Welcome to day three of Diabetes Blog Week..
If you aren’t sure what Diabetes Blog Week is, or if you’d like to participate, it’s never too late, then head on over to Karen’s blog BitterSweetDiabetes. There you’ll find all the info you need.
Here’s the prompt: May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
Diabetes is a terribly draining and exhausting disease. Emotionally, physically, and mentally. You are demanded to perform tasks on a daily basis in order to survive. If you neglect these tasks, well, the end result will not be a pretty one. I wasn’t given a choice and I was never asked. It was plopped in my lap and all of a sudden I was expected to do what I had to do. Of course I cooperate because we all strive to be happy, healthy individuals but that doesn’t mean some days I don’t want to forget about blood sugar checks, and insulin doses, eat without worry, and sleep without fear.
It’s hard to admit that there are things out there that cause our mental health to be shaken. I’ll say it though. Diabetes wears on me. The other day my husband and I were watching some junk television when a commercial came on about taking a vacation, traveling to some far off paradise. I thought, one day, wouldn’t that be fantastic. Then it dawned on me..yes, soaking up the sun on some paradise island would be amazing but I wouldn’t be able to leave every care behind. NO, I’d still have to lug around diabetes. The middle of the nights during my romantic Caribbean cruise would still be filled with finger sticks, bloody finger tips, juice boxes to aid those shaky, delirious lows, insulin to cover those stomach churning highs, and a husband who wouldn’t be able to sleep comfortably because his every other thought would be about me.
Those are the type of things that attempt to attack my mental health. My emotional stability. Knowing that this disease doesn’t just weigh on me. I’d be fine if it were just on my shoulders, but it’s not. It is draining for my husband, and my daughter, who have to watch me scramble for insulin vials, or struggle to chug juice boxes in my foggy state. I worry about waking up from an extreme low but so does my husband. As he hovers over me and my dexcom every night making sure I am in range. It’s incredibly frustrating to seem so “normal” all while having this battle within my body. Life is overwhelming with diabetes on board because there are so many different factors that play a role in your well being and things can change up on you at any moment.
Nothing is standard and there isn’t an instruction manual.
I am pushed to my limit with stress. My mental health is being tested every day.
How do I cope?
I smile. I hope. I stay positive. That’s all you can do. I continue to do my best with every situation. There is no point in feeling sorry for oneself, or wallowing in sadness, because life goes on. In spite of all the extra steps I have to take to get through any given day there are still amazing moments that stand out far more. Those things keep me glued together. Remembering that yes, my life is tedious, yes, my life is filled with doctors appointments, yes, my life is filled to the brim with medications that keep me alive, but it is also filled with laughter, and sweet kisses from my daughter. It is filled with long phone calls with my sister, and silly faced pictures with my husband. Baseball games, and bowling, ice cream sundaes eaten every day BUT Sunday. (Because I can have sweets sometimes!) Catching fireflies with my daughter.
All of those good times can not be brought down by silly diabetes.
That’s how I cope.
By remembering what really matters.