It’s the holiday season, which means it’s a time when we’re gathering with friends and family. That often means being around people you don’t see often, mainly extended family as well as meeting new people at holiday parties.
For me, it means being asked the very annoying question: How’s your diabetes?
Ummm…. it’s fine I guess? Still there.
I know, I know. When someone blogs, tweets and posts about diabetes as much as I do, they’re kind of bringing it upon themselves because people think Rachel = Diabetes. Imagine that when 8 years ago, you got a bad gash that left you with a scar. When you were first injured, it majorly sucked and there was a lot to say about it. Now, you’re stuck with a scar for the rest of your life. It itches and pulls and you have to apply cream to it regularly, but it’s kind of just part of your life. Would you appreciate people asking you whenever they see you, “How’s your scar?” Probably not.
“How’s your diabetes?” Isn’t really a conversation starter either. In my experience, that question bring so many conversation to a grinding halt.
There are so many other more interesting questions to ask that will actually spark a conversation. Here are a few (in no particular order):
- How are you? (general and good for people who don’t really know what’s going on in your life)
- Are you working on anything interesting?
- Read any good books lately?
- How was your trip to ________ ? (Or: Been anywhere interesting lately? Do you have any exciting travel coming up?)
- What’s new in Cleveland?
- Do you have any house projects planned?
- What’s the best thing that’s happened for you recently?
- Do you have any new hobbies?
- Have you made anything recently? (referring to crafty projects or recipes)
- What shows are you watching lately?
- How’s [Hobby, class,etc] going?
- Are you working on any new certifications?
- How are your pets?
- Have you seen _________’s recent commercial/ad?
- What’s new with your spouse/family?
Basically, talk to me about jobs, families, books, movies, tv shows, hobbies and interests rather than my non-function pancreas. If you do want to chat about this disease I live with, it’s really okay, just don’t ask that awkward question. Here are 5 questions to start a diabetes-related conversation with me:
- Have you seen [new diabetes technology]? What do you think about it?
- Someone I know was recently diagnosed with diabetes, what can I do to support them?
- What have you been doing with diabetes advocacy lately?
- Someone said something really ignorant about diabetes in front of me. How can I educate them?
- Have you tried any good low-carb recipes recently?
What about you? What questions would spark a good conversation with you?