If I decide to pretend to be diabetic, when should I do it?

As soon as possible. Especially if the diabetic in your life is a very young child. We think it would be a great help to see that Mommy or Daddy can take the shot, eat the diet and skip the candy, and test the urine or blood sugar.

We had thought this playing at being a diabetic was a pretty wild idea that few people would be willing or able to try until we talked to a young woman who had been diabetic since the age of three. She told us that she'd had a terrible time giving herself the injections. She'd cry and cry, both before and after. Her older (by eight years) sister took it upon herself to take shots (saline solution) along with her, having races and trying to make a game of it. It made all the difference in the world to the diabetic girl in getting over her fear and loathing of the needle. She really appreciated what her sister did (especially in later years), and you can imagine what it did for the sisterly relationship.

Incidentally, even long term diabetics love the idea of a nondiabetic's doing all the diabetes routines for a month. The ones we told about the Australian experiment (and Barbara's variation) all said something like "Now they'll realize what we put up with!"

June also liked having someone else taking injections with her in restaurant restrooms and every other semipublic place. She said it made her feel less like an outsider. People who observed all this injecting must have thought the whole world was turning diabetic rather like the passengers on the flight to Hawaii when we were on a tour for diabetics. When the flight attendant asked, "Who has requested a diabetic meal?" twenty people raised their hands.

Of course, if the diabetic in your life is non insulin dependent, you don't have to go through the whole routine with the insulin. You only need to do urine or blood sugar testing. As for the diet and exercise plan, you should be following that anyway.

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