Yes, even the best of us says “dumb” stuff but what I’m referring to in this instance are the things that people who do not have diabetes (even loved ones) say to us when we talk about our diabetes. You know; the “should you be eating that” or the “I eat so much sugar that I know I’m going to get it”, etc.
What amazes me is the way people react to the “dumb stuff”! Sometimes we over-react to what the person says because they really don't know what to say and we don't do ourselves any favours by doing so. The way I see it, as a person with diabetes or affected by it, you have a couple of choices in this situation, you can;
- do the head tilt and nod,
- the calm informative response or
- the rant.
I think that as people with diabetes it is our responsibility to educate others, to a certain degree, about the diabetic basics as they relate to us.
Why? Firstly, we need to educate more people about Type 1 diabetes because we are such a minority that we are dependent on the extended diabetes community to help us in our fight for a better future and a better healthcare system. Secondly, we need people to realise that there is a lot more involved to diabetes management than taking medication and following a "diet". And lastly, we need to educate more people about type 2 diabetes because of their risk of developing it and maybe they can prevent it in their own lives.
Having said that it shouldn’t solely be up to the person with diabetes to provide all of the information; for instance, if you are a significant other to a person with diabetes it would be an ultimate act of support if you found your own source of information and then you both talk about your findings.
That's my 2cents:-)