Joslin Answers Your Questions

Joslin Diabetes Center experts answer commonly asked questions about diabetes monitoring, treatment, self-care, meal planning, and more.
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Topic: General Concerns
Question: My husband constantly tells me how to care for my diabetes. I know he means well, but he's not being helpful. What can I say?

Answer: It sounds like your husband cares about you very much and wants to help you stay healthy. That said, however, many people with diabetes find that well-meaning family members, friends, and even coworkers try so hard to be helpful that they instead end up causing frustration and making self-care efforts more difficult. These people are sometimes referred to as the "diabetes police."

In situations like this, it's important to let your husband know that you appreciate his support, but gently let him know that it's your job to manage your diabetes. Since he wants to be involved, though, let him know the ways in which he can be most helpful. Here are some ideas:
  • See if he can pitch in with the grocery shopping and help make sure you have healthy, low-fat snacks to eat during the day.
  • Ask if he'll be your exercise partner and go for a walk with you every evening after supper—whether you feel like it or not!
  • Make sure he knows what to do if you get sick.
  • If remembering to take your diabetes medications on schedule is hard for you, ask him to double check that you've done so.
  • Suggest that he go with you to your various diabetes appointments, too. He can learn more about your diabetes and ways in which he can be most helpful.

If things aren't improving, suggest that he accompany you to a visit with a mental health professional to openly discuss your concerns and his response to your diabetes in a safe, supportive environment. You might also consider joining a diabetes support group that includes family members or friends of people with diabetes. Your husband and you both may benefit from interactions with others sharing the same experiences.

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