Diabetes is not a choice-part 2 Kalisha Naicker

2016-05-31 06:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

FOLLOWING my last column related to diabetes, I was inundated with emails from readers that have had similar experiences, as people don’t really get what diabetes is.

I was also interviewed on Voice of Wits (VOWFM) following my column and the stigmas relating to the disease.

What irks me is that people who think they know what’s good for me when they have no clue. Sometimes, medical problems aren’t as bad as how other people react to it. Have you had experiences like these?

• Discrimination: “Sorry, we didn’t invite you to go out with us because you can’t eat certain types of food and we will feel bad to order if you can’t.” Some prejudices can be seriously harmful and it hurts emotionally.

• Food police: “Should you be eating that?” People who think they know better than you about what you should eat and keep questioning you on your every move.

• Food sabotage: People who seem to think it’s their job to get you to “lighten up” about your diet. “C’mon, you know you love chocolate cake. Just a tiny bit will be okay.”

• Needle phobia: Some people find it hard to be around people who are injecting insulin or checking their blood sugars. They hate needles and blood and will tell you so with words or nasty stares.

• Knowing what you should do: People who consider themselves diabetes “experts.” They have cures they found on the Internet or warnings about complications (that you already know about, of course). They think they know diabetes better than you do and know you better than you know yourself.

Like I often get told to drink black coffee or lots of water! How will that cure my illness?

However, there are some people who ask: “Are you interested in hearing something good I found about diabetes?” or something like that. It is the better approach. Don’t just start in giving unwanted advice.

• Helping: Sometimes helping is not always wanted. Being diabetic is not a form of disability so don’t belittle people because of their illness.

The bottom line is that people with such stigmas are ignorant. My advice is to read up and learn everything there is to know about the illness even if it does not affect you personally. One may never know when they could use this knowledge- and this could be lifesaving one day.

If you have an illness you think people should know more about or would like to comment on this column, please email Kalisha.naicker@media24.com.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.