Diabetic Enablers...fact or fiction!?!?!

By Brenin Latest Reply 2014-12-11 22:20:10 -0600
Started 2014-11-28 01:46:52 -0600

I'm astounded on a daily basis the number of enablers that are around me regarding my diabetes and I'm even more surprised at the lack of understanding and/or caring these people have for my health.

My husband LIVES WITH ME…it's been over a year since my diagnoses…I educate him daily as to what I need as a diabetic. Yet…he comes home one night with a HUGE bag of potato chips in my favorite flavor and says to me…" I bought these to make you feel better since your day has been so crappy." I have addiction issues with food, I have an eating disorder, I've been seeing a therapist because of these issues. I put my hands to my forehead and truly wonder WTF doesn't he get about my life!?!?! I can't eat crap like that! Then the eating addiction kicks in and I can't stop at one…then the guilt sets in and now I'm battling the eating disorder… the diabetes isn't even at the front of my thoughts because I can't mentally get a handle on everything else to even think about that part of my life.

Then I have a mother that buys me gluten free brownie mixes because if they are gluten free, they MUST be good for diabetics. I've wondered for a long time, but now I know… my father never stood a chance of surviving this disease with my mother doing the cooking.

And it doesn't stop there… all my clients know I'm diabetic. Yet they bring things around the holidays that even they know I can't eat. I get chocolates, sweets, sweet breads, donuts… the list goes on and on. MOST of the time I can throw it out once they leave, but that doesn't always happen. As hard as I try to prepare myself, I'm never quite ready to deal with the onslaught of food that is pushed in my face.

I'm so tired of the lectures I get about what I eat, when I eat, how I eat…onandonandonandon. I feel like saying… don't lecture me about how I prepare a meal for myself when YOU can't prepare a meal that's diabetic friendly. I'm so over it all that anything I say now is going to come out in the most aggressive manner that I can muster without being written out of the family will.

I'm so over all of this ( gesturing with hands wildly). I want everyone and I mean EVERYONE out of my business…out of my face…out of my hair…out of my medical records… I don't care what they are in, but I want them the "F" out!

I'm sorry about the rant. Apparently, I've been holding this in for awhile. This was supposed to be something light and funny. I don't think I came close to "light and funny"… but I'd be lying if I said I felt differently than what I've described.

26 replies

Stuart1966 2014-12-11 22:15:50 -0600 Report

Oh I don't know… trying to imitate your hands "flying everywhere" made me smirk -wg-

(Afraid you got a bad book, if you still believe FAIR matters btw.) You are not required to explain this to any of them. They CANNOT understand because they are not trapped in your/my body. Until they are, they cannot.

Sweet gesture but BAD execution. We are thick sometimes… ok, mostly when awake -ggg-. In order truly change my understanding, (anyone's) takes a long time, and lots of active work.

Accept their gifts, and give them to else someone who will enjoy them. The act matters, the substance, not so much… IMHV.

Anonymous 2014-12-08 13:33:16 -0600 Report

Year and a half. He still doesn't get it. Glucose meter at 150."oh, that's good, isn't it?" Uh, NO. Reposted and shared items with friends and family ,,, who cares? "She has her meals, I have mine" yeah, but who has to fix them? I have not been taking care of myself because it's just getting too hard. It's just not fare. Burn out.

Brenin 2014-12-08 13:42:22 -0600 Report

I hear ya… I think that's a lot of my problem right now…I'm burned out from everything that goes on. I can't afford to be burned out, but I feel that way. There's never a break from this…I can't speak for anyone else, but all this diabetic stuff is in my head churning all the time.

Stuart1966 2014-12-11 22:20:10 -0600 Report

How long you been aboard this "boat" ???

Not a huge fan of William Polansky's Diabetes Burnout Book, but if you truly are in your own head as much as you say, perhaps it might help?

Suggest www.bookfinder.com to be a good surce to locate a copy nearby?

