Being supportive to someone who is newly diagnosed

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2008-06-23 08:34:36 -0500
Started 2008-06-22 14:04:05 -0500

I'm not diabetic myself, but do have a friend who was newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and would like understand how to helpful to him. I would appreciate any feedback.

6 replies

Dancehawk 2008-06-23 08:34:36 -0500 Report

Treat them just as you always have but just keep in mind, that they need to eat healthy, get out and move, but you do too hun! hehehe!
Also hit the book store, get a few good cook books cooking with dibetics, talk to them about what its like to test, what they feel like when sugar gets low or high, ask them what to do if they go low.
Plus remember they are the person you fell in love with as a friend and need you to be your same old self!


JP - 14811
JP - 14811 2008-06-23 01:04:46 -0500 Report

It's wonderful that you want to be supportive and helpful to your friend. Please remember one very important thing. Once he/she has been through what I call "Diabetes School" with a dietician and diabetes nurse he/she will know what to eat and what not to eat and how much etc… I would advise to avoid the role of 'food police'… I've had so many people all my life saying to me "Should you be eating that?"… I've been excluded from group gatherings because someone in the group though that I couldn't eat where they were going. And both situations are both annoying and hurtful. Not intentional I know, people just being people and trying to help but hurtful nonetheless. So be supportive, exercise together, learn all you can and share with them but let the person with diabetes make their own decisions about food. Help them learn if you can but after awhile let them make their own choices. They'll know what's right and even if that particular thing is not a good choice… no one is perfect. I've been always taught the 80/20 rule applies. If you eat healthy 80% of the time, the 20% that you don't will be ok. :)

Just one of my pet peeves about people trying to help… :)

*Judy (JP)

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-06-23 05:59:01 -0500 Report

I like the advice you've already received.

I would add one more thing. Though the others who've responded are absolutely right that you definitely shouldn't become the "diabetes police," I do think that asking the right kind of questions at the right time can help your friend talk through diabetes issues.

For example, if your friend tests his blood and his blood sugar is high, you could ask, "What do you think happened?" Not in a judgmental way. Not in a "I told you that donut was BAD!" way. But sincerely wanting to understand and learn about this disease too. Other questions that can be helpful at the right times: What can I do to help? Which would be better right now, ______ or ______ ?

Then as you learn together what things to watch out for, you can do thoughtful things like adjusting recipes or choosing healthier restaurants for a night out because you'll really understand what makes a difference.

GabbyPA 2008-06-22 23:27:24 -0500 Report

It is great that you want to be there for your friend. Alot of times we end up kind of being treated like we can't have fun anymore. Oh, contrare!!
One of the best things my friends do for me is just listen. It is great to know about the desiese, but we are all so individual that it makes it hard to blanket things. Learn about "trouble signs" like when sugars drop really low. It's like learning how to detect when someone is having a stroke or a heartattack, time is of the essence if you are alert when he cannot be.
Try not to mother him (or father him) He will have plenty of that from his doctors. Raise a concern if you have one, ask questions when you have them, but don't micromanage him.
Learn together. If you are close, go to his nutritional meetings, sit in on a doctor consultation or two. Exercise together, but most of all, just have fun with him. He is probably under enough stress and confusion as it is. Be a steady place for him to rely on and you will be the best help that way.

morris.js 2008-06-23 00:28:43 -0500 Report

Diane and Gail (Gabby), are both right. all I can say is follow their advice…LOL There is no sense me repeating it. Good luck, and remember, we are all here to help if you want/need it. John

Goddess 2008-06-22 15:22:17 -0500 Report

First I would find out everything about what medicine your friend is on. Then look it up. Go to the library,internet. Find out everything you can. And remember never be afraid to ask anything. nothing you can that will be stupid. I've had it for over 25 yrs. and I'm still asking questions…Diane