I was visiting acquaintance-friends the other day (wives of my husband’s friends) and one of them asked how my diabetes was. I don’t see them very often and we really don’t keep in touch, but they’re very nice and I know it was a genuine question. I said I was doing well. They asked a few other questions and I answered with easy, quick replies that wouldn’t be too confusing.
I’m more than happy to tell people who are interested every little detail about my diabetic life. However, when people ask how I’m doing, I’m always a little leery about whether they really want to know, or if their question is more like a “Hi! How are you?” type of greeting that you throw to your elevator buddy (the person who works on the floor of your building, but not in your office).
Do you tell, or don’t you? How much information do you give? I sometimes forget how much I can sputter on about meters and blood sugar levels when other people have no clue what I’m talking about. I don’t want to be the one at the party or gathering who turns out to be the “medically challenged” person who can only talk about prescriptions and injections. I am diabetic, but I’m also a lot more than that, and I can actually hold an intelligent, interesting conversation that has nothing to do with carbohydrates or insulin.
It’s been almost five years and I’m still trying to fit diabetes into an etiquette book. DO make polite small talk. DO NOT bore your chit-chat partner. DO say something interesting and unique about yourself. DO NOT give lectures or lessons when they’re not asked for. Perhaps I should become the new Emily Post, with a specialty in chronic illnesses?
As always, more to come…