Friend to Friend, Diabetic to Non-diabetic

I've never been very good with talking to my non-diabetic friends about diabetes. On the one hand, I'm pretty quick to assume they can't understand it, but on the other hand knowing they haven't gone through a similar experiance they won't understand it. Seems to me that people act awkward when someone asks a question or brings it up.

How do you all talk friend to friend, diabetic to non-diabetic?

My friends were really cool about it, always trying to find out more about how diabetes is for me and always trying to help. They actually seemed really interested, at first when I went back to school almost all my friends wanted to see what their sugar levels were and I tested them all haha. They always try and guess what my sugar will be every time I test it :D

I have to admit sometimes it's hard to explain how everything works and it's hard to try and help them understand what happens but I'm real lucky to have good friends like them :) Right now they know about as much about diabetes as I do so it's really easy to talk to them about stuff hehe.


When I have the patience for it (i'm a little ADD by nature), I have found that learning to be a good teacher goes a long way to bridging the gap.  They don't understand D - but most folks once their teens and beyond understand what it is like to have to do something they don't want to do, they understand fear, self doubt, frustration and many even know what it is like to have repeated concerns of one sort or another...  We're all people and we all come equipped with the same group of emotions.  It turns out, that's a lot of common ground...

Hopefully something in here makes sense...

Good luck!



If all else fails you can always come back an' talk to us T1D's :D

I've had a lot of great friends, but I've also had some friends who don't get it. (Unfortunately, those people who didn't get it were often my college roommates, which is dangerous in and of itself.) It took a lot of convulsions before I figured out that it mattered less what people thought of diabetes or of me and more that I not go into convulsions. 


Now that I'm older, I've found that I've pared my friendships down only to people who genuinely are concerned about my well-being; in return, I have the same regard for them.  I have determined that life is too short to waste on having friends who are numbskulls.  I am to a point where I can brag on every one of my friends for one reason or another, but every one of them can look at me and say, "Ana, it's time for you to eat lunch," whether it's 3AM or 12PM. :} (I have been really lucky in my friends and family.)



Im really happy that my nondiabetic friends are so interested in what im doing when I check my blood or hav to take a insulin shot because I know that just means they care and want to know if Im okay. I dont mind explaining what Im doing and why Im doing it to them, but since I know what all the medical terms and such are, its hard to explain to my friends what Im doing in a way that they will understand. I try to explain my Diabetes to them in the kind of way that an adult would explain something to a toddler, I dont mean that to be insulting or anything, but thats just the way i think of it, trying to explain the situation to them in the shortest most simplest way possbile.

I do the same thing, I try to use "easy" terms! I once had to explain to a friend about "free" carbs using the example that I could have 10 pickles without taking a shot. I actually wrote about that my other entry on a forum :)


i have told some of my friends and they are always there to help me and they have my back when i need their help! if i tell my friends that i have a low blood sugar they automatically start helping me get something to eat or drink! i have had to explain it to those that i have told and sometimes i don't like to explain it but i love getting them to understand it!

u shouldn't be afraid of telling your friends! help them understand it better! get them aware of all the things that can happen! u can even get them to help raise awareness! i am glad i told my friends, cause now they know about it!


Honestly its really hard for me to talk to my friends about this sort of suff. i dont know how to ask. i have two diabetes friends but they dont like talking about it. im always confused and dont know what to do. so i knda know how you feel i have awkward convos with my friends too. so i advoid them altogether.

some people are just not wanting to except the fact that this is life long and they don't want to make themselves a spectacle in front of everyone. that's why its hard for some people to talk about their own diabetes. where as a lot of us have excepted that it's just a part of life. 

I have never been one to really talk about my diabetes much to anyone but my mom.

All my friends, well a high majority of them..mostly the ones I grew up with or have seen me do needles and all that, know I have diabetes..and sometimes they will ask me a question here or there about it. Just general questions, and I'm more than happy to answer them. Otherwise, I usually keep to myself unless it's something like, one of my friends offers me a drink of rum and coke, and I have to decline cuz my "blood levels are too high right now, have to wait for my correction dose to bring it down a bit then I'll take you up on the offer". But it's not really awkward anymore. My friends are used to it, and most people don't question it.