Stuart1966 2014-12-11 22:19:09 -0600 Report

How long you been aboard this "boat" ???

Not a huge fan of William Polansky's Diabetes Burnout Book, but if you truly are in your own head as much as you say, perhaps it might help?

Suggest www.bookfinder.com to be a good surce to locate a copy nearby?

Anonymous 2014-12-08 19:35:49 -0600 Report

All I think about is food, diabetes, food. My mother-in-law is diabetic, but doesn't watch her self that much, but she is 84 and I can't blame her. But when we go there to play cards with her and family members, they sit there and eat chips, drink soda, eat cake, ice cream, pumpkin rolls, till I could scream. And I always give in. Don't care much anymore.

Chopstix 2014-12-02 01:20:50 -0600 Report

Have you tried sitting down and writing them a letter about how you feel about what they do and are doing to your diet? Explain what you have to do in order to live a long and healthy life and how they are compromising that and what can/will happen to your body if you don't. You may also want to put up a list, in plain site, the foods you can not and can eat. Just a thought. Good luck and the best of health to you…

sweetslover 2014-12-01 09:31:50 -0600 Report

I feel for you and your problems. I understand the food addiction. If I start on something "forbidden" I just can't stop. Fortunately, my husband and best friend have been trying hard to educate themselves about diabetes and how to be helpful. When I find helpful articles, I e-mail them so they can understand better what diabetics are going through. They really seem to appreciate the insights from these articles. Hang in there.

RebDee 2014-12-02 14:48:56 -0600 Report

When you go to a restaurant, don't try to explain, just ask for a doggy bag and take it home to do with the food as you will. Some I toss and some is for the next day's leftover meal. The best equipment in my kitchen is my microwave.

Brenin 2014-11-30 11:47:37 -0600 Report

I've done a lot of thinking about this post and the replies…I guess this is how I look at it… I wouldn't question a cancer patient when they tell me they need specific things and actions in life to survive their disease…I expect the same in return as a diabetic… I EXPECT my boundaries to be respected.

I don't care anymore if the people around me understand or don't understand my diagnosis, I don't care how they feel about it, I don't care to hear their opinions on what I did or didn't do to cause this, I don't care to hear about how fat people, fat people, fat people ask for this disease.

In my every day life, I am sick and beyond tired of hearing what everyone else thinks and feels about my health. Quite frankly… it's none of their GD business.

BB42 2014-11-30 07:59:05 -0600 Report

You are not alone. So many people don't understand that for many diabetics, myself included, overeating is a primary cause. It takes so much effort and will power to fight this disease. When the "do gooders" ply me with Christmas cookies, I just put them in the trash saying "I can't and won't eat these". I do the same when family members heap on the pasta or stuffing during Thanksgiving. My favorite is going to a restaurant, telling the server I am diabetic and them say, "well this bread is gluten free" My answer is "so what, it is till bad for me"

RosalieM 2014-11-29 08:04:18 -0600 Report

Hi Brenin,
When I became diabetic many years ago, I knew it was all up to me. So being practical as I am, I started studying nutrition and all about food. I got really excited about it all. I started telling everyone diabetic or not about what I was learning. As it turned out, I learned that the only really healthy diet anyone could have is a whole food, high fiber, protein and much reduced carbohydrate diet. It works for diabetes and weight loss and is good for everyone.

No one bothers me about what I am eating anymore. If they even try they may get a lecture about how poor their diet is and if they don't straighten up, they are heading for trouble. This may sound strange. I admit to being somewhat strange. I think the thing I learned through this as a diabetic, is to always be on the offensive. That can be done by becoming an expert on whole foods and its effect on health, yours and that of everyone else. I also learned the evils of processed food too. Now the shoe is on the other foot. People I meet soon learn that there is not much about food and diet that I don't know or if I don't know it I what to learn it and am happy to talk about it. They become defensive
about what they are eating around me and apologize for their bad food choice.

