Do You Hide Your Diabetes?

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Do You Hide Your Diabetes?


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Old 08-03-2012, 20:36   #1
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Do you hide your diabetes?

For many years after my diagnosis in 1945, I did not know another diabetic. I mentioned my disease to a couple of friends when I was a teen, but they looked so puzzled. They did not know what I was talking about, and I doubted they even believed me. So I hid my diabetes for many years, but I did try telling a few teachers in high school and college. They did not seem to understand, and maybe they did not believe me. When I was a college sophomore I had a very bad hypo while taking my first calculus test. When I approached the teacher and explained that my vision was blurred, and I could not read the test paper, he would not help me in any way. That was the only test I ever failed. There seemed to be almost no knowledge about diabetes in my early years.

I dated and told my girlfriends. It did not seem to make a difference to them that I was a diabetic. That was probably because they did not know enough about it to be concerned. The first person I knew who really was concerned was my wife, but only after we were married. She was not concerned before we were married because she never saw me have a hypo. I was high much of the time on animal insulin. I did not tell my students after starting my teaching in 1962. There did not seem to be any reason for doing so. I was alone as a diabetic, except for my family, until I was married. My wife and I have been married for 48 years, and she has been so wonderful in so many ways with helping me with my diabetes. But there was still something missing!

In July, 2006, I found diabetes on the internet. That essentially changed my life, in a very important way. There were so many people online who were diabetics, or they had family members with diabetes. We talked with each other, and we learned so many new things. I believe that at least 80% of what I know about diabetes was learned on the internet. I was helped in so many ways, and my control and my life improved. I became a diabetes advocate to many online people who needed to know the things I had learned. So many parents of diabetic children have found me to be an inspiration because I was diagnosed when I was 6, and am very healthy now that I am 72.

After 66 years as a type 1 diabetic, I am very comfortable telling people about my diabetes, and about diabetes in general. It is very comforting and rewarding to give and receive help online. I will never again hide my diabetes. I hope my online friends feel the same way!
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Old 08-04-2012, 00:01   #2
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Richard,

I am just one of the people who have had the good fortune to benefit a great deal from your experience with diabetes management. If I had not met you online and learned so much about managing my blood sugar, I am quite sure I wouldn't have fairly good control today. Thank you my friend, and No, I don't hide my diabetes either. In fact, I would love to meet another person in my local area who has diabetes.

Funny how we tend to think we're the only ones, when in fact we aren't. I am ever so grateful to have online friends.

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Old 08-04-2012, 01:35   #3
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I have been DXed for 2 yrs now and I'm young so Im sure my views may change, but Ive told few people around me that I have D and I talk with even fewer about it. Here's why, I don't care to have the conversation. I find myself bored hearing people complain about their health problems and I just don't want to be one of THOSE people. Secondly, I am still trying to deal with the fact that I have this disease, I am in excellent shape and you would never know I have this problem. I understand genetic predisposition but that doesn't make me feel any better about it. Thirdly, I really don't need the food Nazis watching every food choice I make. I actually had actually had somebody correct me for eating a muffin while I was having a hypo situation. I had no reply for her as wasn't thinking clearly. This is my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Old 08-04-2012, 03:37   #4
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Hi Richard,
As a type 2 I don't think that the question applies to me. For about 5 years my diabetes remained hidden from me. There were no apparent symptoms and none of the doctors advised anything even with fbg 125. Now, that I have regained control, thanks to people like you, and forums like these, there is no need to hide big D. I let as many people know that I have it and fighting back is not very hard.

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:09   #5
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I am not ashamed to be a diabetic. It is what it is, and in this day and age I believe it is not the stigma it once was. I have to deal with it on a daily basis, so I have no problem telling someone I can't have something because I'm diabetic. Luckily I've not had to deal with someone pushing something on me saying things like "a little won't hurt" or "I'm sure just once is okay". I just say no thanks and walk away.

I also have no problem testing my bg's in a public place (of course I don't hold it out for everyone to see...but I will do it in my lap at a restaurant under the table, or off to the side), and I will take my shot of insulin as well. I do all this as discreetly as possible, but if someone happens to see it, well sorry...don't look!

