September 9, 2015

Attitudes with Type 2 Diabetes

What causes the attitudes of some people after receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes? This topic came up a week ago when a few of the support group were talking about what to do for a fellow that had just been diagnosed and refused to discuss this with a couple of the group. He was even angry that we knew that he had diabetes.

This day as we were talking, he came in and noticed us and almost left, but after looking at us, went up to the counter and ordered an ice cream sundae plus a regular coke. Then he went to the opposite end of the seating area and started eating his sundae.

We were ready to leave and quietly left. After we were out of the door, he opened the door and shouted at us saying he could eat anything he chose. Allen turned and told him that he could, and when his eyesight failed, not to complain to us.

We felt this required some thought and arrived at the following:
  • Often the newly diagnosed get into denial
  • The newly diagnosed decide to keep their diabetes a secret for their own reason.
  • Type 2 as a general thing seems to start out much more slowly than type 1. Type 2 diabetes is ambiguous and how acute it is, varies all over the map.
  • People with type 2 often refuse to change their eating habits and often do not change lifestyle habits.
  • Doctors of type 2 patients do not explain the seriousness of type 2 and that while a good A1c may look good, having an episode of hyperglycemia and then an episode of hypoglycemia is not to be desired.
  • Many people with type 2 have guilt that they caused their diabetes and the doctors often reinforce this guilt.
  • Finally, too many people with type 2 diabetes try to live in the past instead of the present.
We came up with many other possibilities and finally said enough. When it is possible to do an intervention, we will consider doing this. The rest of the time we need to keep educating people and letting them read materials that might convince them to accept their diabetes and start actively managing their diabetes.

A.J agreed and Jerry wanted to do more. We told Jerry that he could attempt more, but not to be surprised if he was ignored. Since this fellow lived alone, there was not someone else that we could appeal to for help. Jason said he is very likely in denial and it will be difficult to convince him to change. I told Jerry that it took some time to convince him and he was uncooperative for some time until he realized that he needed to change something.

A.J said that even Jack was very hard to get through to and it took a specialist and a doctor to bring him around. In that case, we had a wife to help and keep him on the right path. Jerry said he still wanted to help the fellow, but would keep what we had said in mind and be more patient in his approach. We thanked him and we went to our homes.

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