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How open are you with strangers when they ask about your CWD?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by acjsmom, May 10, 2011.

  1. acjsmom

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    I have been wondering about this since DD (7) was diagnosed two years ago. Of course, before she had the pump, no one really knew anything unless they saw us checking her or we mentioned it. DD used to be pretty open about it, because she liked the attention. Now, she isn't as open and acts pretty shy about it. I have a friend that I mentioned about strangers asking about her pump, etc. She told me, "Well, it's none of their business." I told her that I feel if I can help educate others more about diabetes, then the better off we all will be. Also, I don't want dd to feel that it is something she needs to hide.

    I ask because Sunday I took dd to the restroom after we ate in a local restaurant. I took her in there because she had a dress on and her pump was under her dress. I took her in a stall to enter the carbs. While we were still in the restroom, but not in the stall, a lady noticed her site on her arm. She started asking dd questions about it. The lady seemed to know a little about pumps. At first, dd wasn't saying much, but I encouraged her to talk to the lady. Then, dd talked to her.

    The only time dd has said anything much about others' curiousity, she was talking about her classmates. She mentioned that they were nosy when it comes to her checking her BGs (she does this in class right now), etc. I tried to tell her to tell then about it, it will satisfy their curiousity and they will move onto something else.

    So, how much do you tell strangers?
     
  2. AlisonKS

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    usually strangers approach me after he's run off to play, so if he is uncomfortable with the extra attention he's not really getting it. He's only 5 and right now it's cool to be a little different.
    Most of the time the strangers approach because they know someone with type 1. They ask how long he's had it and how he's doing. I live in hippydippyville so every once in awhile I get a dumb comment so I correct them and pretty much shut down the conversation to prevent more "have you tried xyz/heard of this naturopath?".
     
  3. frizzyrazzy

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    I've changed a lot in the years we've had diabetes. Early on I felt that I needed to explain, but now I take my cue from DS who positively would never want to talk to a stranger about it. We will answer "he has diabetes" and then we'll walk away. I just have decided that it's no more their business than what color my underwear is.
     
  4. KatieJane'smom

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    My dd has always been very open about diabetes. There's nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. It's not her fault and she did nothing to cause it. She sees it as an opportunity to educate people and usually no one is rude about it, just curious. Most people don't really understand the difference in Type 1 and Type 2.

    She has spoken at a college several times to 1st and 2nd year nursing students and they've said they learned more from her than from their course on diabetes. She's also been the speaker many times at different organizations such as Kiwanas or Lions Club, etc. to raise awareness for Type 1.

    I guess if she was shy about it then she wouldn't want to talk about it. IDK, the way I see it is it's her diabetes, not mine. She has every right to handle it as she wants. I can guide her or make suggestions but I would never force her to do anything she's not comfortable with. She has to live with it and manage it for the rest of her life. I want to give her all the knowledge and tools I can to do that without me.
     
  5. BKKT10

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    Depends on my mood. Alot of people will see Kaylee's pump on her waist and say "Oh look at her cell phone!" Sometimes I will say, no it's an insulin pump, and sometimes I will just smile and walk away.

    I never hide my daughters D. I will test her everywhere and anywhere, and if people don't like it, I don't really care. This is, of course, because she is young and doesn't have any privacy issues, as of yet. Things might change when she gets older. If people see me testing her and ask questions, I am more than happy to answer and explain that she has type 1 diabetes.
     
  6. danismom79

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    This is how I feel about it too, especially if the stranger is an adult. If I get a "what's that?" in regards to her pump, I'll just say it's an insulin pump and ease my way out. I don't go up to other people and ask why they have a cane, or are in a wheelchair. I still believe in boundaries.
     
  7. StillMamamia

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    I take the cues from my son. For the moment he seems not to care too much if others know about it and ask questions, so we're open about it. Once I notice he's not comfortable with it, I'll respect that.
     
  8. mmgirls

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    Kind of depends on where it is. I would not want my younge child telling every living stranger that is nosey enough to ask that child so much about themselves. Unless it where at school, church, or a family/freinds event, or at her dance clases.

    Yes we need to educate, but there i a time and place ecspecially with a younge child. I know that my dd is younger, but if we are at a public playground and she is at the far end playing without me and I saw an adult having a conversation with her I would go and check it out. Now manybe I am paranoid, but adults should be having conversations with younge children that thay do not know unless the parents of that child are aware of it.

    Wierdo's out there will use any way to get a kid to open up and feel comforatble. I guess I would ask my child to direct the person to me, the adult if they aare that curious.
     
  9. swimmom

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    I think you need to take your cue from your daughter. She has no obligation to educate people. If she doesn't want to share her personal information, then don't. Maybe the two of you could come up with a very brief reply to use when in public.
     
  10. MamaBear

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    I felt the need to explain to everyone when we were first diagnosed last summer. But my son is very shy and very private, and I have come to feel that he has a right to his privacy. The only people who really need to know anything are people who are responsible for his care.
     
  11. frizzyrazzy

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    I don't think that kids who don't want to share their diabetes are ashamed of it, or feel there is anything to hide, nor do they feel like they caused it. Some kids just have greater boundaries than others. Just like some of us lead very public lives, some of us know the value of privacy. I think it's incredibly rude that people would ask another person something so personal.
     
