Joe's Diabetes

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Type Zero – Friends & Family

Being diagnosed with diabetes is a big shock: not only do you suddenly feel very vulnerable but there is now also something that you have to constantly keep in control. On top of that, the ‘normal’ people in your life sometimes don’t know how to react to you. They will have a whole range of questions racing around their heads, just as you do:

Should they let you get on with it?

Do you want support? Or would that be molly-coddling?

Is this the right time to give you sugar?

Should they feed you differently now you’re diabetic? 

In this way, your diagnosis does not just affect you. That’s why we call those normal people “Type Zeros”: they experience some of the psychological side-effects of diabetes, if none of the physical issues. So it’s good to have some ideas in place to put them at ease. Speaking to people is really the best way to let them know if you feel you do need to be treated differently. However, you could feel awkward about doing this, particularly if you are still coming to terms with being diabetic.

At the bottom of the page you can find a sheet to download that gives a brief run-down about the practicalities of diabetes. Hopefully that will help let the “Type Zeros” in your life know that you’re still the same person, but you may need some help every now and then (and you’ll let them know when!)


"If you have severe diabetes and you eat sugar, then you may lose your leg"

Sometimes though you will have to deal with people who don’t know much about diabetes and don’t care as much about you as your friends or family do. Here’s how the Urban Dictionary defines a Type Zero:

“Type Zero - A person that does not have Diabetes – Symptoms of Type Zero include vastly stupid questioning of people with Diabetes, inability to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and making wild assumptions on what people with Diabetes can and can’t do, or eat. Severe Type Zeros will often encounter sudden pain in the jaw area. This is caused by getting punched in the mouth by an offended person with Diabetes."

Typical Type Zero comment: "Oh. I know a diabetic. They have the Bad version."

I’m afraid some of those people will always be with us, but you just have to see each of their comments as an chance to educate them! You might want to point them towards our Diabetes Myths and Legends.


Click here to download our worksheet on diabetes. It is in Word format so you can change things so that it really speaks for you.