Reasonable support from family is....... ?

By Erunner Latest Reply 2010-10-20 12:10:21 -0500
Started 2010-10-17 18:33:18 -0500

Our household is made up of my wife and now our 24 year old son, his wife, and their 8 month old baby. I'm the only one with diabetes.

The "problem" is all about food. They all love to eat all of the things I can't. Fast food, sodas, and meals that I can't eat. So I eat on my own in that I eat something different from everyone else.

What's tough is the house is filled with stuff I can't eat or drink and it's very tempting to go ahead and do it because it's so available.

I'm wondering what I should expect from the family as it relates to making things a bit easier for me. I'd love to hear how others deal with the same set of circumstances. Thanks.

11 replies

LTennion 2010-10-19 14:52:32 -0500 Report

Hello There! I can understand your frustration in this particular situation. as another member pointed out that she also has the advantage of being the primary person responsible for the food choices available in the home (being the grocery shopper) Although my family members may complain at times, they make due with whatever is in the pantry. Don't get me wrong, for the most part they do understand and on most days, they are supportive the best they know how. Alot of my support or family & friends are sympathetic, but they have thier own lives to live and do not really take the time to realize how my medical condition effect them as well. It is very easy for me to feel like a burden for those around me on a daily basis not to mention when a complication arises. Just keep in mind that you are not asking alot of them by requesting or expecting healthy diabetic friendly meals. It's out of love that you are offering them a chance to improve thier health as well. Should you need to keep ice cream, cookies…whatever you're weakness is out of the house for a period of time or even indefinitely…so be it! There's no shame in limited your temptations. They can always grab those items elsewhere, perhaps they'll find that they don't want them that badly. What I expect from my family is understanding my position and delimna. I'm craving the same comfort and sweet foods that they enjoy…maybe even more so (because of hormones & chemical inbalances) so I would appreciate understanding in what I have to go through in order to withstain from the temptations. I also feel like I have a responsibility to myself to maintain a certain amount of discipline on my own. I do not expect anyone to fight this battle for me, and I should have enough composure to overcome the urges to give into unhealthy desires and lifestyles. Of course, this is much easier said than done and it all sounds good in print, but reality isn't black and white, huh? Good Luck to you & your family

Erunner 2010-10-19 16:07:48 -0500 Report

L, I think part of the issue is I'm Type 2 and have had no real problems. I think they see that as I'm doing well and a little of the good stuff can't hurt me that much? I'll have to ask. Another thing is a diabetics diet is so restrictive as I've learned along the way.

OTOH nothing but good things will result from them altering things a bit. It's sort of like walking a tightrope in trying to find the happy medium. It certainly is easier said than done!!

LTennion 2010-10-20 12:10:21 -0500 Report

You're on the right track. You certainly don't have to change a whole life style over night. That would be radical to say the least and instigate quite a bit of rebellion and resentment. This is your chance to be sneaky and conviving and get away with it. Slowly incorporate healthy snacks and meals so they never see it coming. I traded out other meats for red meat during the week. They looked up at one point and realized they were only eating red meat approx. once or twice a week. I traded turkey meat in meat loaves and sphegetti (spiced up) and they never suspected. And you are correct…part of the problem with diabetes is that it is a silent disease. The symptoms really do not surface until it is a problem or complication that must be dealt with. Not only do our loved ones have a problem confronting or acknowledging this, but we do as well, huh? It's often hard to stay disciplined when we don't see or experience the repricussions right away. We'll do better tomorrow or get back on track next week (after vacation) everyone deserves a vacation, right. The ramification will catch up with you, trust me on this. Unfortunately when someone receives a diagnosis of Diabetes, it not only effects them, but rather everyone in thier circle of support, whether they realize it or not, eventually they will. They may also experience alot of the same emotions as the person diagnosed, such as denial, resentment, etc…hopefully they will take the time to inform themselves of the disease and appreciate the handwriting on the wall, so to speak. They are at an increased risk of becoming diabetic themselves at some point in the future and since this is such a lifestyle disorder, changing and incorporating better healthy choices now will only benefit them by delaying or even preventing the onset of diabetes. At least they will not be forced to change cold turkey. Again, best of luck!


