Hiding Diabetes

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2014-03-01 10:05:44 -0600
Started 2014-02-17 20:33:35 -0600

I know some people hide the fact that they are diabetics from friends, family and coworkers. I think it is a foolish thing to do because you never know when someone may have to help you.

This morning, I got up and didn't feel too good. I got dressed came down and was boiling an egg when I got suddenly dizzy. I tested and learned that my blood glucose was 65. I had never been that low before. I used my fast acting glucose and it helped. I ate the egg, a slice of bacon and a slice of toast and felt fine. I sat down and started working on a project and responded to someone on DC. Around 12:30, I felt dizzy again and checked B/G again and it was dropping again. I was thinking this is weird so I ate a cookie. Twenty minutes later I heard a strange sound and could not quite figure out what it was and my phone was ringing. I answered and heard someone say come to the door. It was Neighborhood Services Unit Police Sgt. He took one look at me and said is your sugar out or whack. I nodded. He asked if I could get my coat and purse. I don't know how but I did. The next thing I know I am in his jeep lights and sirens blaring, he took me to the ER.

My blood sugar was 45 when tested and my blood pressure was slightly raised. I think the doctor gave me some insulin. I was there for a couple of hours and when I was released my B/G was back to 120. I have never been so tired in my life and I still feel a little wobbly.

The Sgt. used my ICE App on my phone to fill in the paperwork at the ER, called my sister at work and told here where I was and that he would call her if they kept me and if not he would take me home. Sure enough there was another Neighborhood Services Officer waiting for me. Since I have been home he has called to check on me.

When we first started working together, I told him I am diabetic and told him what signs to look for. Thankfully today he stopped by the house to check on me after our snow storm and to discuss community events with me. Had he not recognized my distress, he would have thought I was simply feeling pretty bad and told me to get some rest.

I am not ashamed of being diabetic and I really don't care who knows. I also do not care at all what anyone thinks of me especially if they are not close friends or family. Sarge knows enough about my diabetes to know when I should have a snack if we are at community events or long meetings. He makes sure I have a snack or food.

You never know when a friend or a co-worker you are friends with will have to help you. Sarge and I became very good friends and we will move heaven and earth for each other. I don't want to think what could have happened had he not come by to see me today.

66 replies

lanykins 2014-03-01 10:05:44 -0600 Report

Hi Joyce, it's been a long time. My computer won't connect to DC but my kindle will, it just takes me time to do it. I'm so glad you are okay! You have some wonderful people around you. Of course, you have earned it! I've learned to spot my low BS and test. I will go into the 30s. If I possibly can, I drink OJ and eat some peanut butter until my BS is higher. There are times though when I quickly grab the phone and dial 911. In the hospital they always put me on a glucose drip. After many hrs. of that, I must find my own way home. OJ and peanut butter are my "golden" foods and I make sure I always have a supply. To touch on the subject, I am not ashamed of having diabetes, there just aren't people around to tell or who see me. I sure wish there was! I'm very happy for you and the people in your life. You are able to be very active in your community and people know you. I am proud of you and so glad you are okay!!

Lakeland 2014-02-26 21:32:06 -0600 Report

the one thing I like about the diabetes is you can test yourself, & know where you are, if you're low you eat & if your high, you can go for a walk, or take meds. my brother in law had cancer & he don't know where his numbers are till he goes to the doctors, so diabetes isn't so bad

MrsCDogg 2014-02-24 15:23:11 -0600 Report

Glad you are ok! Not too long after I went on insulin I was taking out the trash one morning before I went to work and started to feel lightheaded and just "not right". I got in the house and checked my sugar and it was 38!! I got to the kitchen and found something to eat. My vision had begun to darken by the time I got in the house. It seemed like nothing I was eating was bringing my sugar back up. So I called work and let them know what was going on and when my sugar was up and it was safe for me to drive I would be in. Once I started to feel better and my sugar was back up I went to work. I should have just called in sick! Good thing there was someone close to help you.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-24 18:47:23 -0600 Report

Glad you made it through that. I have never had experienced a low like that before. My blood sugar went up with the fast acting glucose and bottomed out again. I am not going to buy real cookies and candy to keep for lows.

