Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Perspective and Understanding

There have been lots of discussions online about which type of diabetes is worse.  You can find this in forums or blogs or FB discussions.  When I find myself thinking too much (which happens all too often, I’m afraid), I tend to minimize my own D in comparison to others. Things could be so much worse.  I personally feel that people with T1 have it harder than I do, and yet, I’ve had a T1 comment that they think it’s harder for those of us with T2.  Who knows?  In the end, it doesn’t matter because I’m of the opinion that the worst diabetes is the one we have.  No matter what type of D we are dealing with, it’s the worst because it’s affecting us.  We all need support and understanding.

I recently experienced something on a FB page that left me feeling awful and unsupported, by people with diabetes.  I posted about my concern about the spike I experienced after eating spaghetti squash, as I spoke about here.  I was really looking to see if someone had any suggestions on what could have caused the spike or if anyone else had had issues with this squash.  While a couple of people made an attempt to help it ended up that the majority of responses went something like this:  “I don’t know why you’re upset.  That isn’t such a big spike.” “Heck, if I ate that much I’d be looking at a 200 on my meter!” “I can’t even eat a slice of bread without spiking.”  The overwhelming theme was “You’re complaining about that?  Quit worrying.”  I nearly felt like I was being attacked for my concern.  Granted, my overly emotional state yesterday probably had a lot to do with my reaction to this, but even today, when I’m feeling more “stable”, I’m still upset about it and I’m not bound to go to that group for support in the future. That’s sad.

Here’s what I’m thinking today: Why is it the consensus that we shouldn’t be concerned about something to do with our D if it isn’t as bad as someone else’s issue?  Should support only be given to those in “bad shape”?  Why shouldn’t I be able to ask a legitimate question about my life with D even if my control is good?  I agree that we shouldn’t worry about one number.  I know that, but I was truly concerned about this situation because I want to know why a high fiber carb like spaghetti squash caused my glucose to rise higher than anticipated.  I’m here to tell you that I wouldn’t have the control I do now without constant vigilance and problem solving.  If I didn’t pay attention to trends then I’d be in pretty bad shape.  I know in my heart of hearts that my hard work and attention to detail has led to my success.  So what, should I stop paying attention now?  I don’t think so.

The point I’d like to make in this post is that it doesn’t matter what level of control someone has when dealing with diabetes; we all need support.  It doesn’t matter what type of diabetes someone has; one isn’t worse than the other.  Think about that the next time you give someone advice about their D.  Don’t minimize someone’s concerns.  It could be that they’re just learning or maybe they’re an “old timer”; if they’re concerned it’s for a reason and that concern should never be dismissed out of hand.

PS: to update on my spaghetti squash incident, I think it may have been the sauce more than the squash…and possibly the quantity.  I’m not giving up on this healthy alternative to pasta!!


  1. I think it's great that your monitoring closely and trying to find which foods work best for you and your body. I love spagetti squash and have never had a problem with blood sugar spikes (small or large) after eating it. But I also tend to eat it plain with a bit of seasoning, so maybe it was the sauce?

  2. I must admit when I read your post I thought to myself, woops I consider that a good number for myself! Same with the morning readings you were talking about, mine are a lot of time 125. But I also thought, "good for HER!" I realize everyone is different and there are also those like you say who spike at one piece of bread. I'm sorry anyone would say to you quit worrying that's not so bad etc., you have every right as you say to ask questions etc and try to figure things out and get support. I find that most people are very absorbed in their own dramas, and somehow what others experience doesn't measure up as important which is a shame. I was diagnosed just four months ago and am doing great so far, but I've noticed on forums the very thing you described happening to you, also the weirdness over the H1C number...comparing it etc with one another. It makes me not want to go back. I like your posts and wish you well!

    1. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate knowing what folks think about what I write. Sorry for your diagnosis but I'm glad you are seeking out information to help you deal with it. I know what you mean about forums and I've quit and gone back several times. Like anything else on the web, you have to weed out the information at the far end of the spectrum and find the good stuff. It's there if you look hard enough.

  3. I agree with your comments and feel they should apply to life in general. People should look at their own progress and do the best they can. Comparing yourself to another person is not productive. When you improve your control and your understanding of Diabetes you improve your health and do not hurt anybody else. I recommend that my patients look at blood sugars, and hemoglobin A1Cs as feedback. If they don't like the feedback, they should not react to it emotionally. They are better served to try to understand why they got a high number and to then change what they did so it will not repeat. It seems as if you recognized what caused the higher number, and tried to understand why so you could make appropriate modifications.


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