Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Trust and the Diabetic Partner

I've been reading this book called 21Ways to Defuse Anger and Calm People Down by Michael Staver.

Confession: I actually read few books. I listen to many many books while driving around in my car, and one of my favorite features about my new car is that it can handle both cassette tape and CD.

So, you may ask, what has this to do with diabetes?

Not much, not directly, except for this one little tidbit. He has this equation: Consistent Behavior over Time equals Trust.

I've been thinking about this in the context of diabetes and the relationships we have, especially in terms of the partners of PWDs. The Diabetes Partner Follies over at Diabetes Mine, always a favorite. And the blog Wife of a Diabetic, although it is not for the faint of heart.

Since I am a diabetic, and the wife of a diabetic, both of us type 2s, I know both roles. I'm also the daughter of two diabetics, the niece of several diabetics, and the granddaughter of two. (Diabetic cousins, please sign in now.)

Do you remember the equation? Consistent Behavior over Time equals Trust.

SOME persons in my family have at some times in the past accused me of being the Diabetes Police. Hmmm, we won't name names.

So, I was venting with a different, non-related, diabetic friend. D-friend shared the opinion that I couldn't possibly be part of the Diabetes Police, because I am a diabetic. Therefore, I do know a little bit about diabetes, and it's not like I'm a non-diabetic imposing my false and out-dated ideas about how a diabetic person should live.

Beggin your pardon, but my non-specific family member might beg to differ with you.

My grandparents eat at the same time, take meds at the same time, test at the same time, share their numbers, and discuss how much insulin to take for a particular meal.

My husband and I do not test together and are fortunate if we eat one meal together a day. We rarely discuss diabetes or diabetes-related topics.

Sometimes, it's along the lines of "Your doctor's office left a message on the machine about your appointment tomorrow. You should listen to it."

"Oh really, what did they say?"

Hard look. "You should listen to it yourself."

I always quiz my folks when I think I can get away with it. "So Dad, how's your diabetes? Did you see that podiatrist you were talking about?"

Let's go back to the equation. If Consistent Behavior over Time equals Trust, is it then true that Consistent Bad Behavior over Time equals Mistrust? Perhaps so.

So, if (relative)thinks my behavior towards (relative) regarding diabetes is bad, and if I do that same (bad) behavior over time, it only builds mistrust. And that's not good for close family relationships.

And the equation might be true for your relationship with your physician, or with your CDE. Consistent Behavior over Time = Trust (or Mistrust).

After several years with my physician, for the most part, she trusts that I know what I'm doing with my diabetes management, because my consistent behavior, as measured by my HbA1cs, over years, has produced trust. This doesn't mean that she doesn't ask questions. She does. She makes herself available for help or adjustments if needed.

But I'm not giving up my family just because they may handle their diabetes differently than I do mine. Sometimes, you just have to trust. And sometimes, you have to be the one to trust first.

It feels sort of like walking out on a frozen pond. It's likely to be OK. It has been OK in the past. But I don't want it to break this time.

[I know, it's rambling and not as funny as the last post. I promise, I'll post any joke I can think of soon. Besides, some of you should write some diabetes jokes, too!]

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  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger Scott K. Johnson said…

    Another thing that I have learned through my own experience is that you can't make someone want to take care of themself.

    If they don't really want to, they aren't going to. Often times, at least for me, and pressure to do so resulted in some kind of rebellion.


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