Fefe12 2014-02-23 23:57:48 -0600 Report

I too am glad you are alright. Sometime life just gets in the way of being well, alive! But kidding aside I was never ashamed of being a diabetic, in fact I didn't know there was such a thing. People will offer me food and I just say no thank you.Sometimes they ask why, sometimes they don't. I always answer questions and am lucky I haven't gotten any stupid ones. I think that we as diabetics not only need to stick together, but we need to share as well. I noticed when I started talking I found out many people I knew were diabetics that I never knew about. Funny? Why not?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-24 11:01:51 -0600 Report

Fefe I have read post on this site where people do not want others to know they are diabetic because they feel they will be treated differently or that people will look at them differently. If that is the case then their lives are driven based on approval from others. I can't live that way because I bang my own drum. People are always going to treat you differently, look at you differently or simply pay no attention to you. In my opinion if you want to live like that go right ahead but you are not always going to fit in, people are not always going to like or love you. I actually do not care about what people think of me especially if I don't have a personal relationship with them.

If you tell people, those who care will ask questions which gives you the opportunity to educate them and to spread the word about diabetes. Other diabetics in most cases will tell you they are diabetic when you tell them they are and they may even ask for tips and advice. You can't spread the word if you don't tell anyone.

melissa5786 2014-02-23 09:16:39 -0600 Report

I' so glad that you're okay!

I've had diabetes for almost 5 years and I make sure anyone who is spending any amount of time with me knows it. I work with kids, so my job is pretty active, plus I'm a supervisor so I really never sit down at work. Just recently I started feeling weird at work when a co-worker told me to take my BG. If she hadn't known what to look for when I started getting low I probably would have passed out in front of all the kids. My BG was 56!

I think it's extremely important to make sure the people around you know that you are diabetic. It's nothing to be embarrassed about and if they want to judge me then they're the ones with the problems. I have a disease and the most important thing is that I know I'm safe around the people I'm with!

Set apart
Set apart 2014-02-23 06:46:11 -0600 Report

Hi Joyce, glad you're okay, and thank goodness for caring people. Unfortunately my lowest BG and me being coherent has been 35, everyone around me knows I am a person with diabetes. I also have to keep glucagon shots at work and home, and at work. I also were bracelet alerting anyone to my disease. I am not ashamed to be a diabetic, yes it's hard, but I also think you can become a role model for others who struggle in controlling this disease. best wishes my friend!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-23 15:45:36 -0600 Report

Thanks Set. No one knows when they will need help. If those around you know about your diabetes, they are the ones who are going to render you aid until paramedics come if they are needed. For me diabetes isn't hard because I choose not to make it hard. When you label something, it becomes what you have labeled it. I really don't spend my time focused on diabetes. I don't talk about it with anyone unless they ask. I don't ask people to make special food for me when I am invited to dinner and more importantly I don't try everything that people are trying to get rid of it. In other words, I never work hard, I work smart. Since I don't view diabetes as being hard, I don't stress myself out worrying about it. I went through the low and said, next. I was on to something else.

Brendieb 2014-02-21 22:37:31 -0600 Report

Hi Just Joyce thank you for sharing your story as I have been experiencing the same kind of symptoms for a couple of years and how I relate to yours and I never knew I had it till just starting to go to the doctor finally after not being for a few years. You helped me and as well I was ashamed of having it and not wanting to tell any one. You have given me a whole new way of looking at it. Thank you again for sharing your story it helped me a lot. Brenda

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-22 19:26:07 -0600 Report

Bren, thanks for your reply. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The one thing I have learned in life is that people who hide things always have those things revealed. Even worse they are often revealed in the most embarrassing manner. Imagine fainting at work and the paramedics ask if you are diabetic and they say no only to have someone search your purse find a card or your medic alert bracelet. Paramedics treat on site, they do not take you to a private area for treatment.

My problem was that I had not eaten properly for two days. I have sense corrected that problem. I make sure I am eating correctly. Thankfully the ER doc didn't fuss at me.

LRD 2014-02-21 09:28:27 -0600 Report

That is just great. I am glad that he was around to help you. I have also been low and given crackers with peanut butter to boost the results. They found it in the doctors office. Good luck with your diabeties. Linda Dunnam

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-21 22:21:30 -0600 Report

Linda, our Neighborhood Services Sgt. is one of the best. They also check on Senior Citizens when we have bad weather to make sure they are okay and are not in need of some kind of service. He knows how much I appreciate him not only as a police officer but also as my friend.

Nana_anna 2014-02-21 07:00:08 -0600 Report

I know what you mean though. I am not ashamed of it, I just hate telling people that I am. Especially those at church that know me. They are caring and make loving comments if they see me eating something I shouldn't. I tease them and start to grab at something that I shouldn't and we laugh about it. It just depends on who we know, that knows I am a diabetic. They become my police and tell me to behave or not to eat something I shouldn't. I am glad for that to. Not that I need for them to all the time, though. I am glad they are around in situations like the one you had.

