Holidays, Food and Diabetes

I had absolutely no idea that my diabetes would be considered the only appropriate topic for a greeting or a dinner conversation with me.

I work very hard to keep sarcastic and rude responses at bay in these situation, which sometimes turns into a blog post to let it out  vent. Some people have gotten the thought in their heads that since I’m type 1 it’s okay to ask me my blood sugar, but they don’t ask the type 2s around me (they’re half-way to politeness). As we head deeper into the holidays, here are some things to keep in mind if you’ll be spending time with a person who has diabetes (of any type!):

  • How are you feeling? How’s you insulin pump working? and similar questions are NOT greetings. “How are you?” is a greeting.
  • People with diabetes test their blood sugar, it doesn’t need to be acknowledged or questioned. People with diabetes also use the bathroom, please stop asking me how my blood sugar is after I return from using the facilities. Sometimes I just have to pee and it has nothing to do with a busted pancreas.
  • My last a1c or whether I’m not eating something because of diabetes aren’t appropriate topics of conversation. Jobs, families, current events, etc are appropriate topics of conversation. If you’re really curious about how my insulin pump or CGM work (or where they’re placed), please ask me one-on-one. Half the time my Dexcom sensor is stuck in my glutes and I don’t enjoy talking about my butt at the dinner table.
  • I can’t always control what my face does. I make faces at my meter, I make faces when I do math. Don’t assume there’s a problem, unless my face looks like I’m choking.
  • Offer all food/beverages to all people (except when age-restricted). If they accept, don’t judge them. If they turn it down, don’t question. Some people (even those without diabetes) would prefer to pass on unhealthy foods or things they don’t like while others take the many holiday goodies as an opportunity to have a treat.
  • It’s nice and extremely thoughtful to offer low-carb options and diet beverages. Thank you!

Also, if fruit is the dessert for everyone, cool. If chocolate cake is the dessert for everyone but me and you give me fruit, it’s not cool.

If you have 6ish minutes… watch this awesome video that Mike Lawson made on the subject.

What tips do you have for dining with a person who happens to have diabetes?


5 thoughts on “Holidays, Food and Diabetes

  1. I’d put that last part on a T-shirt and wear it to family meals if (1) it didn’t have so many words and (2) if T-shirts were appropriate for those kinds of gatherings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bolused for a cookie or two and then felt “obligated” to partake in the fruit too, which I really didn’t want.

  2. Pingback: Friday Five: Meter Reader | probablyrachel

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