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How Others Can Support You and Your Diabetes

Everyone has different levels of support needed, please comment how others have/are supporting you!
As it is the 1st November, Happy Diabetes Awareness Month! With World Diabetes coming up on 14th November, get involved with the community on Instagram!

I suppose the first thing to point out is that everyone is different, and these boundaries need to be discovered first when looking for support from others. Personally, if I need help, it will be my mum or Jake at a push. I am not sure why but if someone needs to give me an injection, whether I am unable or just don’t want to, I’d rather it would be my mum. I know that she can do it and she understand when it is the correct time to inject etc. 

You can ask for a certain amount of support as well, it doesn’t have to be everything. It can be as small as the external party grabbing your monitor bag when you are leaving the house or ordering your prescriptions for you online. If you are in need of support from others it doesn’t mean that you are doing a bad job, everyone needs help, diabetes is extremely overwhelming so sometimes (or all of the time) it is nice to unload the demands of diabetes! 

If you want help but don’t know how to ask, just remember, your partner, your parents, your roommate, will already be looking for ways to help you as they care! I recommend if you are nervous then ask for something small to begin with such as a reminder 30 minutes before eating so you can give your insulin or can they pick up a prescription for you. Even these small menial tasks can feel like a huge relief. 

Now, in order for the external party to understand and help, you have to provide as much information to them that you are willing to give. For someone to help you, I find sharing my way of management with someone to be refreshing as saying it aloud can highlight either to you or others what improvements can be made. 

Sometimes, the diabetic will struggle in silence and as the external party all you want to do is shake them to say, “look what is happening to you!” but sometimes they can’t see how poorly, or how much they need help. My advice to you would be ask to take over the small things, 

  1. Ordering of the prescriptions 
  2. Try and understand their basal rates, carb ratios – this way you could write notes on how much insulin is in each meal or snack 
  3. Ask them if you can go with them to their hospital appointments! These appointments are a big deal, they are intense and a lot of understand so going with them can mean every piece of information provided is fully understood.
  4. Encourage them to go on post-meal walks, it doesn’t have to be far at all but just getting your body moving can help reduce the impact the food has on the body
  5. If they don’t want to give all their insulin injections, do not push them too! Start by encouraging them to do their long-acting insulin injections if any. Then encourage slowly to give 1 or 2 short acting insulin injections – turning diabetic control around is a long and difficult process
  6. Try and promote diabetic friendships, they will appreciate all the help that you have provided but unfortunately you won’t directly understand how they are feeling with their diagnosis

Now something that not many people is to alter your diets, if their blood sugar is extremely high, you could possibly encourage them to try a lower carb diet. I am not saying a full low carb diet, possibly a low carb breakfast and snacks. Or substituting pizza for a low carb pizza base. This is one of the best ways to stabilise blood sugars quickly but not everyone agrees with this lifestyle! If you wanted tips, please read Sophie Lunnons Low Carb Blog on my website!

Just remember high and low blood sugar can cause mood shifts, they may be short tempered. If you have noticed their blood sugars aren’t in range, then please provide more patience, they may take longer to complete small tasks, they will be tired and possibly argumentative due to the extra stress placed upon the body. 

If you want to provide support to your diabetic partner or want support from others, the best thing to do is talk to one another to see how and what support can be provided!

Please write in the comments how you support someone you love with diabetes. 

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