IronOre 2014-02-20 13:41:06 -0600 Report

Do I hide it from people at work ? No, but I only tell the people that need to know.
I do not like people feeling sorry for me because I am diabetic, nor do I want them looking at me funny if they think that I shouldn't be eating something that I am eating.
Not telling people does not mean that someone is ashamed of being diabetic, and I really don't like when people say that. I also don't like when I am told by a nudist that I should not be ashamed of my body, and I should walk around naked . . . I think you get the point.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-20 21:03:56 -0600 Report

I think each person has to do what they feel is right for them. Personally, I don't worry about peoples perception of me as a diabetic. This means I would be looking at people differently wondering if they are feeling sorry for me or looking at me funny because I am eating something that think I shouldn't have. I gave that up when I was in high school because I thought it is childish. I think people spend way too much time being concerned of how others see them, what others think of them and I others say about them. I am not saying that you do that at all. The way I see it is that if someone has to stop doing what I am doing to do that, I feel privileged. People are going to look at you differently, talk about you behind your back and there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you don't pay my bills, feed me, put clothes on my back and if I don't wake up or go to sleep with you, I don't care what you have to say about me or to me. All of that changes once you touch me then it gets ugly quick, fast and in a hurry. What people say about me or what people think of me can't change me as a person, only I can change me when I feel the need to do so. I tell people because many of them ask questions and I will give them the answers to the best of my ability as it helps spread the word about diabetes.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-02-19 16:05:09 -0600 Report


What an amazing story! It is a great testimonial to the importance of letting people know you are diabetic, what signs to look for, and what to do to help you. I am so glad this guy came around when he did. Perfect timing!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-19 20:57:48 -0600 Report

They say everyone has a guardian angel. He was mine. He has called me and checked on me. Since we have been working together we have become friends and confidants. We talk about everything. The funny thing is even though I don't work for the police department, at times our Major doesn't know who is working for whom. I appreciate all he does and he knows it. People come into our lives for a reason and we may never know why but overtime, the why doesn't matter.

Brittle_deedee 2014-02-19 15:38:04 -0600 Report

I passed out at work one day. Medical was called. My bs was down to 33. Now I carry glucose helps on me at all times. It was pretty scarey.

LouisvilleBabe 2014-02-18 19:20:37 -0600 Report

How did he know to stop by? Do you have a body alarm or something?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 20:07:02 -0600 Report

My city has 9 police districts, Each district has a community relations council with a president who cannot work for the police department or the city. I am the President of the council in my district. Officers are always stopping to drop off something, to pick me up for a meeting or just to chat. Our purpose is to bring the community and police department together with events, monthly meetings and sharing ideas and with all of the community associations in the district. We meet with the Police Commissioner, have all graduated from the Civilian Police Academy, have had weapons training and other police involved training's. I am also a Commissioner on the Police Civilian Review Board and have participated in meetings with the mayor on the selection of the Police Commissioner and about to participate on a Police Promotions Board. We are very much into Community Policing here and it is working in some areas. This is why there was an officer knocking on my door. They have gotten to know my neighbors who now know them.

elwojcik65 2014-02-18 19:00:02 -0600 Report

Thank you for sharing your story. It's an eye opener for remembering to take care of ourselves. I am newly diagnosed T2 and still trying to find a balance. I have told several people at both jobs I work at. There are a few people that really gave no response and others offered any help they could give. The same people also asked questions and wanted to know what to do if I am experiencing a low.
Glad to hear you are feeling better and have such a wonderful friend to watch out for you.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 20:09:12 -0600 Report

Thank you. Over time you will find out that there are people who care about diabetes and those who don't. The thing is to take care of yourself and by educating your co-workers and friends you have help at work should you need it.

jayabee52 2014-02-18 09:30:14 -0600 Report

Wow that is a story which is a wake up call to every Person with Diabetes. I am glad you are OK.


lanykins 2014-02-18 09:15:16 -0600 Report

Excellent post. You were very lucky, it is important for people to know you are diabetic.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:15:16 -0600 Report

Lanykins OMG you are back I missed you. I have been worried about you. EMAIL me PLEASE. I am still shaky today but I feel less tired and on my way back into the world.

Nick1962 2014-02-18 08:43:41 -0600 Report

Absolutely right Joyce. Glad you're OK. Did they discover a cause? Something we should watch out for?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:13:45 -0600 Report

I know what the problem was and it was my fault. I only ate a bowl of cereal and a lite dinner Sunday because I didn't feel hungry. Yesterday, I still didn't feel hungry so I wasn't interested in eating. Added to that are the changes in the Police Department. As President of our districts Police Community Relations Council, I have had to be a part of the changes and have been very busy with the community, the jewelry business and everything with the house, I simply have not been eating properly. The doctor told me that the worse thing a diabetic can do is not eat. I know this and I know better. I actually have not been eating properly for over the past two weeks. That changes today.