This has been a great motivator for me as I must practice what I preach, other wise I am the hypocrite and everyone knows it. Now when people I know and some I don't know get into trouble with their health and want to get serious about their diet, they call me.

Grandma Rose

Type1Lou 2014-11-28 17:56:34 -0600 Report

While I understand your frustration and do not wish to appear insensitive, I would counsel that you need to own your diabetes. It is your problem to deal with and only you control what you put into your mouth. I'm happy to hear that you are getting counseling for your eating disorder and pray that you will find your way to control. My husband loves his sweets and makes his own desserts because I no longer bake as it is too much of a temptation for me…but for some reason, I'm not tempted to eat the stuff he makes for himself. He doesn't have diabetes and I shouldn't deprive him of that pleasure. When we dine out or at friends and they make things I shouldn't eat, I try to select what is diabetes-friendly and leave the rest, explaining, if they ask, that I mustn't eat that and repeat it if they press me to try it. Be firm but insistent, not defensive or aggressive…getting aggravated and stressed only cause your BG's to go even higher.

andy1979 2014-11-28 17:33:27 -0600 Report

thought your rant was what we all feel at times, better out than in. I even had what id describe as " feeder friends" in past that notice when you lose some weight you must need feeding up . Sounds like you are well fuked off with life etc etc or this time of year . i do wish you well but when your world is full of twats just imagine a dartboard with their faces on , even do it with negative foods.

Pegsy 2014-11-28 07:41:42 -0600 Report

Oh, oh oh! Can I vent too, LOL?! I so GET what you are saying and feeling. I also agree with James that "Sometimes guys can be rather dense that way." My husband tries, he really does but he just doesn't always get it. Part of the problem between he and I is that I am still learning and so my plan changes. Just when he gets used to something, a change is made and he's all confused. But over all he tries very hard to be supportive and helpful. He has really stepped up and stood up for me a few times and I deeply appreciate it and let him know. I've learned that making a big deal about it when he gets it right is a huge motivator for him.

On my recent visit to see my dad and step-mother I ended up in a very loud disagreement with her because she would NOT STOP pushing sweets on me. And every time she put sweets into her mouth she would have to make a big announcement that she was doing so and express how badly she felt about doing it in front of me. Seriously?!?!? After days of this, I blew. I couldn't help it. She was shocked, and I know she was hurt but she DID leave me alone about food after that.

The people I work with don't usually push it but occasionally someone brings me a "gift". I thank them politely and tell them that I am sure my husband will enjoy it. Then they suddenly remember and apologize but yet they are still happy that I am taking it home to him. Later, it hits the trash can when no one is around unless it is something I know he really loves and I actually do take it home to him.

While celebrating Thanksgiving with my son's family and his in-laws, I was drilled through the entire meal about my diabetes and my eating habits. Frankly, I get tired of having to explain myself. I am not sure why sharing a meal together seems to make people think that they are entitled to intimate details about a person's health and food choices!

In your case, you said that you have trouble with willpower and are easily tempted by the things being offered. In order to lose weight and get my glucose under control, this was the first thing I had to tackle. Now, I easily say no. People can eat their treats in front of me and I don't feel deprived. It took a lot of prayer and determination on my part to take control of my own body and actions. It's when people push it on me that I get angry. I don't give in, but it does make me angry that they refuse to respect my choice.

My mother was a diabetic and she couldn't wait for me to be diagnosed. She wanted us to "do" diabetes together and her way would surely kill me. I am so grateful that she is no longer here to advise or influence me and she never knew that I was diagnosed. Her sabotage would not have allowed me to accomplish what I have.

My heart goes out to you as I really do understand the struggle you are experiencing. It takes a LOT of strength to resist and I have learned that we have to EXPECT to be tempted and we have to RESIST that temptation.