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:42   #6
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I have only 1 year of this so not much to tell. I have had to tell some family and work as well as some others like committees that I serve on as the change in eating and drinking gets questioned. The drop in weight from just before Dx was also quite noticeable (18kg in a couple of months) so that got questioned as well. I just respond to questions but don't go out to tell anyone.
People generally show interest and some a bit of concern but they then leave it at that. If they spot the diet thy don't understand that because of the official line of low fat and lots of grains etc. in Africa due to the poverty generally there is no way to try and cut carbs for the general population and one wonders about the damage it is doing.
One thing that does shock me all the time is how little other people with DM seem to care. They take the prescribed meds, test if they are feeling bad and carry on regardless. They seem shocked at what control I have and think I am weird. One I was chatting to was told by her doc to try get her A1c under 10 if she could so she must try and loose weight and keep up her meds. Amazing.

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:37   #7
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I didn't hide it, I told my friends, family & co-workers. Haven't told the inlaws (except one sister in law) and don't intend to as one SIL and FIL are t1 & T2 themselves....and well, we have different management techniques that conflict. Wish I had kept my mouth shut. I work with 2 diabetics and both of them think I am going overboard by cutting carbs. Should have just said I was on a diet and left it at that. One said I wasn't a real diabetic because I wasn't taking meds. Have a close friend who is diabetic, but he doesn't manage his at all, his last a1c was 8.8. He is getting neuropathy in his legs but he doesn't want to change. I love him like a brother, however i can't make him eat properly. He's stubborn as a mule. I worry about him, but it's out of my control and I refuse to be that person harping all the time.

I don't talk about it anymore and if someone asks I say I am fine, they're usually just trying to be nice, they don't understand or care, honestly. My own hubby said I was getting preachy so I zip it and just do my own thing.

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Old 08-04-2012, 13:40   #8
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It was impossible for me to hide from coworkers as I was admitted to ICU for severe DKA and missed two weeks of work because of it. That's also how I found out I had D.

When I was using insulin, at first I would try and hide while taking shots. Trying to, I guess in mind, be nice to others who may have been squeamish about needles. After a couple months I felt like "you don't wanna see? Don't watch!". Bad attitude perhaps but I was just at the point of trying to figure out how to cope with MDI in social settings.

Now it's not really a big deal. The way upbeat people think I'm on Atkins (close enough lol) or gluten free diets so people don't even seem to notice the medic bracelet I wear. Sometimes I find it interesting what people see and don't see when they have preconceived notions about things.

Sent from my iPhone

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Old 08-04-2012, 13:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cats&Plants View Post
I didn't hide it, I told my friends, family & co-workers. Haven't told the inlaws (except one sister in law) and don't intend to as one SIL and FIL are t1 & T2 themselves....and well, we have different management techniques that conflict. Wish I had kept my mouth shut. I work with 2 diabetics and both of them think I am going overboard by cutting carbs. Should have just said I was on a diet and left it at that. One said I wasn't a real diabetic because I wasn't taking meds. Have a close friend who is diabetic, but he doesn't manage his at all, his last a1c was 8.8. He is getting neuropathy in his legs but he doesn't want to change. I love him like a brother, however i can't make him eat properly. He's stubborn as a mule. I worry about him, but it's out of my control and I refuse to be that person harping all the time.

I don't talk about it anymore and if someone asks I say I am fine, they're usually just trying to be nice, they don't understand or care, honestly. My own hubby said I was getting preachy so I zip it and just do my own thing.
I relate to this a lot. Seems like every body around me has an opinion on diet and exercise and D and few of them follow their own advice they would love to give me. I am not ashamed of D nor do I hide it. I tend to be discrete with my injections, blood testing and diet. I dont refuse to talk about it but I do refuse to bring it up.

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Old 08-04-2012, 14:41   #10
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I wear mine, and my way of eating, on my sleeve!

Despite working in a medical setting, among consumers of many packaged, Smart Ones, etc. lunches, and ADA / AHA dieters.

They all think I am crazy ... and I soldier on, weight and BG relatively stable, and well-known ...

And yes, I do not bring it up to them, and they do not bring it up to me.

BIL and SIL are T2D's now and think my husband is crazy, too. But he is grossly obese. Nothing seems to help his weight.


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