Things People Say to Diabetics

As part of this blog I hope to shed some light on exactly what the diabetic experience is like. There is a lot of misinformation out there that can lead to some silly comments from non-diabetics. In this post I will share comments that have actually been said to me at one time or another & my reactions to them. People… please think before you speak. If you aren’t sure about something & are curious, you should ask. Not everyone can be an expert on everything.


Does that hurt (referring to finger pricks or injection)?

Want to find out? But seriously, what do you think a needle feels like? It doesn’t feel good but it’s certainly not the worse thing in the world. With diabetes, it’s a necessary evil.

I could never do that if I had diabetes!

Then it’s a good thing you don’t have diabetes. I’m pretty sure most people would do things they don’t necessarily enjoy, if it meant keeping them alive.

Is that a pager (referring to insulin pump)?

Yes… NO it’s not a pager. It’s 2015. I actually use this to communicate with far away galaxies. Why not just ask what it is if you’re curious?

Are you going to have your legs cut off one day?

I really hope not. Limb amputations can be a consequence of not taking care of your diabetes. Two complications are nerve damage (neuropathy) & poor circulation. Neuropathy causes a loss of feeling in your feet & you may not feel pain from an injury. Poor circulation reduces your ability to heal as quickly. Complications can be avoidable or delayed if you blood glucose is in control!

I thought only old people got diabetes/you don’t look like you have diabetes.

I blame society for this misinformation. Think of the actors/actresses used in any TV commercial related to diabetes. They are all older & most of them are overweight. This is the picture most people have of diabetics but it’s simply not true. Infants can get Type 1 diabetes, adults can get Type 1 diabetes, teenagers can get Type 2 diabetes, thin people can get Type 2 diabetes. Everyone is different & there is no mold for diabetes.

You’re not that fat, how did you get diabetes?

Not that fat? Thanks… I think? This is just plain rude. Again, all people are different & have a different story. I happen to have Type 1 diabetes that is an autoimmune disease. My body has certain antibodies that attacked cells in my pancreas that caused it not to work anymore. Because I do not produce my own insulin, I have to take in through a shot (or in my case, an insulin pump).

At least it’s not something serious like cancer.

Of course I’m thankful that I don’t have cancer, duh! This comment however, is very insensitive. Please don’t compare diseases.  P.S. although it’s not as serious as cancer, it’s still serious.

What’s the big deal? You just can’t eat sugar, right?

I can eat whatever I want. Should I eat cookies, candy & cake? NO. But then again, no one should eat like that. I count how many carbohydrates I eat at a meal so that I can dose my insulin accordingly to keep the food from increasing my blood glucose too much. When an non-diabetic person eats, their body secretes insulin on it’s own. I have to take my insulin from an external source, since I don’t produce it.

Can you eat that (referring to something sweet)?

Why, does it have poison in it? It’s not just sweets that cause an increase in blood glucose. It’s any type of carbohydrate. Apple? Insulin. Bread? insulin. Candy? Insulin. Milk? Insulin. Pizza? Insulin. You get the point. It always surprises me how many people think diabetes is controlled by not eating sweets. I could probably eat an entire pizza pie without anyone saying anything but if I ate a cupcake, they would freak.

I would rather take a million shots a day instead of taking pills. Pills are the worst. 

This comment was said to me by a family member. Just note, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I think all Type 1s would love to take 1 pill per day instead of dealing with the shots/pump site changes/extra costs etc.

I would rather shoot myself in the head than do what you have to do to take care of your diabetes. I just couldn’t do it!

This. Is. So. Ridiculous. This comment was especially hurtful because it was said to me by a family member. It really doesn’t even deserve a response.

Are you shooting up drugs (referring to me doing an injection in a public place)?

Ummm… yes? I’m shooting heroin in plain sight… into… my… stomach. Some people are beyond clueless. I can’t help but to give a sarcastic reply to this comment.

You should take cinnamon/apple cider vinegar/some random ‘natural’ herbal thing, that cures diabetes. 

Please just stop talking. I have Type 1 diabetes. I will always have Type 1 diabetes. My pancreas will not start functioning again if I feed it cinnamon or drowned it in apple cider vinegar. Thanks for the expert advise though.

Do you have the bad kind of diabetes or the good kind of diabetes? 

I have the bad kind of diabetes. It’s called DIABETES. There is no bad or good type. It all stinks. Period.

Oh, your sugar is low? Hurry! Go take some insulin! 

No! Insulin lowers blood glucose. When my blood glucose is low, I need carbohydrates, not insulin.

Love, health & happiness,

Jessica Lynn

I believe this applies to most of my medical problems as well as a vast amount of problems others experience.


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