December 6, 2016

The Holidays Often Bring Added Stress

How many of you dread the holidays? I know I used to, before diabetes, as I detested the constant hassles of the holidays with a certain relative. If there was something I had said or done, I was sure to hear about it three times over and in a negative manner, even if it had been something positive to begin with.

I also have a friend that presently will avoid family gatherings during the holidays, just to avoid food and the lectures he receives about not eating enough. He was diagnosed with prediabetes five years ago and because he started to ask questions, he had been able to learn and not develop diabetes. His wife is very upset because he will not go to holiday events when the families are in attendance. He finally told her that his mother was the reason and kept demanding that he eat more than he wanted and would pester him in the days leading up to the gathering and for days after if he did not eat all that she put on his plate.

So this year his wife finally agreed that they should not go to any events that his family would be attending and did convince her family that they would not attend any family event where his family would be present. Her family did trick them and when they arrived, and saw his family, they left immediately. And when the phone calls started from his mother, she finally understood the stress being placed on him by his mother. She even told her family to forget them coming to any holiday gatherings because of their trick.

When I last saw him, he said they were actually looking forward to starting their own holiday traditions. Whether her family or his family was invited would depend on how they treated them and the grandchildren. When his mother insisted on loading the plates and distributing the food at their place, she would never be allowed to come back and this was carefully explained to her, as they did not want the stress she was putting on the family. He told me that she told him and his wife they should be thankful that she did not want them to starve and to eat more food than they were eating.

He said he asked her if she wanted the entire family to develop diabetes. She said she was not putting sugar in their food. At that point, he said he did try some education and she would not believe that diabetes was caused by anything but sugar. He said he finally told his mother that until she talked to a doctor about diabetes and learned that carbohydrates were converted by the body into glucose, she would not be welcome in their home. His wife said she would not because she knew it was sugar that caused diabetes and carbohydrates were necessary for our bodies to remain strong and healthy.

At that point, she asked her family what they knew about diabetes and both my friend and his wife were surprised that they actually knew and she was told that one of her father's brothers had type 2 diabetes. She then told her parents why they did not want to spend any of the holidays with his parents and it was because his mother only believed sugar caused type 2 diabetes and loaded up the plates with carbohydrates. Her parents said they would not trick them in the future and now understood why they did not appreciate his mother loading the plates when he was trying to limit the carbohydrates.

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