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2014-02-18 08:24:46 -0600 Report

Sweetie I forgot to say thank God he came by. I feel God sent him to you that day. I am so glad you are safe now and okay. (((((( HUGS )))))

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 13:25:05 -0600 Report

Thanks Kimberly, I thank God for having him as our Neighborhood Services Sgt. and the guys in his unit. They really are a great group of men and women. When he replaced our former Sgt. who retired, I called the Major and asked if he was any good. The Major said he is very good and I have a surprise for you. The Major had us spend the evening together riding around the district to events for National Night Out so we could get to know each other. We hit it off and became very good friends.

GabbyPA 2014-02-18 08:18:46 -0600 Report

This is an incredible example of how we need to let others know. It was a good thing he checked on you though. What might have happened had he not been there?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:08:01 -0600 Report

I agree wholeheartedly Gabby. I don't want to think of what could have happened. I am not one to panic and I didn't panic yesterday. I just could not think. Thankfully, I showed him the phone with my app on it. Gabby we are a good team and he is always stopping pass my house or calling or texting me. I am going to go through all of the channels to see what I can do to give him a gift. We can't give our officers gifts without getting permission.

GabbyPA 2014-02-18 12:40:34 -0600 Report

That is great that he does that. When I was away from home for a month last year, they stopped by and checked on my mom. That was good.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 13:20:37 -0600 Report

We just got off the phone. Some days he calls me the minute he gets in his car for the drive from his house to the station or on his trip home. He lives in a neighboring state. The thing is he will fuss at me but he never judges. We have become life long friends. So many people do not appreciate our police officers. They are human just like us and many do care about the people they encounter. I am glad they checked on your mom.

RedShine 2014-02-18 07:50:17 -0600 Report

No one should be afraid to talk about their diabetes. As a matter of fact, I think not enough people know what diabetes is. Not to sound whiny, but to be honest people don't know what we diabetics go through. I always hate it when someone sees my test my BG and ask me "does that hurt?" I think to myself "No, diabetics aren't normal people, we're immune to pain." (sarcasm). My point is that there is a severe lack of diabetes awareness.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:18:13 -0600 Report

Red, I really don't go through a lot being diabetic. I just got so caught up in other things, I wasn't eating right. LOL I love your response. I once told a woman that my nerve endings are dead and I didn't feel the bite from the escaped lion. She asked if a lion escaped from the zoo…duh…lol

Type1Lou 2014-02-18 07:11:48 -0600 Report

I'm so glad you got the help you needed. You are SO right that there is no logic in hiding our diabetes. I've always been open about it and never felt it was something to be ashamed of…and I've needed some friends' intervention when my BG dropped to dangerously low levels and I THOUGHT I was handling it but I still needed thier help to get back to "normal"…or as normal as I get! Great Post!

msann 2014-02-18 06:14:38 -0600 Report

Glad you had help that was a scary incident and now you are doing better take care!!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:21:48 -0600 Report

MsAnn, I live in a major city, was an EMT for 10 years. The word scary is not in my vocabulary. I don't think I have enough sense to be scared…lol. I was not scared and I didn't panic. I just could not seem to think clearly. I didn't like the dizzy out of sorts feeling. I literally felt like I had spent the night partying.

TopazDee 2014-02-18 18:31:48 -0600 Report

I don't like that not in charge of myself feeling either, had to many mini hypos so while I was seeing my nurse/practitioner today as I have a chest infection I mentioned it to her she said to only take half a zircon twice daily (don't know how I will halve the tiny pills) and I have to take my BG's before every meal and two hrs. after keep them logged and take the readings to my D nurse 2 weeks after my blood tests that have been booked.
Glad you are OK, Stay Well.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 20:15:26 -0600 Report

Thank you, I never thought about not being in control of myself. Sarge told me what to do and I did it. Usually we have a discussion when he has fun bossing me around. He knew I was really in bad shape when i didn't tell him I don't take orders from men. I wish you a speedy recovery. The last chest infection I had drove me crazy, I could barely breathe.

