"It could be worse."

Does anybody else get tired of hearing that? When Brandan first got diagnosed everybody in my family said that to me. And again when he got Alopecia and all his hair fell out. I know it could be worse and I also know that at anytime it could actually be  worse! Reminding me of that doesn't make me feel better about what my son goes through everday! Are you supposed to be happy that it's "just" diabetes? OK, I know that there are good intentions with that comment and I am thankful when lab tests come back negative for other complications, but I had to vent.

Actually I don't think the intentions are good or bad with that comment.... I think it helps the person saying it not to feel so bad.   People say that to avoid feeling the deep sympathy that they would otherwise feel.  It is an avoidance mechanism because they want to be able to go on about their day normally...

I'm sorry you have to go through all of that with your son.  I was diagnosed at 7, so my mom had a lot to deal with too.  For me it depends on the day, but most of the time I am comforted by that thought.  Lately I have been in a lot of physical therapy so I've been seeing all sorts of people with all sorts of problems and although I have quite a long list of problems, I am thankful every day that I don't have to go through some of the things I've seen.  I'm sure it's harder for you to watch him go through it than it is for me to go through it myself, I can't imagine the frusteration you feel as a parent...  I can understand why that would be irritating for you, hang in there:)


While using it could be worse is not a fun saying. I find myself saying it from time to time. I mean if I have a low and black out from it. When I recover my thoughts are while the low was not good, it could be worse. It is one of those phrases that I could see as being annoying or grating upon you. I mean it is hard to deal with, but things can trend in a different way and could be worse. I mean being a person with type one diabetes or having a child with this disease could truly suck. The end result is that with proper care and treatment we can survive this.

I think people say it because they don't know what else to say. They want to cheer you up or comfort you, but this is not really the way to do it. I think it is just another way that ignorance about diabetes manifests itself. For instance, if you were told someone had cancer, would you say "Well it could be worse, you could have been killed in a car accident on your way to the doctor, at least now you have a chance!" No of course not! But I think a lot of people think of Type 2 diabetes and that many people are able to manage it for a time with diet and exercise and so they don't think of it as 'that bad.' 

Now when people say "it could be worse" I try give a wry smile and say "Yes, but that doesn't really make me feel better." I try to say to people that it has been a big adjustment for our family - giving John shots 4 times a day. Somehow multiple daily 'shots' makes people think this must be pretty serious and so they ask more questions and I can give them a glimpse into how life-altering it is. However, I am always sure to point out that John has adjusted amazingly and that I am SO PROUD of him.

At least they might think about it the next time those words want to pop out of their mouth.

I agree with JDVsMom...people aren't sure what to say or do, so that just comes out.


To be honest though, everytime someone goes "oh i'm so sorry you have diabetes" i shrug and say "it could be worse". At least I am able to control it and keep myself relatively healthy.

I think what's hard for me about that comment and that sentiment is that it probably will be worse someday. Unless there is a real cure someday during my daughter's lifetime, she will probably face complications that can not be avoided. Even if we manage this disease to the very best of our ability, there are things that come along with it that totally suck.

So, yes, it could be worse -- it always could be. I think people think they are providing you new perspective or offering you comfort that it is "only" diabetes. The fact that the disease can be managed (people don't recognize the time, energy, paraphenalia, etc. it takes to do that) leads people to think that it's like not having the disease at all.

I have been VERY frustrated by this at times. Keeping it in perspective is important. But so is letting people know the reality of the disease.

Uhm, this sentiment doesn't bother me, because I believe it to be true. Sure diabetes sucks.  But I could rattle off probably 20 things that would definitely be worse than what I or a diabetic child would have to deal with.  It's how I keep myself motivated when I feel tired of the whole thing.  Hey, it could be a heck of a lot worse.  Works for me.

I def. use this saying myself when I'm feeling totally sorry for myself. ("It could be worse ... if I had been born 100 years earlier, I wouldn't be around!"). But, I think what's hard about someone else saying it, at least for me, is that it shows an ignorance about all the possible complications that can happen. But, at least. the good thing about the sentiment, is that they are seeing your child as a functioning member of society rather than a hopeless case who can't live a productive life. If someone said that to me, I'd probably want to say, "Yes, but it could also be better!"

For me, it's a deeply pessimistic view to say that. It's a cop-out way to make yourself feel better.  Everything could be worse - no money, no job, living on the streets.  It could be worse - you could be dead.

Instead, it is what it is - a disease that can be controlled to a great degree with intense focus and diligence.  Otherwise you'll have your leg amputated.

Without thinking, people say the wrong things with the right intention. Invariably, nothing could be worse when it happens to you.



First, I apologize if I offended anyone or came across as insensitive. I typically keep a positive attitude, but I sometimes I think about how much worse things can get for my son rather than being thankful that it hasn't. I know that Brandan is doing better than a lot of others. It's not so much what is said, it's when. It's usually the response I get after I tell someone about a new problem he is facing (not all related to diabetes) or when he is having a bad day and I can't help but talk about everthing at once. At moments like that "it could be worse" feels like a reminder, not a comfort. I agree that they probably don't know what else to say. On the other hand, I use those same words to comfort myself at times.

I really get sick of hearing that... most of the time all i get is well it could be worse and it gets so sicking to hear.  And i mean ik there is worse diseases in the world but still we have something and people shouldnt say that

if i or another diabetic says, i'm fine with. mostly because they we know what day to day is like and saying it helps stay optimistic. when other people say it, it shows a bit of insensitivity because they don't personally know. other people shouldn't judge our view like that.

the worst experience i ever had with the saying happened upon diagnosis. the doctor came in and said "well, going by your symptoms, it looks like you have diabetes." *insert mass amount of tears from me as the idea of complete life change settles in* doctor continues "oh jeeze, waterworks already? you are going to have to stop that, it could be worse. you don't have the pancreatic cancer we thought at first."

[quote user="Trish"]

First, I apologize if I offended anyone or came across as insensitive. I typically keep a positive attitude, but I sometimes I think about how much worse things can get for my son rather than being thankful that it hasn't. 


I'm sure no one was offended. Anything we hear all the time from uninformed people can get very annoying. In my opinion, you can't stay positive all the time b/c sometimes life is harder than other times!