When family get togethors rolll around this season, I usually end up catering and cooking fora household of 3-5 diabetics. More than occasionally I have a few guests from the not-so-diabetic community show up. That being said, here are a few things I have noticed that you should NOT do unless you want to really torque off a few family members.
1. Mispronounce Diabetes. Or in written communications misspell diabetes. A couple of my friends do it regularly pronouncing it like "diabeets" or worse "Die-baits". Its not much really but if you are on the other end you do have to hear the word more regularly than those around you, and that pet peeve does add up after awhile.
2. Treat them like they have inoperable cancer. Yes - it is a serious condition and yes - it can led to death - so does smoking or driving your car. Fortunately this faux pas only happens the first two encounters until the guest educates themselves on the condition.
3. Act like sugar is poison. On a related note to 2. some people have never seen a diabetice go hypoglycemic and grab their backup carbs. My experience has been that the diabetics themselves know how to control their sugar better than I would and will ask you about any meal if and when they are concerned. Its usually best not to make this decision for them.
4. Cheer up the diabetic. You know when the diabetic goes into the corner sofa and stops talking. Sometimes it can be because hes depressed, but more often its because he knows he is having a mood swing and will snap out at you and chooses not to interact.
5. Proselytize vegetarianism. I have had about two guests in my lifetime that have done this. Usually the offenders are very educated and even do understand the extent of the condition. They make good strong and accurate arguments as to why vegetarianism is good for the diabetic excepting one point - enjoyability. For the vegans, vegetarians, pescatarian and all others out there, the diabetics have had a longer time being diabetic than you (unless you happen to be a diabetic vegetarian) and have likely pondered their diet decisions quite considerably already and do have the right to make suboptimal decisions without having to hear about suboptimal it is. My learning from this is to never sit the diabetics at the same table as the vegans.
By: ppatel24: Jul, 12, 2011 13:50 PM
I love your list too!. I have never seen anyone mispronounce diabetes either. However, I just wanted to say that my dad is diabetic, and is also a vegetarian. He stays away from all sweet foods, however, he is still able to eat delicious foods. We are and indian family and so we have different foods from what americans eat. I feel that this is why he has a lot of variety in his meals; the meals are both healthy and delicious. He even eats foods like burritos, and noodles, which have a lot of healthy vegetables in them.
I have seen that my dad has been quiet a lot, but it's not because he feels insulted/hurt, or even that he is depressed. It is more about his personality: he has been a very quiet person since the beginning, but there are still times when he can talk a lot.
Diabetes runs in my dad's side of the family, so not a lot of my relatives treat my dad as if he has a disease. The only time they do take extra extra care of him is when he is really tired and when it comes to eating.
So even if your list is accurate, it does not relate to every diabetic.
By: : Jul, 06, 2011 17:57 PM
I like 3 and 5. If a diabetic is eating anything at all they are not taking care of themselves and yes lots of people give me the well just eat salad and you will be much better. www.thediabeticcamper.blogspot.com
By: AmariT: Jan, 10, 2011 12:24 PM
I love your list! It's so accurate. I've come across pretty much all of these people. Though, I have to admit, I've never met anyone who mispronounces Diabetes. Are they doing it on purpose to be cute or funny? It sounds obnoxious.
On number 5, I actually have been a vegetarian in the past and even now I eat less meat than the average person. Personally, I would prefer to not eat meat, but it is absolutely extremely difficult to juggle two demanding diets and still manage to eat delicious and nutritious meals. Heck, I have a friend who is both diabetic and gluten-intolerant. I have no idea how she manages to make fourteen meals a week.