  12. selketine

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    This is what we do - if William wants to give them a 3 hour detailed lesson on type 1 management - well - they did ask. Usually he is matter-of-fact about it.

    If someone asks when he isn't around then I try to give them the basic idea. If they are more informed and have specific questions (say about a cgms) then I am happy to discuss it.
     
  13. Christopher

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    I am in the camp of taking your cues from your daughter and her comfort level of talking about it to strangers. Her attitude about it will probably change over time, so let her do what she feels comfortable doing.
     
  14. hawkeyegirl

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    When Jack isn't around, I'm happy to answer questions about diabetes generally. When he's around, I let him take the lead. Sometimes he's very happy to talk about it and show off his pump, and sometimes he's completely uninterested in being the worldwide Type 1 diabetes ambassador.

    I don't think kids who don't want to talk about it are necessarily ashamed or embarassed. They just want to be known as more than "the diabetic kid." They live it 24/7, and it's frankly probably rather boring and irritating to them to have to educated the ignorant masses constantly.

    Put another way, my menstrual cycles are natural and normal and nothing to be embarassed about, but I have no real need to run around yammering about them all the time.
     
  15. DsMom

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    Right now, I think my son takes his cues from me, and I'm always willing to answer any question anyone has. I don't want him to get any hint from me that it is something to be ashamed of or hide. To me, it's as if someone asked about his allergies--no big deal. However, as he does get older and if he chooses to be more private, that is absolutely his call. It is his body and his life. I would be concerned if he chose to be overly private about it, and would would want to discuss with him what caused him to feel that way. I never want shame to be a part if it. But again, I would always respect his wishes and follow his lead.
     
  16. virgo39

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    This is very topical as last night, DD (who was insanely overtired) was crying and mentioned, among a litany of things that were making her sad (dead fish, our vacation was over, missing a friend's birthday party), that she did not want to wear her pod on her arm at school. The kids would keep asking her about it.

    We just started arm sites recently and I found out at the most recent school open house, that DD had been self-conscious in class. She eventually told me last night that two boys frequently ask her (there is a visible bump on her belly or bottom) what it is. She is tired of talking about it and answering them.

    It's funny because at the beginning of the school year, the teacher mentioned to me that a health teacher had come into the class and after mentioning diabetes, DD raised her hand and told the class what diabetes was and that she had it. I didn't feel a need to "educate" the class, but now I'm thinking I should have (are there any parental decisions that aren't subject to second- and third-guessing?).

    She came up with an elaborate plan where I would have the teacher excuse DD from the room and the teacher would explain to the kids that DD had diabetes and was wearing an insulin pump. Of course, she then said she thought that that would make the kids ask her more questions about it and that those kids would tell their friends, who'd tell their friends, etc.

    She doesn't mind being the center of attention, but not when it comes to stuff like this. I do not believe that she is ashamed of having diabetes, just fed up with questions and probably of being/feeling "different" as well -- she knows she's the only child in school with D.

    When I asked her how she felt about it this morning, she said it was fine. So, for now, I have a call in to the school psychologist to discuss the classroom issues.

    DD and I will work out how we are going to handle this for next year, just not 100% sure what to do right now.

    As for how open we are with strangers, it completely depends on where we are, how DD is reacting, and how the person is acting/responding. If they are interested and its an appropriate situation, I'll answer reasonable questions in some detail, if not, I just keep to the fact that she has type 1 diabetes.
     
  17. Christopher

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    I agree with you, he is 6 and taking many cues from you. I am just curious, if he does want to be private about it, what would be your concern?
     
  18. 5kids4me

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    Josh has become pretty private about diabetes. If someone asks a question about his pod etc and I can tell he doesn't want to go into it, I chime in and say that he needs it to stay healthy. No one has ever pushed the conversation.
     
  19. Scribe

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    I have never told anyone I'm T1; not at school, or work or anywhere else over 51 years. The only people who know are my mother, my two kids and my wife. That's it.
    I'm not the least bit embarrassed or ashamed. Quite the opposite. It's just irrelevant since I'm responsible for managing my "condition."
    I actually take it a step further - the only thing my wife, kids and mother know is that I'm diabetic and I wear a pump. None of them has ever heard the term "a1c" or knows the brand of pump or supplies; the name of my doctor or any other particulars.
    I would tell them if they ask but they never have. I like it this way; it focuses my thinking and attention since I am the only one involved in my management.
     
  20. KatieSue

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    My daughter likes to wear her pods on her arms so people are always asking. I don't think they're nosey they're just curious. She'll usually just tell them it's her pump and she's diabetic. She's never been worried or upset about it.

    She also just tests wherever. Sometimes people ask, sometimes they just look. None of her friends really pay attention to it anymore, it's just normal.

    No one has ever been rude about it to us, they're usually just curious. And she's very open about it. She has an acquaintance (she'll correct you that he's NOT a friend) who is just the opposite and will not test or use his pump in public at all. I've been around him for over two years now (they play a sport together) and I've never seen him test. I think it's just what your child is comfortable with.

    I personally, am glad she's open and not bothered by it. When she first got diagnosed my thinking was the more people she knew who understood she was diabetic the better. That way should she ever have any issues someone around her would know she was diabetic and could tell 911 or the paramedics (she does always wear a medical ID as well). I thought of it more as a safety issue, like having a peanut allergy and letting people know, than something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.
     

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