Keep snacks around that you can enjoy and the next time your husband brings you something he shouldn't, DON'T ACCEPT THE GIFT. Thank him for thinking of you but remind him that you really can't have that, then go have something that you can have, that is satisfying. He can eat the bag of chips or throw them out or go back to the store to return them. The point is that you not accept them along with the responsibility of what to do with them. I don't know the nature of your relationship or how he will react so these are just things that "I" would consider doing.

This time of year is so hard because there is so much of it all around us. But we MUST learn how to deal with that because pretty soon it will be Valentine's Day candy, Easter candy, Mother's Day, etc. The junk food industry KNOWS what they are doing and how to do it!

Hang in there Brenin!

Brenin 2014-11-28 02:36:33 -0600 Report

Truthfully…it's hurtful to be treated this way. I feel like the people around me don't care. I'm sure that's not true, but that's how it feels. It feels like they don't care enough to learn or they just don't care about me as a person. It's bad enough trying to fight the stigma and public opinions of being a diabetic… it's even worse when it comes from within your "camp".

RosalieM 2014-11-30 16:04:42 -0600 Report

It is human nature to think of ones self first. Your family and friends and clients are just being human. You have a right to think of yourself first as well. Learn to love yourself really well, than if someone does put you first, it is frosting on your cake(pardon the pun). If they never do get it, your love for yourself is more important to you anyway. You live in your skin, skin and self love goes everywhere with you. The rest are just passing through.
Gramdma Rose

GabbyPA 2014-11-28 06:46:49 -0600 Report

I think this is your heart felt issue. You don't feel loved because people who love you should be looking out for you. Right? That is what you have to find a way to express. Sometimes just "teaching" them doesn't help. They have to see the feelings that are going on. There is usually more empathy for feelings than rules. Not always, but it's worth a try since the education doesn't seem to be working so great.

It's so hard to make such a change and those who are not directly affected by it don't really get it. It's in our nature to not get it. To change old habits of how your husband used to make you feel better are hard for him. Specially when you give in. If he doesn't see your struggle, he thinks what he did was okay. My husband always tells the waitress I need unsweet tea because I'm diabetic. Every time...it gets old and I have always drank unsweet tea. But it's his little way of telling me that he's trying to help. Even though he won't challenge me if I have fries with my lunch. So he gets it a little, but not really.

As for outside people like clients, I would never expect them to really get it because that kind of stuff goes in one ear and out the other unless they have something personal that helps them keep that connection.

Just an example I saw the other day on TV something that made me want to reach through the screen and slap them all. There is a TV personality who recently has been diagnosed with diabetes and he has been very open about it. Anyway, on the show they celebrated his birthday, not with a cake, which was thoughtful, But with a platter of fruit! OMG...they don't get the difference either. However, you have to appreciate their efforts.

I hope you can find a way to help especially hubby understand. It will make both of you feel better.

I know family is supposed to be different. But why do parents smoke with they have children in the house? Why do we drive when we are drunk? Why do we eat more than we need? Why do we do the things we do out of habit when we know they are not good for us? Because we have not had our "ah-ha" moment yet.

lilleyheidi 2014-11-28 02:25:47 -0600 Report

Great Vent ! If one of my family or friends handed me a bag of chips, I'd really have to wonder WTF they were thinking, are they seriously on board with me with my life?
I don't blame you around this time of year, food is everywhere and everyone gives the gift of love. food. YUCK ! Like you I'm sick of it too.
I don't have any suggestions other than to keep venting, let it out, and keep talking to those you love, let them know how you feel.
Best of luck, heidi

jayabee52 2014-11-28 02:03:32 -0600 Report

Howdy Brenin
If you can't vent here, where could you vent?

I know the feeling. I had intended a comment I was making to be funny, but it turned out quite seriously. Sometimes a comment/topic seems to take on a life of its own! LoL!

If my spouse would come home with some favorite goodie for me I might ask her if she's trying to kill me? since she has diabetes as well. But if she didn't I would try to consider it an gesture of love, (which had gone horribly wrong). Sometimes guys can be rather dense that way.

Praying for better health for us all!