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Hijinks Ensue

Diabetes etiquette

muuranker just pointed out this handy diabetes etiquette guide for people who don't have diabetes. Most of the points on the guide appear to be more generally applicable to other illnesses.
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That is excellent, thanks !

That's awesome!

Definitely gives me a much better idea of how to treat people with diabetes, much appreciated.

There should be one of those for lots of illnesses!

Re: That's awesome!

Don't consider memorising lists of do's and don'ts for different diseases and disabilities, A basic courtesy and asking yourself "How would I feel if..." will cope with most situations, eg, someone getting out of a chair using sticks or crutches looks hellishly awkward but unless they ask for help leave them to it - hovering next to them during the activity isn't usually appreciated either. ditto for any other activity.

The amount of help asked for depends more on the individual than the condition.

Re: That's awesome!

How about generalising the diabetes one and adding on your point about not assisting someone unless they ask you to:

1. Don't offer unsolicited advice about how to treat my condition.
2. Do realise and appreciate that living with my condition is hard work.
3. Don't tell me horror stories about your grandmother or other people with my condition you have heard about.
4. Don't look so horrified when I do something out of the ordinary as part of my treatment.
5. Do ask how you might be helpful.
6. Don't offer thoughtless reassurances.
7. Do be supportive of my efforts for self-care.
8. Don't try to assist me unless I ask you to.
9. Do offer your love and encouragement.

Re: That's awesome!

I think that's a good card, well written and helpful; thanks for posting it, Alex.

I also agree with the general point johnrw makes about not offering assistance unless asked.

FWIW, an ME list would run along similar lines:

1. Don't offer unsolicited advice about how to treat my condition.
2. Do realise and appreciate that living with my condition is hard work.
3. Don't tell me horror stories about your grandmother or other people with my condition you have heard about.
4. Do ask how you might be helpful.
5. Don't offer thoughtless reassurances.
6. Do be supportive of my efforts for self-care [though in the case of ME this more usually means making space for rests or stress/noise-free experiences, rather than offering to join in with exercise regimes].
7. Don't try to assist me unless I ask you to.
8. Do offer your love and encouragement.

There would also be several other smaller points, to do with not doing things "as a nice surprise" (eg dropping in for an unannounced visit); acting immediately on a hint that spoons are running out; and, most frequently tricky with people who care for you, NOT sending me information about wonder treatments for ME. It would be truly astounding if there was a treatment out there I hadn't already heard of, and if I'm not already doing it then it's for a good reason!

Oh, and not being judgemental when the brainfog means that I struggle to find a word, or completely forget really obvious things, or can't type properly, or can't make a simple decision (recent exchange between Griff and me: "Would you like some cake?" "I don't know!"). The loss of one's mental acuity can be extremely frustrating. Best thing often is to join in the person with ME in laughing at themselves ;) - and then elegantly shift the focus of the discussion.

I'll bear the points on the card in mind next time I am around someone with diabetes. They all do seem obvious when you think them through, but one doesn't always think through, or research, all the possible conditions the people around one might have. I guess it's trickier to understand a chronic condition when you don't have close friends or family who live with it.

Re: That's awesome!

I'm not sure that for a lot of people How would I feel if... would work, because it is very difficult to put yourself in the place of someone with any chronic illness unless you have had one. In particular, people who are basically helpful tend to have problems, from what I have seen, in grasping that having difficulty is not the same as needing help.

A generalised list based on this would probably do the trick. :)
My grandfather and mother had diabetes, it's amazing how fast it becomes part of the background and you just get on with life.
So much so that it struck me as slightly odd to see the do's and don't written out that way.
My only concious behavioural modification is that I still usually carry a digestive biscuit and/or sugar just in case, and both died several years ago!
I would certainly hope to see this as a poster at my diabetes clinic one day lol. And it's true that they can be generalised, however I would particularly bear #01, #07 & #09 in mind when talking to a diabetic ;-)

There is nothing more annoying to someone who's been diabetic for years than to hear 'oh surely you shouldn't be eating that ~ it's full of sugar!' or worse 'all that sugar! It's no wonder you have diabetes!' The only time sugar has anything to do with diabetes is when a diabetic is hypoing.

And bearing #02 in mind ~ it is irritating to hear soembody say 'oh it could be worse...' No. No, it couldn't, not from my point of view.

And lastly #09 ~ there is no surer way to make a diabetic lie about their blood sugar results than if soemone constantly gets on their case about it.

diabetic for some 17 years
*why is the writing that I coded as small font look bigger than the rest of the writing??*
It comes out fine on my browser, so don't worry
But it could be worse... you could have some numpty trying to tell you how to deal with a condition you know a lot better than they do. ;)
But it could be worse... you could have some numpty trying to tell you how to deal with a condition you know a lot better than they do. ;)


Yes...they are called doctors ;-)
Ouch! ;)

(But so true...)
And I will second the comment about don't offer unsolicited advice - particularly for eating, but for management in general. That is a very good guideline.

As an adult, I resent someone I barely know telling me that I ought to go to bed earlier. Ought to eat wheatgrass sprouts/barley broth/whatever. Ought to be seeing a different kind of practitioner. Whatever. It didn't help, and just annoyed me that some of my functional time was spent in the company of this idiot.

I guess the difference I see about when people share helpful things with each other, perhaps helpful things that they have tried, is that they are *sharing*, not being judgemental or superior.

I got a good sense of this from the diabetes post.

BTW, most of the people I know who have diabetes can tolerate quite a lot more sugar than I can on a regular basis!

Thanks for posting this A.
That's pretty good. And as you say, pretty applicable across the board.