tons of things to do.

The odds are your daughter has heard this repeatedly and has shut you out. It is going to take a lot for her to start listening to you again when you talk about it. I would drop the topic all together and talk about other things with her. On the flip side she may have problems she would like to discuss with you but because you constantly talk to her about your problems she probably could be feeling that you wouldn't listen to her.

I don't want or need anyone hounding me. I am adult and quite capable of taking care of myself. Taking my medication, testing my blood and eating properly is my responsibility. Besides I don't want anyone policing everything I do. It would get on my nerves after the first five minutes of them doing this. I have support systems in place should I need it and I try very hard not to need it.

locarbarbie 2012-08-20 07:12:57 -0500 Report

Wow, I guess I gave the wrong impression in my post that you inferred that I repeatedly just went on about my problems without listening to others problems. This is certainly not the case.
In addition, I do not discuss my health with my daughter at all anymore except for possibly stating that I have a Dr. appt.when she asks what my plans are for a specific day.
You said that you have support systems in place should you need it…well my point is that I do not, not that I am complaining or looking for sympathy…I too am very capable of caring for myself and I do. It is what it is.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-20 10:30:19 -0500 Report

I can only base my response on what you stated your daughter said to you. I am sorry if you got the wrong impression for what I said. I meant and maybe it is my fault for not clarifying you said your daughter told you that you were going on and on about neuropathy, retinopathy etc. However, you never stated that you do not discuss your health with your daughter. Which would have changed my entire response to you.

I never say it is what it is because I am always looking for ways to move forward and improve on what is in front of me. There is a buddy check system. You and two of your friends check your blood sugar and exchange that information along with what you are doing with diet and exercise. It works best if the three of you can call each other. I did this with three coworkers when we were all diagnosed the same time. The three of us did this until we got our blood sugar in control.

There are also Diabetic Support Groups. I found this out on the American Diabetes Associations web site. I just entered my city and found the groups. I never went because by then my friends and family members with diabetes were my support groups should I need them.

genniedevera 2012-08-19 16:56:47 -0500 Report

Ditto! That's why I feel so alone with this…it's bothersome… when I talk to my other half about it, it's almost as if I'm bothering him, yet he says i have his support 100%..He always tells me "nothing bad will happen to you" so stop focusing on it… I think he's in denial…

locarbarbie 2012-08-19 17:10:27 -0500 Report

Exactly! It is not as if I want my grown kids (or anyone, for that matter) to feel sorry for me, but just show a tiny bit of concern once in a while, ask how my doctor visit went, ask if my blood sugar is ok, etc.
At least we know now that we are not alone. I know they DO care, they just don't know how to show it.

Nick1962 2012-08-19 15:31:27 -0500 Report

Same here. It's almost like "I don't want to hear it, you deal with it". But then, the wife was never really any good at dealing with that type of thing emotionally.
I think that may be part of the problem with some (especially family), they don't want to think about you as unhealthy.

herigoagain1 2012-08-20 10:46:07 -0500 Report

I agree with you completely on this one. It's hard to think of a loved one as having a medical condition, especially one that you really don't understand. That's one of the great things about the internet. I just calmly give them a few sites to visit for education. After all that is how I learned about it. I sure didn't know anything coming into this. My education began the day I got home after being diagnosed and I still learn more each day. Thanks to all of you I have learned so much. You guys have a great day,

Nick1962 2012-08-20 11:44:04 -0500 Report

Yes, technology has been a great educational tool for us to help others understand. I think in the last 20 years or so diabetes has become a condition that requires those around you daily to become more interactive with your condition. With many other conditions, others really can’t get involved because there is little they can do for/with you. With us, other’s meal planning or restaurant choice can mean we have a good day or bad. I remember no too long ago if you were diabetic, you were put on a diabetic diet, which often meant cooking double if you were the only one in the house with it. Now there is no such thing, and luckily, because my diet is more of a “weight control” diet (which also works for BG control), the wife and kid can sit down to the same meal with me. When they cook, there is no questioning whether I can or can’t have something, as long as it’s healthy, we’re all good.

herigoagain1 2012-08-21 19:41:11 -0500 Report

Once again I can say I agree whole heartedly with you. I look up all of these different low calorie recipes and my wife and I eat the same thing. I have lost about 38 pounds and she has lost around 45. It's the healthy eating that is doing it. My doctor has me on low cal and I don't have to count carbs right now so it's alot easier to find recipes right now.

