Diet (carb) compliance and the diabetics you know IRL (in real life; a.k.a. not just online)

I am consistently impressed with the efforts made by the TuD community as a whole in terms of taking this beast seriously and working hard to maintain control of their health. There is no question that it is hard even for the most compliant of us.

However...!

When I look at the diabetics I know at work, family, school, and everywhere I go in the "real world" I find that I am an island of control in a sea of folks significantly out of control. I am amazed that many of those people know the details well. They know the underlying metabolic functions and what can be done to address them. They know the complications and the statistics. Yet they persist in having 5 slices of pizza, or saying "I'll have the diet soda, but I can't give up my evening ice cream or my pasta for lunch."

There is a broad spectrum of control of course. Not everyone is going to be in the "5" or even the "6" club (referring to groups on TuD based on A1c #s), but everyone here is here because they care and are trying. I seem to keep finding a lack of that effort and dedication in the people I know and meet and that freaks me out a bit. How do you not take this beast seriously.

So my question to you all (finally!) is: do you know/meet people in the real world that take their diabetes seriously and work hard at controlling it, or do you find those people few and far between?

I do not in any way mean to come off condescending on this issue. Getting my own diet and bg under control has been a monumental task (and remains a day to day challenge). I am simply astounded by the situations I keep finding people in and am sincerely concerned by it.

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Yes! And that makes it really hard for people like me, who absolutely do NOT "cheat." When I have a problem, I get told, "Well, you're diabetic, what do you expect?" They never believe what I tell them, when I have proof (my logs) they poo-poo that, too. It's so frustrating.

I not sure it's criminal but it's damn close. I think a lot stems from the I'm always right attitude some doctors have. The spout their orders and expect us to comply like good little children. In a perfect world this might work. If all of us good children would just follow orders everything might be OK. But this is not a perfect world and we are not all perfect children. Doctors are willing to write off us imperfect children and say to themselves, I gave them good advice but they did not listen. If they would just say to themselves how can I help my imperfect children.

Gary S

I've been watching some animal rescue videos on YouTube today. I think amateur animal rescue people put more thought, more caring, more HEART into helping a stray dog than most doctors put into helping their Type 2 patients. That's been my experience, anyway.

I owe more to Gerri, Manny, AR23, Natalie, Zoe, bsc, Jen, you and the other folks at TuD and Jenny's website, etc. for helping me learn how to manage my diabetes than to all of the people I've paid thousands of dollars to over the years in the so-called "medical" field. God bless every diabetic on-line who ever took ten minutes to really listen to my problem or question, formulate a response, and patiently show me a little part of the way.

No one here is charging me $300 to $400 per hour for their advice, but the help I've received here is priceless. Other than just writing the prescriptions I've needed, my doctor has done worse than "nothing" to help me; every thing she's told me has been either useless or outright harmful.

If I could just go to the pharmacy and buy whatever supplies I need for cash without a prescription, I would have no use for her at all. She's that clueless and useless. I've tried to explain to her four or five times what I'm doing, but her eyes glaze over and she keeps trying to send me back to the HMO's so-called "diabetes expert" who put me on the stupid sliding scale that works out to an I:C ratio of 1:30, who told me to eat 45 to 60 gm of carbs per meal, who had no suggestion of what to do if my BG was over 250 (the top of her stupid sliding scale), who had no idea what post-exercise delayed-onset hypoglycemia was or how to prevent/treat it, who switched me to the pen without offering me any instruction on how to use it (because she had no idea), etc. Four minutes with her costs me a $50 co-pay and for what? I might as well just Google something as ask her. I'd have a better chance of getting a useful response.

Whatever these folks are suffering from, it looks a lot like laziness, greed (wanting more patients than they can actually treat) and willful ignorance to me.

Agreed (as usual)! By the way if TuD ever comes up with a reward for "connecting Type 1's and Type 2's" I'm voting for you, Jean. (Despite the fact that I hate the stupid popularity contests!

Thanks, Zoe, but my "we're all diabetics together" song can only be heard by those who are willing to listen. ;0)

Too true and I think if I were a Type 2, I might be a bit intimidated by the decidedly Type 1 culture.

LaGuitariste - I really hate to admit that what you say makes sense. I'd rather blame the insidiousness of carbs than the ignorance and laziness of doctors, but I think you've got something here.

Very well written indictment of the current state of affairs with respect to diabetic patient care. I find it hard to forgive the medical professional denial of reality. They induce poor compliance on the part of their patients and then place the blame solely on the patients themselves. The doctor/big pharma combine win and the patients pay with amputations, dialysis, and blindness!

This post really hit home for me. I just e-mailed another T1 friend who I met on another forum and told him how amazed I was that the diabetics I come across in my dental practice (and trust me there are so many) don't seem to have a clue about what they have, how this disease affects their bodies and how to manage it. They seem to be fine with what I consider high blood glucose (numbers above 180), foods that raise blood sugar (white everything) and just a basic lack of understanding. It makes me wonder why I feel the way I do about my diabetes care...and why I am in the minority here. Further, when I try to impart a little education ( I feel it's my duty as a health care giver) it seems to fall on deaf and uninterested ears. Anyhow, this has been my experience.

I think your last sentence here - about "deaf and uninterested ears" is probably the reason most doctors would cite for why they don't inform/treat more aggressively. Low success/compliance rate. Many (most?) patients prefer denial, can't or just won't work that hard at managing this costly serpent of a disease. They just want to live their lives without the hassle.

In my real life experience, I only know a couple of other diabetics, type 2's (I'm T1), and this describes their attitude. Constant complaining, but they glaze over if I offer suggestions for better control/health - so I don't anymore. Makes me sad, but I understand it. I was in denial myself for decades!

Maybe we at Tudiabetes are the exception. Or maybe even on Tudiabetes only the ones really trying, caring post, while a larger percent just lurk?

I have come to the conclusion that people who visit sites like this tend to be very interested in learning and connecting with others who share a similar situation. As is true with most things in life, there are a multitude of ways to deal or not deal as the case may be. When I was first diagnosed (I'm T1) I felt it was my duty as a health care giver to use my office as a platform of education. I now feel differently. I realized I did not want to come off as "preachy" or anything like that. Now when I have a diabetic patient I sort of feel them out on what they do and how they manage. If I sense they are interested in my opinion or knowledge then I jump in with some of the things I believe to be true and helpful. However, If I sense they don't want to discuss I just let it go now.

Makes perfect respectful compassionate sense.

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