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April 5, 2008

Behavior, Complications

Question from Acton, Ontario, Canada:

I don't know what to do anymore. My best friend has type 1 diabetes and refuses to take care of herself. She takes her Lantus at night, but doesn't do much else. She has had diabetes for quite some time now, diagnosed after her parents divorced. I'm going to lose her and there is nothing anyone has been able to do to convince her to take care of herself. On the occasional day, she will take her insulin, but she doesn't care how much she is supposed to give or what she is supposed to eat. She'll test her blood glucose and not even look at her meter to see her reading. I've taken her meter a few times and looked through it. I an see that she has gone days without testing and the results I do see are either HI or in the 20s mmol/L [over 360 mg/dl]. A few months ago she was prescribed glasses because she is starting to have problems seeing. She confided in me today that she thinks she is going more and more blind everyday. She is always having weird pains in her side, and almost always has a headache. I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose her. She means the world to me. What can I do to help her get back on track?

Answer:

You sound like a very concerned friend. Your friend with diabetes is lucky to have such a supportive friend. It sounds like your friend is really struggling with her diabetes. Do you know if your friend has a diabetes health care team that she meets with regularly? Do you think your friend would let you come to her next medical appointment so you can voice some of your concerns and also learn more about how you can help your friend with diabetes? Sometimes patients are nervous about meeting with a medical provider if they think they are going to get in trouble or hear bad news, so she might like it if you would go with her to her next appointment.

DB