Two is strength. How to teach loved ones to help manage diabetes

One of the most difficult aspects of showing love to someone with diabetes is that the help that loved ones offer, following their instincts, does not always correspond to our ideal ideas of help! Of course, they do not have diabetes, which means they do not always understand what kind of help a person with diabetes expects .

No matter how close your relationship with a person with diabetes is, it’s easy to forget the sheer amount of effort involved in managing your diabetes every day .

It is our responsibility to show the people who love us what kind of support we would like to receive from them. Take a deep breath and think about behaviors that would make you feel like you were being supported. Remember that we cannot ask our loved ones to stop caring for us, but we can show them exactly how they could show this care.

5 Steps to Teaching Loved Ones to Be Supportive and Talk About Diabetes

  1. Make a list of phrases and actions that come from people close to you that bring you down, hurt or make you feel stressed again. Write down all such phrases and actions on paper, supplementing them with details and comments explaining why you experience this or that feeling. You will show this list to your loved ones, so try to express your thoughts as thoughtfully as possible!
  2. Now think about one thing, for example, that people close to you could do to support you in managing your diabetes, and you would feel that support!
    • For example:
      • When preparing a meal or preparing a recipe for a loved one, you would like to know the amount of carbohydrates in order to correctly select the amount of insulin. Your loved ones can enter the ingredients in a program (such as the website) and calculate calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, or simply write down the ingredients on paper and calculate the numbers you need yourself – either way, this is an incredible help!
      • In case of hypo- or hyperglycemia, you can explain to your loved ones that the best help is simply to say something along the lines of “Is there anything I can help with?” or “What a pity. You put in a lot of effort every day to fight diabetes!”
      • In a parent-teen relationship, parents certainly have a right to know that their children are using insulin and are safe. To do this, you can develop a daily routine of “checks”. However, instead of asking the question about blood sugar right from the door, it can be arranged that each evening the teenager informs his parents about how his day with diabetes went. In such a situation, the most appropriate response from the parents would be, “If you want to talk about problems, I’m happy to take a look at the numbers, and together we will think about what changes can be made to make tomorrow a better day.”
  3. At the first opportunity, show your loved one a list of things you don’t think are supportive, and then share ideas of what behaviors might be considered supportive. A conversation might start along the lines of “Could we talk a little about my diabetes? I know you’re worried about me, but sometimes your worry throws me a little off balance.”
  4. Establish rules for yourself in case situations arise when the act of caring for you irritates you. Agree that instead of an evil tone, it will be much more pleasant for a person who loves you to hear “Mommy, I know that you love me and take care of my health, but your words do not sound supportive for me at all.”
  5. Finally, ask those close to you to think of other ways they might express their upset feelings or concerns about your condition. Instead of pestering you with questions, or scolding, or even pissing you off, they might say something like, “Honey, I love you and I’m concerned about your blood sugar. Let’s talk a little about your diabetes, when do you have a free moment?

Remember that each of us is part of a big team. We all want the same thing: that people diagnosed with diabetes live a full life! Most of the people we love are not familiar with what diabetes is. Our duty is to teach them how to take care of a person with diabetes correctly, … you see, it’s wonderful to feel love and care !

about the author

Ginger Vieira has been battling type 1 diabetes and celiac disease since 1999 and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 . She is the author of publications Dealing with diabetes Burnout (“Burnout Syndrome in Diabetes”), Emotional Eating with Diabetes (“Emotional overeating in diabetes”) and Your Diabetes Science Experiment (“Diabetes: your scientific experiment”). Her new book Pregnancy will be released in early 2017 with Type 1 Diabetes : Your Month-to-Month Guide to Blood Sugar Management (“Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes: A Monthly Guide to Blood Sugar Management”). In addition, Ginger holds the position of editor-in-chief of DiabetesDaily , has a bachelor’s degree in writing, and also has skills in cognitive coaching and vlogging , sets records in powerlifting competitions, gives personal training, practices Ashtanga yoga and conducts motivational trainings.

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