National DBlog Day
Today is the day when all people who have diabetes or any association with the disease write a collective post about it. This year’s topic? Six Things You Want People to Know About Diabetes. I’m scared about this assignment. On one hand, there are far more than 6 things I want people to know. On the other hand, can I come up with six ideas I want people to know about this disease? So I’m not gonna think about this too much. I’m just going to dive in and see where it takes me…
1.) You don’t “catch” diabetes. I wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes because I ate too much sugar as a child. I had some kind of predisposition that caused my pancreas to stop producing insulin on its own. There is nothing I could have done to prevent it. I can eat well & exercise now in order to help maintain good blood glucose levels but NOTHING caused or could have prevented my need to inject insulin.
2.) Nothing bothers me more than when someone is overly sympathetic and/or says they couldn’t do what I do (the testing & injecting). If you told me 5 years ago this would be my life, I wouldn’t believe you. But, here I am with calloused fingertips and a bruised belly. I don’t do it because I enjoy it. I don’t love the feeling of needles poking my skin. I do it because I MUST. I do it so I can stay ALIVE. And if you were in the same position, you would find the strength to do it too.
3.) Sometimes I am embarrassed to have diabetes. When I am in a meeting, I am hesitant to tell people, “I’m feeling low.” I will hide the sweating & the shakes as long as humanly possible. Once in a while I will duck out under pretenses I have to use the bathroom. I just hate when the attention is on me and 10 people are asking me if I feel all right. On the same token, everyone at work knows I have diabetes. HR, the receptionist and my coworkers all have my emergency contact information and I have two people who can inject Glucagon if (God forbid) it’s ever needed.
4.) I believe in a cure. I like to think I’ll see it in mu lifetime. Someday PWDs will have artificial pancreases or hell, maybe even get one last shot that provides a lifetime of freedom from more needles.
5.) I live in guilt all the time. I feel guilty for not checking my sugar often enough. For eating that handful of candy. For making people feel they have to prepare special foods for me. It’s what I feel is the single most terrible thing about having diabetes.
6.) I wouldn’t change my life for anything. Yes, diabetes sucks. There’s no question about it. But it has taught me so much. It’s taught me the importance of nutrition & fitness. It’s taught me patience when waiting for wonky BGs to even out. It’s given me something to educate others about. It’s given me a feeling of knowing my own body (and standing up for rights associated with said body) that I’ve never experienced before.
These are 6 things I want you to know about diabetes. Many other members of the DOC are participating today as well so make sure to read! And I’m hoping to post a special Q&A on Sunday for World Diabetes Day. What questions do you have that I didn’t answer here? XO