Do you talk your diabetes with everyone you see? Do you often give health advice to friends and family? Do they hate it when you do that? You might be on your way to becoming a “nudnik,” the Yiddish term for someone who is impossibly annoying.
Take Diabetes Seriously
Dorothy did nothing about her type 2 diabetes for years. When her eyesight started to get fuzzy, she began to run to the bathroom all the time. Her energy level also dropped. At this point she decided to take her diabetes seriously. She met with her doctor and read every article that she could find on the subject. She took diabetes classes, shared tips on online diabetes message boards, and became a loyal reader of Walgreens Diabetes & You.
Study led to action. Dorothy checked her blood glucose several times a day and watched how much carbohydrate she had. She even clipped on her new royal blue pedometer (measures footsteps) to count the steps she walked each day. She set walking goals, eating goals, and even started to lose weight. Best of all, she improved her A1C, the measure of her glucose control for the last three months. She was in heaven. But she took her enthusiasm a bit too far.
It Can be Easy to Go Over the Top
At her book club meeting a friend complained about being tired. Dorothy suggested she should take a glucose tolerance test. At a restaurant, she asked the waiter about the contents of many foods on the menu. She then began to comment on everyone else’s food choices. She pressed one friend to change his fried fish order to broiled. She reminded everyone to limit their alcohol, and she urged the group to give up on their gooey desserts and choose fruit instead. At home, she made sure family knew her daily pedometer totals. She also tried to get them to wear one too. She talked all the time about bad carbs, good carbs, fats and cholesterol. She became a nudnik and her friends and family were not pleased.
When you first learn that you are able to improve your diabetes, it is exciting. What other condition changes so much with just a small amount of care? If you change your food choice by one slice of bread, your blood glucose level will respond. A fast 10 minute walk can lower your blood glucose level for up to 48 hours. Yes, you will probably want to announce your new-found power to the entire world… but the world may not want to listen.
Actions Speak for Themselves
If you think you’ve crossed the line to become a nudnik, step back a bit. Speak to your friends with actions, not words. At a restaurant, put your mind on your meal needs alone, not on constantly discussing diabetes and related issues. If a friend complains that she is not feeling well, tell her that you have a possible suggestion and leave it at that. Don’t worry. Those who want help will ask for it. They will see for themselves that you have more energy and are fit. There is a good chance they will want to know how you did it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Your improved appearance and outlook will tell your story beautifully, all by themselves.