May 6, 2016

No Need to Be Ashamed of Your Diabetes

Yes, there is not a need to be ashamed of your diabetes. However, many people are and some go out of their way to avoid even being known as having diabetes whether it is type 1 or type 2.

We are having a discussion among several of our members as Ben and Jason have both encountered people hiding their diabetes in the last two weeks. We needed to bring Sue and Brenda into the discussion as one of the two was a woman, and she refused to talk with Jason.

Ben said that before he met the group, he was somewhat ashamed, but could only hide it from a few of us, as several others knew he had type 2 diabetes. He said he was not ashamed of his having diabetes, but did not like talking about it with others. He stated that he was always cautious around people he did not know because of the stigma that some attached to diabetes.

We told him that we did not understand as he was not overweight and seemed healthy otherwise. He said that was true, but if we remembered back, it was Allen and a few others that had taken him to the hospital when he was in severe depression. We said we remembered, and Ben said we had never made a thing about that or his diabetes. We had just helped him and made him feel welcome in the support group. Jason said we did the same for your sister, Sue when her husband outed her.

Ben said these are things that we need to remember when dealing with the two people Jason and I have met. They are near ideal weight, both have type 2 diabetes and both are on insulin. That is why we wanted Brenda and Sue since Brenda uses insulin. We asked if this was a couple and Jason said no, they had been met separately.

Brenda then said she and Sue had met with the woman and after they had gotten past the contention and the secrecy, the discussion had been fairly productive. Her concern, once she found out that there is a large diabetes support group, was how to avoid the members. She would not consider even coming to a meeting Sue said.

Allen asked if she would be accepting help from them. Brenda stated she was not sure as she would not answer many questions from them and while she admitted having type 2 diabetes, that was about all she would say other than she did not trust her doctor and would not take statins. Brenda stated that she was taking an antidepressant and another medication for blood pressure. Sue said they had a phone number and email address, but were discouraged from using them, as she did not want her children to know she had diabetes.

I suggested that she be encouraged to tell her oldest child depending on their ages. Sue said the oldest as they understood was 13 and the next was 11. Both were actively involved is school activities. Brenda said I can understand why, especially if she were to have an episode of hypoglycemia. Brenda admitted that that may not be possible, but would try to work to have this done.

Jason said that the person he and Ben had talked to kept cutting them off and did not want to talk about diabetes at all. Ben continued that all they knew was that he had type 2 diabetes and was taking insulin. He would not talk about family or give us any more information. We agreed that patience would be required. We told the four to continue and we would support them as needed.

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