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Question:

From Garnett, Kansas, USA:

I am 30 years old, have had diabetes for 26 years, and I have been wondering for a long time now how my having diabetes affects other family members (my family as I was growing up and in my own family that I have now).

There are a lot of things that happened in my family growing up. I am wondering how my sisters may have felt growing up together. I am wondering how my husband and two little girls may feel or react to my diabetes. None of them are good with talking. My husband is 38 years old and my daughters are both five. (They are 10 months and 11 days apart!)

Answer:

You are asking very important questions. I wonder why you are asking them now? Did something happen recently that prompted you to think about how the people you love feel about you and about living with diabetes?

Even though no one in your family is particularly comfortable with talking, I would still encourage you to ask them. Perhaps you might begin by saying something like: "I just read an article about how siblings feel toward their sister with diabetes. Some felt jealous of the attention that person got from their parents, some felt worried about their sister's health, and some didn't really have much to say. I was wondering what you thought and felt as we were growing up?" You can make a similar statement to your husband. For your children, you might just ask them what they think about your insulin shots and blood sugar checks, and if they have any questions for you about it. They are only five, so may have only some simple, concrete thoughts/opinions about your diabetes, unless they have seen you have a severe low before, which may have scared them.

JWB

DTQ-20011127234441
Original posting 28 Nov 2001
Posted to Other Social Issues

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:28
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