November is Diabetes Awareness Month and all around the DOC people are kicking their advocacy efforts into high gear to spread information and understanding about diabetes. So it seems perfect to revisit our chat from October 30th entitled “Things people without diabetes should know about people living with diabetes” and ask . . . .
What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?
I think about this particular topic a lot. When I am asked about diabetes, when I am trying to explain the “ins and outs” of this disease, when I hear other people discussing it. It’s very easy to give a quick run down of all the “science” behind it. Or how I have to manage it daily by an insulin pump, or manual daily injections, and by pricking my fingers about a million times a day just to see what my blood sugar is.
But, there is more to it than, “Oh take some insulin before you eat that!” A lot more.
It’s harder to admit the emotional strain this disease puts on you. The way you feel when your blood sugar is running high, like, you are running through sludge and every step weighs you down more and more. Like, you can’t breathe, or think because you feel like you just might puke. All you want to do is sleep and chug water.
Not to mention the wear and tear it does to your body.
It’s harder to admit the defeat you feel when your blood sugars are running low and you have to ask for help. Because you’re in such a fog, such a daze, that sometimes it takes real concentration to remember your own name. Your heart is racing, while your body shakes like you’ve been standing in a freezer, though your body is pouring sweat, and your vision is blurred. You’re ultimately trapped in your own body screaming for these feelings to go away. The feeling of being lost.
Yes, it is simple to check my sugar and give myself insulin. I’m sure almost anyone could handle that part. It’s what is hidden underneath all of that scientific jargon that can really test the soul. Feeling as though you aren’t good enough. The constant pressure to have the perfect numbers, or A1c, the judgmental glances like you would ever choose to be “sickly” for life. The not knowing if everything you are doing to ensure a healthy existence is really going to change anything..
I’d like someone without diabetes to understand that just because you can’t see the “ins and outs” of this disease it’s still there. The sugar checks, the stress, the worry, the insulin injections, the highs, the lows, the complications, the health risks, the fear of going low in the middle of the night and not waking up..ever, for some..the seizures, the pain, the questions, the blood tests, the doctors visits, the waiting, the anger, but also the hope. The dreams, the wishing, the hope for a cure.
This disease brings on just about every emotion you could think of.
I’m only human trying to figure this monster out every single day that I live with it. So, please, put yourself in my shoes and try to understand that just because I make it look easy..it’s not always that way.
There’s more to it than this or that.
If I could find a way to convey that perfectly so that everyone understood where I was coming from..it’d be the best day ever. Because, for some, it’ hard to get why this is such a battle and why I see myself as such a warrior.
“This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2013/11/november-dsma-blog-carnival-3/ “