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Re: [IP] Re: Friends and family

Janet, I think you have a very healthy attitude and seem to have the
background to help a lot of kids with your booklets.

email @ redacted wrote:

> Most of the time I feel pretty lucky about the way that my
> family have responded to my having diabetes. The worst
> is really that they're somewhat in denial, especially about
> the potential for complications. They don't seem to register
> what I tell them about my condition, treatment, etc. --
> unless it's good ("Guess what? My last HbA1c was 6.2!
> That's really good!"); then they're reassured. In a way, it
> makes sense that they're in denial. After all, they don't
> have their noses rubbed in it a dozen times a day, like I
> do. And I collude by not always telling them when things
> are going badly. Why worry them? My husband is really
> supportive in a lot of ways, but I don't even always tell him.
> My mom used to ask "how is everything?" every time
> I came back from the bathroom after checking my blood
> sugar.  I finally said "You know, sometimes I go to the
> bathroom for the same reasons everyone else does, and I
> really don't like being asked how everything went!"
> Especially since she really wants to be told that every-
> thing is okay, whether it is or not.
> But reading what others here have written makes me
> grateful that they never complain about having to make
> accomodations for my needs. Frankly, the idea that some
> of your friends and family would complain about that just
> As for the issue of hope and expectations:
> The problem with saying that "good control will prevent
> complications" is that it's shorthand for "statistically, people
> who maintain good control are more likely to avoid or
> delay complications than people who don't." Statistics can't
> tell any individual what will happen to them. Statistics aren't
> promises. They're just evidence for what is *likely* to happen.
> That's really hard to accept. Most of us want some kind of
> promise that if we're "good" everything will work out okay.
> If we do everything "right" and the cards fall the wrong way,
> we're liable to feel lied to or betrayed.
> I've been following this thread with a lot of interest because,
> as some of you know, I'm working on a booklet for kids
> with diabetes. My aim is to make the booklet as positive as
> I can without denying the reality of the disease. As you know,
> it's a very hard line to walk. One of the issues I'm wrestling
> with is the "will it kill me?" question. How can I deal with
> this honestly without making kids feel like giving up?
> I was thinking of saying something like this (keep in mind
> the intended audience of 10-14-year-olds):
> Q. Will diabetes kill me?
> A. Diabetes is not a "death sentence." But it is a serious disease,
> and people can die from it. Usually this happens only after many
> years -- and it doesn't have to happen. Keeping diabetes under
> control may help you stay healthy as you get older. Good control
> will also help you feel better right now.
> This is just to set things up for a discussion of the more tech-
> nical issues of checking blood sugar, keeping a log, taking
> insulin, etc. Do you think this is an okay start? Is it honest
> enough without being too scary?
> /Janet Lafler
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