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April 5, 2000

Daily Care

Question from WebTV:

I go to school and get talked about because I am a diabetic. That makes me cry. What should I do?


You don’t tell us how old you are or when you were diagnosed with diabetes. Living with diabetes can be very frustrating at times, and teasing does not help. Sometimes people tease because they do not understand what diabetes is, and they may be afraid of it (they may think they can catch it or something). Many families choose to handle this (with the help of their diabetes team) by doing a presentation for the class, and/or the school about diabetes: what it is, what it’s not (it’s not contagious, it’s not caused by eating sweets), how you need to treat it, etc. It’s sometimes fun to bring in your meter and test the teacher’s blood in front of the whole class. Usually, kids are so impressed by how brave you are (getting shots and checking blood sugars all the time), that most of the teasing stops.

It is also important that you talk with your parents and your diabetes team about how sad you are feeling about your diabetes and the teasing. There are lots of people who can help you talk about diabetes and help you figure out ways to make living with it a bit easier.

Additional comments from Craig Broadhurst:

When your feelings are hurt, it is hard to understand that the people who talk about you are mostly afraid. They are afraid of what they don’t understand. Diabetes is hard to understand. Have you ever thought about teaching those people about diabetes? You can do that by writing about it, or doing a project. If people are less afraid, they usually act better. Think about it and let us know what you decide.

Meanwhile, I am so sorry that you have had to be hurt by other people’s words. Sometimes words hurt a lot. You are going to have to be brave and use your own words to help others learn about diabetes.

I wish I could make the hurt go away.