Non-Diabetic’s Guide to Helping Loved Ones with Diabetes
Whether you’re a brother, mother, aunt, boyfriend, wife or best friend, knowing how to support the people in your life who live with diabetes isn’t all that easy. In fact, it can be very tricky. Mostly, because:
We all have different needs when it comes to the kind of support we want in diabetes.
You, as the person who loves us, really want to make sure we’re safe and healthy, and sometimes that might come off as overbearing or controlling or nosey…but really, you just really love us.
We don’t always behave the most wonderfully when we’re having a high blood sugar or a low blood sugar. And while we can’t always control that behavior, it does make communication a lot harder for you, the person who loves us.
To help you be the best support system you can possibly be for the person in your life with diabetes, here are a few tips (and in video form here):
Ask us what we need. Personally, I don’t need someone to remind me to check my blood sugar or help me count my carbohydrates. That would irritate me. On the other hand, it is incredibly helpful when my boyfriend reminds me to take my Lantus before bed, and I sincerely appreciate when he asks me what my blood sugar is after I check. To me, that’s great support. I want him to know what my blood sugar is so he can be aware of how my mental state is. For others, those things might drive them nuts. Giving us support we don’t want isn’t going to help; in fact, it might lead us to blocking you out of our diabetes management altogether. Let us tell you, in our own words, how you can support us.
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