Others understanding your T1D issues

I’ve been diagnosed with T1D for about 5 years now. It happened right before I hit 40. Since then, I’ve also been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, neuropathy and CFS (still fighting my doctors on last diagnosis).

One of my bigger issues is my family. I know my family loves me, but it seems difficult to explain to them the issues of T1D. My mom continues to think I have T2, and that I just need to ‘live better’. My more recent issue with all this is the whole family dinner that’s coming up. They have their minds set up on a buffet restaurant. 6 years ago, I would have been all over that. I have express my dissatisfaction with that idea several times in the past, but this time I got overruled by majority vote.

Now, outside of worrying about BS levels and that my body has a set schedule due to T1/CFS, I almost want to play the villain and say “Have fun without me”. I know that I can choose what to eat, but it hurts that they would choose a place that I cannot really enjoy like I used to–and have told them so. Am I being selfish?

It can be really hard and frustrating when your family doesn’t understand your health issues. i’m sorry you are going through that. In addition to T1 I have multiple disabilities myself and face chronic pain and tiredness as a result. There are times when my health prevents me from attending or fully engaging in social events and it’s frustrating. I often feel left out. But I’ve found the best thing I can do is participate as much as I can. My husband wanted to go to Cici’s for his birthday. I used to love that place but I recently developed a gluten sensitivity. I called ahead and they claimed to have a gluten free pizza available. I was excited. I love pizza. But when I got there they told me the person I talked to was wrong and they did not have gluten free pizza. I was super disappointed. But I paid for a buffet anyways and ate an iceberg lettuce (I hate that stuff) salad without dressing and did my best to enjoy time with my husband and our family. It wasn’t ideal, but I tried to focus on my family and not my food options. It wasn’t easy but in the end I still had fun and was reasonable full. It wasn’t an ideal restaurant for me but I’m finding out there are ways around that.

My recommendation for you is to do the same. If you need to eat at a certain time then eat at that time. That might mean not eating at the buffet. Or eat at the buffet and instead of focusing on the food you can’t eat just enjoy time with your family. You can always eat something at home afterwards. It’s not easy, especially when you feel frustrated and left out but by staying positive you are setting an example. Let your family see you check your sugar, do your insulin and making your health a priority. Some people just never understand. If they aren’t willing to understand or accommodate you than just participate as much as you can and don’t worry about the rest. You can’t force others into understanding.

Thank you for your advice. I pretty much did what you recommended. I continually told myself that I was there for the family, made smart choices for the one plate I had, and constantly monitored my Dexcom to make sure I wasn’t spiking. Then I made sure to leave at an appropriate time, so my CFS wouldn’t be a factor on the drive home. I just worried about the things that I could control, and just tried to have fun with my loved ones…which I did. Thank you for that.