How intrusive do people get with their health comments or questions to you? If you have had diabetes for any stretch of time, chances are, you’ve been on the receiving end of some inappropriate questions. It’s not easy, brushing off the unwanted inquiries. How do you politely and gently tell people to back off?
I had an older gentleman at work tell me how much he liked the way I looked after I had lost 22lbs. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the way he said it, but I was happy to have lost the weight. He comes into the shop I manage on a somewhat regular basis and last time, he stared at me for some time while making small talk, then he said: “Are you keeping your weight in check?” I was stunned. Who are you to ask me that? It’s not like you are my husband (who by the way would NEVER ask me a question like that). I just kind of looked at him in shock and stammered something about walking every day and still being down in weight. Of course, I’ll tell you readers in full disclosure that I may have gained 3lbs back over the holidays, though I wasn’t explaining any of that to him!
I was hurt though. I mean, it’s not like he said “You look great” or “Way to go.” He asked if I was “keeping my weight in check.” Perhaps I was up a few pounds due to that time of the month. Perhaps I was wearing an unflattering outfit. Perhaps I’d had too many lows causing me to eat more than I normally would have in the days leading up to this incident. While he may have meant well, that is a personal subject to me. A large part of my weight loss was because I worry about my diabetes. I worry about keeping my circulation healthy and the carbs affecting my blood sugars and about living a long and happy, healthy life. I am not worried about my weight to impress him or anyone else!
The questions over the years have been troubling. I’ve had many volunteers ask me if my diabetes was well controlled. I’ve had people I don’t know well ask my A1C. I’ve had people slap my hand when I tried to eat a small candy cane. I’ve been on the receiving end of some crazy questions and comments over the years. It’s time for people to have some sensitivity!
I know people might mean well when they ask how well my diabetes or weight is controlled, but if they are not of any relation to me, or a good friend, it isn’t really their place. To be fair, I am an intensely private individual. I don’t like a lot of attention. I write about my life to help others that are going through the same thing. You readers feel like friends to me. I am happy to help others if they have questions about how to handle a particular situation with diabetes, but I don’t want to be judged by someone that doesn’t understand the constant challenge that is diabetes. Life with diabetes is so hard. There are so many things that go through my mind every time I decide to eat something. With all the mathematical demands, I don’t need any extra drama.