Nick1962 2012-08-22 07:36:37 -0500 Report

Way to go on the weightloss for both of you! Have you found that meal planning is easier this way? I also found that (maybe just by coincidence) that just being on a healthier diet, the calories fall in line easier too.

herigoagain1 2012-08-22 08:16:24 -0500 Report

It is so much easier with diet planning. I actually plan most meals and I am the one who cooks most of the meals and I love it. The only complaint I have is that eating healthy is sure expensive. It doesn't say much for a world when junk food is cheaper than healthy.

Nick1962 2012-08-22 09:08:53 -0500 Report

Yeah, I guess that’s how the term “junk” food came about. I also had sticker shock the first year of this, but it has come down some now that we’re not so much experimenting anymore. We’re spending about the same now, just bringing home less bags. Considering I don’t have to test nearly as much anymore means I’m spending $40-$50 less per week also, and let’s not forget the cost of meds I’m no longer on too. I figure I’m coming out ahead, but that grocery bill still seems a bit whacked when I look at what little I got.

herigoagain1 2012-08-21 19:41:05 -0500 Report

Once again I can say I agree whole heartedly with you. I look up all of these different low calorie recipes and my wife and I eat the same thing. I have lost about 38 pounds and she has lost around 45. It's the healthy eating that is doing it. My doctor has me on low cal and I don't have to count carbs right now so it's alot easier to find recipes right now.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-08-19 13:51:11 -0500 Report

This is why I don't just throw it out there to everyone that I'm diabetic and I can take my bg and insulin on the sly without making a big deal of it. I don't mind educating people and am not ashamed of being a type 1, have lived with it for so long. I tell anyone who wants to put in their wrong advice/opinions that I have it under control and just change the subject, or excuse my self.

granniesophie 2012-08-19 12:19:56 -0500 Report

Try throwing being gluten free and lactose intolerant in on top of the diabetes and see how much fun that gets to be! LOL!! Sense of humor definitely required :)

granniesophie 2012-08-19 22:19:37 -0500 Report

My point was that the "police" really watch you when they know that you have really tough dietary requirements! You have to maintain a sense of humor to get past all the constant questions about whether or not you can eat something, and if not, why not! And then you have to tell the ingredient list and people just don't get it!! Those who don't have to watch what they eat just don't understand those of us who do and the consequenses of when we don't, or they just don't really care-an example of which happens every day at work-hence the sense of humor, or I could not get along!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-20 10:48:00 -0500 Report

OMG Sophie no one has had the nerve to ask me about ingredients. If they did, I would ask what the ingredients are in the food they are eating.

I gave up trying to educate non diabetics about diabetes because some people simply are not willing to listen or learn and because they have their own misguided opinions on the topic they think I am wrong. The people who ask me what diabetes is will listen and ask questions and I will gladly answer them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 21:08:50 -0500 Report

I was lactose intolerant years before I was diagnosed so nothing changed for me. The good thing is there is now lactose free milk and ice cream so I deal with it. I won't have dairy if I am more than 45 mins from home.

Harlen 2012-08-19 11:05:57 -0500 Report

I sey thank you and go on .
Theres no point to take it hard they atleast try to help even if it is misguided.
better to have frends that care then no one caring ?
Best wishes

TsalagiLenape 2012-08-19 10:52:33 -0500 Report

Simple: Just say where did you become an Diabetic Educator? Or you could ask When did you get your Doctorate in Diabetes? Usually they dont have either hence I walk away. Hugs

IronOre 2012-08-19 11:06:40 -0500 Report

The two questions that you bring up are two questions that I would like to direct to Mays.

MAYS 2012-08-19 17:39:26 -0500 Report

I must really be a thorn in your side, or maybe you just don't like me for whatever reason you may have conjured up in your mind, either way that's your problem!
If it's something personal let's keep it out of the discussions, we are here to help.

locarbarbie 2012-08-21 14:10:48 -0500 Report

Mays, out of the thousands of members on this site, there are only a handful that participate in such a way that actually keeps this site interesting and informative for the rest of us. You are right up there on the top!

DeanaG 2012-08-19 17:10:27 -0500 Report

Mays contributes informative, helpful and positive posts that help everyone on this site.
So far none of your posts fall in any of these categories.

jayabee52 2012-08-19 11:32:23 -0500 Report

At least Mays has diabetes, whereas the "diabetes police" generally do not. I see a big difference there.