Dev 2010-10-19 12:20:56 -0500 Report

It really helped me to understand what my husband needs when I went to the info sessions with him. We wanted him to join a diabetes center where they take care of all aspects of dibetes and 4 information sessions were mandatory before you can even see a doctor there.

Anyways, the point is, knowing the same information about diet, exercise, problems assiociated with high BG levels helped me figure out how I can be part of his struggle with diabetes.

We still have stuff in the house that he can eat but I can't (I have some dietary restrictions) and vise-a-versa. But when we cook if we have to or want to cook / eat something that the other one can't then we cook at least one item in addition that both of us can eat so it feels like we share something and not having separate meals. Also, he manages his carbs by portion control. So anything I eat he eats but small quantities if it is carb heavy. If I am eating sweets he eats a bite of what I am eating. etc.

The problem with that is I have started putting on weight. And I need to stop eating the remainder of his carb heavy dishes. lol.

We did not eat much of fast food before and no soda for us either so it was easier in that aspect. If you think about it, even if your family does not have diabetes, it is good for them to reduce the quantity of soda and junk food they are eating anyways.

Also, it might help to keep a table of your BG and what you ate somewhere in public view so that your family knows when you are not doing ok, what you ate that made it so and kind of get the point.

Erunner 2010-10-19 15:58:18 -0500 Report

Dev, You seem to have a good system worked out. To be honest I could probably live on fast food and I'm happy I've been able to find other options. I'm doing okay and have lost 30 pounds in the last several months. It's the balance of allowing them their freedom and trying to get them to see my predicament. Thanks for sharing!

GabbyPA 2010-10-18 11:05:52 -0500 Report

I am sorry that your family is so not understanding what is going on. That can make you feel alone in a house full of family.

I have to ask if you have sat down with them and explained how they are "killing" you with their food choices? Ultimately, it is your choice, but their lack of support is causing you issues. And doesn't help them either. Everyone should be eating similar to the way we eat, all would be healthier for it.

I am lucky, because I do the shopping and all that junk has to come in on their dime, so it helps me out. I also make a healthy meal for dinner (most of the time) that we all sit at the table and eat together. That also helps a lot in our home. I do have another diabetic in the house, but our living situation is similar to yours, minus the grand baby. Help them understand that the foods they are eating are setting the grand baby up for bad habits in the future. If you are genetically inclined, diabetes could be close behind those bad habits.

Communication without judgment is one of your best friends. I openly talk about my levels, my food choices, my ups and downs in the home. I try not to do it to the point of being annoying or always raining on their parade, but it is opn communication. Sometimes I don't think they listen, but then out of the blue, they will do or say something that shows me I am helping them as they are helping me. So keep a friendly dialogue open, that will help the most.

Erunner 2010-10-18 20:02:29 -0500 Report

Gabby, Those are excellent words of advice. It's a delicate topic as I set the tone when all I ate was junk food. Their thinking seems to be that I'm doing my thing so they're free to do theirs. Thanks for your advice.

GabbyPA 2010-10-19 14:08:44 -0500 Report

I hope it gets better for all of you. It is crummy feeling like you are the odd man out. It gets depressing and sometimes I just want to scream when things are going nuts. But then I have to realize that either with or without their support, I am the one who is responsible for myself. None of them are going to be diabetic for me. Though they offer their fingers for a test from time to time (so cute). One thing I do know is that even if they are not helping me, I do better with them than alone. I know that doesn't sound like it makes sense, but that is how my feeble brain functions.

Erunner 2010-10-19 16:00:49 -0500 Report

Gabby, I'll admit I have searched out hidden goodies such as cookies when the urge has hit. I am the one responsible for that and like you say it's up to us. Thanks!

Harlen 2010-10-17 21:59:30 -0500 Report

Yep ben there done that
We eat what I make lol I just give them a good bit more.
There is a lot of food you can have that they will like if not tell them dont eat lol
My wife and grand baby can have lots of things I can not and thats ok
when it comes down to meal time we all eat together and yes sometimes I eat difrent food and thats ok aslong as we eat together.
Life will never be ez.
Best wishes