JSJB 2014-02-18 04:17:59 -0600 Report

Hi Joyce, Sure glad to read your post and know you are doing better. I have never hid my condition from anybody. I feel, like you, telling my close friends, neighbors and fellow workers that it will be an asset if I ever get in a position like you. Also, by talking about it I learned of other people with this condition. Before this condition, I use to eat chocolate peanut butter candy. While working, a girl wasn't feeling good and when I found out she had this condition, I gave her my candy and it helped her. So telling people can save you from further complications. Again I am happy to hear everything turned out ok. Stay healthy your friend Joe

Young1s 2014-02-17 23:05:56 -0600 Report

Oh my! This is why I will always say educate family, friends and anyone who will listen. You never know who will be the one to save your life. Thank God for you and Sarge's life. He was there for you when you needed him. We should all be so lucky. I am not embarrassed about this annoyance. I will talk about it with anyone who will listen and want to learn what I've come to know about it. While I hate it, I also feel like a champion of it. My diabetes sucks but it continues to bring out the fighter in me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:27:12 -0600 Report

Young you have to stop hating it and you will find that diabetes doesn't really suck unless you make it suck. You are holding on to negative energy and that is not good. I actually, do not talk about diabetes unless someone asks about it or they say something that isn't true.

I can't focus on being a diabetic because that takes time away from things I have to get done. I made a promise when I got up this morning. I am going to focus on how I can take the time out my day to eat better meals and I am no longer going to skip a meal and grab a snack.

jigsaw 2014-02-17 21:28:14 -0600 Report

Great story Joyce, and I'm glad it had a good ending. With the exception of some common sense here and there, I could care less about what others think, when it comes to my diabetes. I really don't associate my diabetes as some sort of stigma. It means about as much to me as telling someone I have a cold. Now don't get me wrong, I don't go around advertising to the world and waving a red flag around either. I use discretion where necessary, as I know you do also.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:33:51 -0600 Report

jigsaw some of the vendors at the flea market would come in with candy, cookies, donuts and muffins to share. I put a sign on the table that that said Do Not Feed, Diabetic At Work. A customer saw it and said she was going to frame it and put it on her desk at work. Another customer had it put on a t-shirt. I am having "Fabulous Diabetic Diva" put on a shirt. I am not discrete and I really do not care who knows. People have asked me questions about being diabetic because of that sign.

margokittycat 2014-02-17 21:24:56 -0600 Report

If you are ashamed to tell people you are diabetic then you must be ashamed of yourself. Anyone and everyone I know, knows I am diabetic. I have 5 girl scout troops 65 girls and they and their parents all know I am diabetic, every past employer knew, now I own and operate my own business from home, I have lots of packages that come all my post office people, FedEx and Ups people know to. I don't take any chances.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:36:50 -0600 Report

I agree, a diabetic never knows when they will need help and the faster you get the help you need depends on if the person you are with knows about it. I am not taking a chance.

margokittycat 2014-02-18 12:55:51 -0600 Report

I agree. I wear medical alert as well as everyone who knows me knowing about my diabetes. God gave it to me so I flaunt it and let all know.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 13:27:03 -0600 Report

So do I. I am not angry, frustrated or one for trying to find blame for it. I live with it like I have had it all my life. Besides life is too short to worry about diabetes. I would rather focus on what I like doing.

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2014-02-17 21:14:51 -0600 Report

I hate low blood sugar. My grandmother passed away on Sat. 2-15-14 my husband, Momma and I were with her. My stress level has been out the roof that my B/G has been getting low. I was in the shower the other day and got dizzy and shakey. My B/G was 36. I fell and hurt myself. I had to eat sugar pills and a PB & J sandwhich. I got it up finally. I am not ashame to tell people. I tell them.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:38:25 -0600 Report

Kimberly, you have my condolences. You have to find a way to get rid of the stress because it works against you. Glad you are better.

Glucerna 2014-02-17 21:10:28 -0600 Report

What a powerful story Joyce. I'm so glad that you have a good network of friends and neighbors who all help each other. It may take you a day or so to feel back to normal. I wonder what caused the lows? Take care of yourself! ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-18 11:42:11 -0600 Report

Lynn, not doing what I need to do is what created the problem. I need to eat better and reorganize my time. I have so much going on in the community and with the police department. The Police Commissioner is making changes and the 9 Community Relations Council Presidents are involved in some of it. I was just invited to be a part of the Promotions interviews for Lts. and Capts. along with new changes in the community affairs unit. I was beginning to feel swamped. I am going to reorganize this week.

Glucerna 2014-02-18 17:12:22 -0600 Report

It's easy to get caught up in doing things you love, and you're making a difference in your community with all of your activities. Someone very wise told me that we can't take care of other people until we take care of ourself first. I'm glad you're taking a step back and organizing your days so that you take care of yourself and others. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-19 14:50:56 -0600 Report

I am taking it easy this week even though I can't get out of some of the things I have to do. I am skipping something tomorrow night because I have something Friday and Saturday. I am making sure I stop and eat all meals. No more skipping and grabbing snacks to replace the meal. I know better than to do that.

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