Otherwise, my mom is the only person who knows what goes on a regular basis with my blood sugar because she was the one who had to take care of it so she still has the motherly instinct to check on me and such. Plus, she answers(or calls my endo to get the answer) of a lot of questions I end up having about things.

Aren't moms great?!?  My mom is in her 70's (I'll be turning 40 next month).  I haven't lived at home for twenty years and even then, she pretty much took a step back from taking care of the diabetes business a few years before that.  However, she still asks me every time we talk "When is your next endo appt?", "How was your appt?" or "What was your A1C?".

I've started developing a few complications over the past few years:  had surgery for diabetic retinopathy 6 years ago, started with some thyroid problems a year ago and this past Monday was my most recent appointment at the endo.  She is referring me to a kidney specialist because of my test results.  Great!  Anyway, as hard as it is for me to not say anything to my Mom because I know she does care so much and she actually "gets it", I figure at her age, she's got enough other things to worry about.  I don't want to stress her out; I'll wait until I get my appointment and see what the specialist has to say.

So much fun...

If my friends have a question, they just ask me, and I just explain it to them like it was explained to me.  If I understood it, then they will understand it, if I explain it well enough.
But yeah, when they have a question, they ask and I explain.
I don't really have a hard time explaining it.

Most of my mates are really surportive, and try to help out, but there are times when you just know that they won't be able understand what you're going through. It sure helps to have a diabetic friend for those "hard to understand" moments.

i never really talk to my friends about it. they always think i'm complaing about it and tell me to get over it. when i say "hold on my blood sugar is low." they think that's a complaint, so i don't bother talking about it. it gets really frustrating that i can't talk about something that makes me who i am. they don't ask questions either, its sorta like they don't wan to know anything about it.

all my friends know about my diabetes and most of them have known i was diabetic before we even became friends. i am very open about educating anyone and everyone who wants to know about it, asks what im doing when i check my bloodsugar, or wants to know what my pump is. i think majority of non diabetic people that know anything about diabetes are usually misguided or completly wrong so i think its important for us diabetics to inform people of the truth about diabetes. so yes all my friends know pretty  much everything. i have even found that most of them can tell whether i am high or low without me telling them. i tend to go high during my 3rd period and my class will be like ok julie check your bloodsugar you are high again. they are almost always right. haha. i am just very open about my diabetes and that makes me feel more secure around my friends and the same goes for them. they feel confident that they could take care of me if something were to happen.

I've been thinking about this a lot. I was diagnosed in February, when I was 2400 miles from home at college. Now, I'm going home for the first time. Only two of my high school friends know about my diagnosis, and I'm not looking forward to telling my other friends. It's so hard, because I want to tell them that it's no big deal, except it's actually this huge thing that affects every part of my life. I'm only going to be home for two weeks, so maybe I'll just avoid getting food with any of them...

I think you should NOT avoid the subject.  Since you haven't seen these people in a while, you'll probably spend the whole two weeks chit-chatting and catching up on what's going on in each others' lives.  Your diagnosis is definitely a large part of what's been going on in yours!  I think you should embrace the opportunity of having a meal with your friends as a chance to explain the basics about diabetes.  After all, food plays a huge part in controlling this disease!

It won't be easy to just come out and say "Hey, by the way...", but talking about your diabetes openly will get easier as you go - trust me!  Best of luck!  And have a great time at home!

[quote user="Alyssa"]

Seems to me that people act awkward when someone asks a question or brings it up.

How do you all talk friend to friend, diabetic to non-diabetic?




I know EXACTLY what you mean. Although most of my "long-time" friends know about my diabetes, they still ask questions every now and then anout something I'm doing.

While it can sometimes be awkward, its easiest just to be very blunt about the subject. Starting the conversation may be a little.. "weird", but once you start talking, its actually pretty easy.