March 26, 2012

Are People With Type 2 Lazy and Undisciplined?

This is the curse of having type 2 diabetes. Even people with type 1 diabetes are affected by this from people that are ignorant about type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, even people in the medical profession seem ignorant about type 2 diabetes and insult their patients.

Of the group of people that I get together on a regular basis, only two of us have weight problems. Of the six that are on insulin, we are the two with constant battles to shed some weight. Yet even the rest of the group receives insults when people find out that that we have type 2 diabetes.

We receive comments about our inability to exercise, lack of will to leave the table, eating too much sugar, and not having the will power to prevent diabetes. Not only do we hear these insults, but also when we are together, people are constantly inspecting our table to see what we are eating. It will vary among us, but most have unsweetened tea or diet beverages, some will have a salad with vinegar and oil, and a few of us may have a meat without a bun or bread, or another protein.

Depending on the time of day, some of us may have fried eggs or even poached eggs, yet we have people that insist that we have sweetened tea and make not so pleasant comments about what we are eating. Yet there they sit with their donuts and sweetened drinks like regular colas, coffee with cream and sugar. Or they have a plate of pasta and few vegetables, and they are blaming us for our diabetes.

Oh, yes, when one of them is diagnosed with diabetes, we would like to return the favor, but our group has chosen to take the high road and not the road they have chosen. Even the member (Sue) of our group who had been a pain in our side as the diabetes police has more than once commented that if only she knew then what she knows now, she would have thought twice before making insulting remarks.

Even her husband (an informal member) is surprised we have not rubbed her face in it. We just answer, “what would we gain” - except a very negative attitude. We promote as positive an attitude as we can even in the face of most insults. We feel that this is the reason we get along so well when we are together – whether this includes three of us or all eight of us. We are a confident group that generally ignores the insulting comments directed at us.

Isn't it great to have an invisible disease? At least among the members in our group, we enjoy the company of each other and the interests we have in reading and comparing notes about what we read.

Our last addition to our group (Allen) has asked to stay in our group so that he can learn and carry information to another group of his friends that have type 2 diabetes. He stated he likes the informal nature of the group and the way in which we support each other. He stated that he likes to read, but the rest of his type 2 friends are not into computers and research or reading.

All of those that he gets together with are on oral medications and do little testing. This bothers him (Allen) and he has been asking a lot of questions about testing which we answer. Last Thursday we got into depression as he was having a downer, as was another in his group. Since there were only five of us, we told him to get the member in so we could possibly answer some of his questions.

Well, the two others from his group accompanied the friend he called as they were already there with him. Our group members knew something was indeed wrong just as soon as they arrived. Our member, Tim, asked a few questions and said we had better get him to the emergency room or if a doctor could see him, he would prefer that. Several calls were made and we were able to get him to his doctor that knows diabetes. The doctor was waiting on their arrival and took him immediately and Tim accompanied him.

Later after the appointment, Tim explained that they were admitting him to the hospital and putting a watch on him as he was suicidal and very deeply depressed. Tim said that the other two friends of his were both going to visit him when allowed and well as a couple of our group. For now, that is where we left it.

We did get together with Allen to see what his mood was, but Allen said seeing his friend in that shape had scared him deeply and he was not down now. He expressed his feelings as more of concern for his friend than worry about himself and this was the reason for his downer, as he did not know what to do for his friend. He thanked Tim for knowing what to do.

We discussed asking the doctor to speak to both groups about depression and how to recognize the symptoms he had. Tim said he would talk to the doctor and see what could be arranged.

We discovered that the person Tim had helped was the eldest brother of our member (Sue) and she had not been aware that he had been admitted to the hospital until she received the email from us about the day's events. After she had been to the hospital and seen her brother, she had her husband stop by Tim's house and thanked him. Tim told her we were not aware of their relationship or we would have let her know immediately.

Our group has decided to use this example to discuss with the members of both groups about the problems of keeping diabetes a secret.

You may enjoy reading this blog by Elizabeth Woolley.

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