When people talk about the complications of diabetes they usually go with the crowd favorites such as the diet, the shots, the constant care, and/or repeated doctor visits. There is a side that few bring up and it is just as or more powerful and problematic than the physical side. Emotions. I recently read a bog post (https://t.co/QW9aKyCFaL) from another diabetic and it broke my heart to hear the way she talked about feeling alone in her battle. It struck a cord with me as I have felt that way many times also.
I guess the best way to describe my view of my life is as a diabetic rebel. I am not a fan of being placed in a pre-sized box and left there. I am not a disease although it sometimes it may seem to control me. I try to not let that happen very often. It has helped make me stronger in ways than I believe I would have been without it. The doctors I deal with now might call me reckless or stubborn but I refuse to let them tell me what I can or cannot do. If I can’t then I will have to prove it to myself rather than just take someone else’s word on it.
Many years ago I wanted to get a piercing. It is very high on the “oh hell no” side of any do and don’t list for diabetics. I did it anyway. Nearly cost me my life, seriously. I ended up with a massive infection and ended up in the hospital for several days with many more days at home under intense antibiotic therapy sessions. Did I learn my lesson? Yes I did. I bought a better soap to use and did it again. This time with better results. Still have it. Point is I had done something that I was told I shouldn’t, not can’t, do and pulled it off.
It felt so freeing to be able to say I did something that a doctor would cringe at if you asked about. My family doctor still brings it up now and then and can’t believe I did it, once let alone twice. I proved to myself a diabetic can get a piercing and not die. We can do things “normal” people do, with reasonable care, and be more normal.
I have 2 reactions when I get told I can’t do that because I am diabetic and it is not recommended. First, is sad and depressed. It is a reminder that I am not like everyone else. I’m less than the others around me. They think less of me now since I am weaker, not as capable as than they are.
The second response, one that usually follows that first one very quickly, is anger. Why can’t I do that? Who are they to say I am not capable of doing this task. By God I will make it my mission in life to prove them wrong and make them feel worthless. It kind of morphs into revenge at this point and there is no stopping me then. I will crawl though hell in middle of summer to prove I can to someone I feel is making me feel subhuman. I will make them regret that move.
Depression is very easy to get as a diabetic. Your glucose is too low then its too high. Why can’t I get it in range longer than that? My response to the doctors and anyone else who tells me I can do better is that there is a limit to that. I can stop binging while watching TV or at least take bolus for it. However, I don’t control my life, it controls me. I do not know from one minute to the next what new struggle it will place in my way that I will have top climb over, dig through, or dig under to get to the ether side.
I have written a book over the last 4 to 5 years talking about different situations that have happened to me that show just how mean mother nature can be and how much meaner I try to be to beat her. Just because the book is done, my life is not. Every day I run into more issues to be conquered. One way or anther I WILL win.
The blog I talked about earlier said she just haven’t given it 100% that day. I do the same thing and feel the same way almost everyday. I eat without bolusing, I miss shots now and then, and I miscount carbs at times. I feel angry at myself but I realized years ago that I am not perfect. I’ve actually never met someone who is. I do the best I can. If there is something I keep doing again and again I try to figure a way to make it so I don’t forget or don’t miss it. That is a personal thing. I can’t sit here and say you need to do this. It works for me but as I have found over the years I can’t do the same things others can. It just won’t work for me. I take it and modify it so it fits ME instead of trying to modify me to fit it. That will not work for long. You can’t hide who you are and you really shouldn’t try to. The people around you love you for who you are not who you will become or should be. Be yourself. I have lost friends and gained others with this lifestyle. Those I’ve lost are not the ones who would have made me happy anyway
Time to wrap this up I guess. Getting late in the morning. I just broke a time frame with this. LOL I should have taken my 12 hour insulin almost an hour ago and I’m by some miracle still alive. I hope I can make to the kitchen before I keel over dead. I joke about this because my soon to be former Endocrinologist told me she had concerns about me going to a twice a day shot routine for basal insulin as I would forget or not get a shot every 12 hours and I would go into ketoacidosis (happened one time decades ago). After several years she still has not gotten used to me not being a normal diabetic. Yes, even as a diabetic I am not considered “normal”. Welcome to Bob’s world. I hope you get to read this Amber and take heart. A bad day is just that, a bad day. It will get better. Life is a roller coaster no matter how hard you try to level it out.