Do You Hide Your Diabetes ?

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Do You Hide Your Diabetes ?

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Old 09-29-2014, 16:04   #1
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Default 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 50 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 75.
After 69 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!

I have been Type 1 for 73 years. My A1c is 6.2. I pump with the MM 630, and I am using the Dexcom G5.
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Old 09-29-2014, 16:09   #2
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Wow, what a story! Thank you for posting this. Congratulations to you both for 50 wonderful years

A1C at DX 2002 7.2
7/14 8.8
10/14 5.2
1/15 4.8
4/15 4.8
9/15 5.2

3/16 5.4
Weight was 280 now 186, 94# lost so far
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Old 09-29-2014, 18:47   #3
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I'm so glad!

I have to admit that I do hide my diabetes in a way, in that I don't bring it up unless someone questions my food choices. Even then I tend to phrase it as "carb-intolerant". But then I am Type 2 and don't have to inject anything.

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Old 09-29-2014, 18:52   #4
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I come from a strong history of family members that are diabetics. No one ever told me about their diabetes. I knew my father had diabetes, and I knew his father was a type 1. So yeah, they basically hid their diabetes, probably more to the denial of life insurance problems. I wish my father had been more open to his diabetic complications, like suffering a heart attack at age 42. I knew he was worried about his feet, but he never described what he was feeling. He worried about amputation of them. Maybe if he shared what he felt, I may have been more careful about my diet. I suffered from mental problems for most my life, and ppl are closed about that. But I advocated for my treatment and got more insurance coverage for me and everybody under the plan (they treat mental like a medical problem now). So good things come from sharing!

I like you went on the internet and found wonderful communities of people just like me. So I share what I've found, so maybe it will help someone else. It's a form giving back what has been given to me! Love you all! Ya'll are wonderful people and the best community on the net.

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Old 09-29-2014, 21:39   #5
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When the family gets together...well...with some of us eating LC or LCHF, some of us vegan, some of us piscatarian, and several of us carb-addicts ... well, no one pays much attention to what anyone else is eating. And we have so many other things to talk about.

I am glad the online community exists! It is good to talk about it with people who get it!
- Nancy

wf, 63yo, 5'4", 110 lbs
LCHF diet-controlled T2
DXd myself with PP BG over 270
DX 12/13 with A1C 5.9
8/26/14 HbA1c 5.5
avg BG: 90 - 95 before meals, 100 - 110 one hour PP, 95 2 hours PP
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Old 09-29-2014, 23:55   #6
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Not really. My friends here that I socialize with know I have diabetes and eat lc/mp/hf/keto and when we get together there is always something I can eat besides what I bring. My kids are in CA. My DD eats paleo so we are very compatible and my DS has a T1 daughter (15 yo) so there are always selections for her at the table that are lower carb than the other family member's selections.

I've even mentioned it to a couple of the "sample people" at Costco and an Organic grocery, when they try to push something too hard. Yah, it may be organic, gluten free or what ever but it has way too many carbs and is not good for a diabetic!!


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Old 09-30-2014, 09:11   #7
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You are an inspiration Richard. I've personally learnt a lot from you and your posts. I think that you are the most talked about diabetic on online communities. So your diabetes is known about, one way or another.
A1c ~ 5.4
Follow LC/HF diet since Aug 2010
Control only with diet/exercise. No meds.

Blog - Metabolically Challenged
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:43   #8
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Granted, it's kinda hard to see from here, but I'm a very private person. For me, it's not so much a matter of keeping diabetes a secret -- it's more that I tend to be hush-mouthed about everything personal.

That said ... when someone (anyone) repeatedly shoves cake under my nose, the D-word shall come forth. If a casual conversation just happens to turn to diabetes, well, most likely I was not the one to start it ... but ... yes, I'll take advantage of that Teachable Moment.

Online? Strictly no holds barred. (My favorite debate on diabetes/low-carb happened on a music forum!)

In the final analysis, I feel I have a right to privacy, but there's also a responsibility to inform and educate. Hence, I don't wear a "Diabetic" neon sign, but I'm always ready to come out of D-closet.
DX'd April Fool's Day, 2011 - T2
Female, 58, 5'7", 150 lbs.
A1C 13.5 -> 6.7 ->5.4 (1/31/14)
Humulin-N (basal) - Humalog (rapid bolus)
Biotin --10,000mcg (for hair health)
One-A-Day Women's 50+ Advantage
KyoDophilus (pro-biotic)
Black Coffee - Unsweetened Iced Tea
Low-Carb, High-Fat Convert

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Old 09-30-2014, 15:48   #9
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Diagnosed in 2014

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Honestly, yes I do.

I'm overweight and being overweight is a license for people to overtly or subtly blame diabetics for their disease. Just don't need that attitude.I've seen it with my own eyes with friends and family members.

I'm currently losing weight with the goal of reducing my A1c. So now, I just say I'm dieting when presented with a piece of cake or cookie. People seem to respect that statement. I don't know how I will handle the pushy food folks after I get down to my ideal weight.
Dx: 3/14-A1c 6.1
Newest A1c: 3/15-A1c 5.6, FBS-84
5'10" 180lbs
No meds

All my posts are my opinion or experience only.
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Old 09-30-2014, 22:35   #10
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dagnabit, I have to admit that I feel a bit defensive about calling myself diabetic because I am overweight as well. Luckily so far, nobody has called me out about not eating sweets at work functions. (And the other diabetic ate two pieces of cake, so that would confuse coworkers too.)

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