I was meeting with a patient recently when we started discussing how it feels to meet with health care professionals. This patient told me that so many providers say to him, “why don’t you just…” Why don’t you just stop eating so much? Why don’t you just exercise? Why don’t you just quit smoking?
It’s not just health care providers who use these words. We often hear them from family and friends as well. It seems pretty easy and straight forward for someone without diabetes to suggest making changes. It’s pretty simple for a non-smoker to suggest quitting. It makes sense to an active person that someone should exercise.
But what if they were talking to someone with a severe needle phobia – why don’t you just take the insulin? Or someone who can’t pay for their blood glucose monitoring strips, or is afraid to see the number – why don’t you just check your blood sugar?
It’s important to know the person – the whole person – before jumping to “suggestions.” It’s easy to assume that all the pieces are in place and someone can just do what they’re supposed to do. But we are all humans, and there’s so much more involved.
We all probably say the words why don’t you just from time to time (I’m sure I’ve done it to my husband and kids). Why don’t we just stop saying that?