I've recently acquired a new pet peeve.

I recently developed a relatively new pet peeve and I'm wondering what other PWD think about this...

Last week I was casually chatting with a friend about how I'd had a very low blood sugar that morning (31mg/dl) that was unexpected and I was still kind of in a light fog because of it. He asked me what it felt like. He seemed concerned about this hypoglycemic event and he is a healthcare worker, so I thought I would do a little "inservice" (the medical community uses the "inservice" to educate our peers on new equipment, meds, etc). I gave him a short list of what it could feel like to anyone and as I was explaining that each PWD has her/his own set of symptoms, he suddenly cut my "inservice" short, exclaiming, "that's what happened to me this morning!"

OK. I didn't know he had difficulty with his blood sugars regulating on their own, by way of his normal, completely functioning islet cells but maybe I didn't know something about his current health situation. When I asked him what his symptoms were, he told me, "I got a bad headache when I skipped breakfast." I inquired further and, no, nothing was wrong with his normal functioning islet cells. Maybe you were just hungry? He quickly replied, "No, I wasn't hungry! I had a low blood sugar just like you described!" I asked him what he did to correct it and he calmly stated, "Oh, I just popped a couple of Advil and went about my day. But, boy, was I starving at lunch." WHAT??!!

I calmed my racing, shocked pulse down and just decided to move the conversation along because I got the feeling this friend had no clue what a true hypoglycemic incident is about. I changed the subject and we got to the business of catching up. I decided the "inservice" would have been lost on this person anyway.

This is a first for me on this Type 1 journey. My inner circle of family and friends has been very supportive and frequently asks questions so they can better understand what's going on with me, like I do with them when something's going on with them that I don't understand. It's a normal give and take amongst friends & family. But this person is just outside of my inner circle, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he really wasn't concerned about me at all, just his headache's cause (even though it was pretty obvious the missed meal was most likely the cause. But, in his defense, maybe his blood sugar was at the lower end of his normal glucose range.)

I'm still wondering why I was so amped up by his response. It seems to me that many PWD fear the low!!! And just "popping a few Advil" wouldn't correct a true low blood sugar. Maybe I've been in a little bubble where it's been all about me as I navigate this new world?(I'm definitely learning it's NOT all about me) I don't know but I'm thinking that my fear of a low and this person's delight in figuring out what caused his headache, shocked me.

When we were preparing to part ways, I mentioned to him that he should start carrying immediate glucose foods with him to combat the lows he might experience in the future.

How do you respond when someone seems uneducated on what you're experiencing due to diabetes and compares it to something in her/his nondiabetic life?

Remember...CHECK. DON'T GUESS!!!

Views: 157

Comment by brboyer on June 15, 2014 at 8:18pm

>>How do you respond when someone seems uneducated on what you're experiencing due to diabetes and compares it to something in her/his nondiabetic life? Seems like a completely natural thing for someone to do. I'd listen politely, smile, and thank them for sharing their thoughts about something unexplained.

Comment by Sandy on June 15, 2014 at 10:26pm
Thanks, brboyer, thats exactly what I did as we continued our lunch. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment!!
Comment by Diabetic Dad on June 16, 2014 at 3:12am

We "fear" lows because they are so dangerous and can be deadly to a PWD. The dangers are very real, more than just annoying symptoms. A lot more.

If this friend may ever need to help treat you, he needs to know that.

Comment by Sandy on June 16, 2014 at 11:52am

Thanks, Diabetic Dad, I wholeheartedly agree but in this instance he was more focused on his own symptoms that I felt anything I would have liked to convey to him and teach him about real hypoglycemia would have ben lost. But don't worry. Next time we're together I'm planning on telling him about how dangerous it is for PWD, especially those that use insulin and Bg lowering meds. I appreciate u bring7ng it upthough. It's an important topic!!

Comment by Hakima on June 18, 2014 at 10:19pm
I totally understand what you went through with this individual. Extremely frustrating. I was diagnosed 6yrs ago & since then I have realized that everyone is not that interested in really learning about diabetes or what PWDs go through. I still get upset too but not always as much. I am hypoglycemic and very very few people really get what I go through... cause, effect, symptoms, fears, etc... It's not simple at all. I can say that I love reading these blogs because I see I'm not the only one dealing with this!
Comment by Sandy on June 19, 2014 at 5:26pm

Thanks for reading my blog, Hakima, and for taking the time to comment. I also love reading other T1D blogs for the same reasons as well as picking up little tricks and tips along the way. I do have a couple of friends who are very interested in learning about highs and lows so they can help. I'm very blessed to have these friends in my life!!

Comment by karebear1966 on June 19, 2014 at 10:57pm

I actually yelled at a coworker. LOL She was asking about my service dog and maybe she should train hers to do what mine does. I asked her if she was diabetic. She said she wasn't but had low blood sugars often because she skips meals a lot. I had just had my blood work done and it was not a good one despite my taking good care of myself. I was angry to begin with. I yelled at her. " what the hell is wrong with you? You purposely dont take care of yourself and have the audacity to figure a dog can help you! Eat you moron! " Needless to say she doesn't talk to me anymore, and I am fine with that.

Comment by Sandy on June 21, 2014 at 3:33pm

That's incredible!! I'm amazed at how many people with normal beta cell function equate their "low blood sugars" with what a diabetic experiences! I'm happy you've got a DAD that helps you recognize lows and highs!! I'm trying to figure out a way to get a DAD. I used to have golden retrievers and they were always very attentive whenever my pancreatitis flared so I'm betting they would have made great diabetic alert dogs!
What's your dog's name & how long have you had she/he?? Give her/him some love from me!! Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment!! I really appreciate it!!

Comment by Eucritta on June 23, 2014 at 10:23am

I've run into a similar thing with rheumatoid arthritis. I have very aggressive RA, which is nothing like what most people think of when they think of arthritis. Doesn't stop them giving me advice, though, or comparing it to that time they went too far on a hike and suffered for days.

I think most of the time they're just a bit uncomfortable - I sometimes think I'm like the skeleton at the feast for some people, especially now with T1D as well - and at a loss for something constructive to say. I used to get angry about it, but these days, I just allow myself a raised eyebrow and move on. It's too tiring to try and educate everyone.

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