Breaking up with Diabetes.

Most days I have a real love hate relationship with diabetes. Sometimes I feel proud of myself for giving it my best and coming out of the day unscathed by all of it. And other days I am left feeling down, depressed, and overall wishing I could break up with this disease. It is ugly inside and out. It is soul sucking and even when things are going seemingly well, they really aren’t.

There is always something happening behind the scenes.

I recently went through another episode of diabetes burnout. Not deliberately but I also did nothing to stop myself either. I allowed myself to feel every bit of sadness, every ounce of hatred, every piece of despair that this disease fed me. I was completely done. I ignored the beeps and alarms, and though I still gave myself insulin it was hardly accurate. It was too much and too little at all the wrong times. Not healthy, and I can admit that. Not healthy and extremely dangerous.

My intentions were not to harm myself, but I was trying everything I could to forget that diabetes existed in my life. I was trying everything I could to feel normal again, just for one second. An endocrinology appointment was around the corner and I knew it was going to be bad. I was prepared for it and not prepared for it all at the same time.

I tried to convince myself that it was not a big deal. I gathered every excuse in the book so that I could convince her that I was doing what I was supposed to do. I needed to put up a façade that I was indeed trying when in all honesty, I was not.  I was determined to go in there and let it be routine and full of lies, but one thing left me feeling uneasy…what would the test results say? With every floral word that I could muster it would never be able to change the cold hard truth. I was not doing as I should and she would see that plain as day.

So instead of wasting her time as well as mine I went in with honesty on my lips. I went in there and told her the truth. I poured out my heart and my soul to her. I cried a little, I shared my deepest thoughts like she were a therapist. When all was said and done I thought she would dismiss me, scold me, make me feel like every thing I had already been feeling about myself were true…instead, she listened. She mourned with me the loss of freedom I once had when it came to daily life, and she gave me true and honest feedback.

She made me feel as though I were safe. She assured me that we all go through these moments but what we get out of them and how we grow from them is what matters. After leaving her office I felt a tinge of awkwardness and a spark of utter shame. Then I went home and began my journey again. The journey of bettering myself, of taking control of this disease the best way I can, and reminding myself that to give up is defeat and I can not be defeated. These past few weeks have been heavy but good. I have been kind to myself. I have taken the reigns back and hope that this time around I can stay on top of it all without jeopardizing my sanity.

Because nothing can take me down unless I allow it.

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5 Things I wish people knew about living with Diabetes…

Let’s get right to it. Diabetes is difficult. Like, really difficult. It can be managed, yes. However, the emotional, physical, and mental state this illness can leave you in is pure craziness. One minute you’re completely in control and then you eat something, or go for a jog, or start stressing about the new promotion at work and then bam! You’re on a full blown diabetes roller coaster you never asked to be on.

This illness is hectic, tedious, and unruly. Even on the days you have massive control it isn’t because you were carefree. It takes patience beyond measure, commitment, and a whole lot of will power. I’m not speaking for everyone but my personal relationship with diabetes is a love hate one. I hate it, and it loves to hate me right back. The scars left behind by depression, anxiety, and just an overall fear of all the what if’s is enough to make a person want to scream. This illness is no joke, even though I try to make light of living with it. I do this because if I don’t laugh, even just a little, I would live in a funk.

So I’ve compiled five things I wish people knew about living with type one diabetes.

  1. I wish people knew that even though I am smiling on the outside, inside I am always freaking out. Are my numbers alright? I feel weird, why? I’m so thirsty…is my glucose high? What if I pass out from a low glucose and it’s just me and my kids? Why was my A1c so high? What am I doing wrong? I am constantly having to stay a few steps ahead of diabetes or it will catch me and make sure I fall hard. The truth is that Diabetes is a monster. It doesn’t care about anything.
  2. I wish people knew that it takes so much to stay in control of this. Maybe I make this look easy but it is far from it. Just thinking about being in charge of a drug that could potentially kill me is kind of a mind explosion. I’m not a doctor and yet I have to administer this drug to myself daily. Of course with out it I could die. So there really isn’t a grey area. I either do what I have to or I’m gone.
  3. I wish people knew that I didn’t do this to myself. None of us woke up one day asking to be diabetics. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. The fear alone of what could happen, or what is inevitable, is depressing. It can eat away at your sanity if you let it. I could fall asleep and never wake up. I could go into a coma. One day my kidneys could go on a permanent vacation, I know quite a few diabetics on dialysis already. Organs can decide not to work. I mean the list goes on. Not to mention I could lose feeling in my feet. People have had to get fingers, toes, even limbs amputated because of the havoc this disease creates. Why wouldn’t I have prevented myself from getting this illness if I could have? No one asks for this. It happens and we deal but I wish people understood that. Sugar didn’t do this to me. Cake wasn’t my enemy. It just happened.
  4. I wish people knew that even when I complain I’m never giving up. I can’t. It’s a real fight or flight kind of thing. You can either embrace it, run with it, and do your very best. Or you can let it take over your entire being until you’re consumed by it. Love and support from family and friends can go a long way. Every little encouraging thought, note, hug, whatever it may be, means the world to us. I know to me it does. If I didn’t have my support system who knows where I would be. I have met plenty of diabetics not caring about their illness because no one cares about them. What’s the point of fighting when you have no one in your corner.
  5. Lastly, I wish people knew that diabetes doesn’t limit us. I may have to take a few extra steps, precautions, or detours, but I am fully capable of taking this world on with diabetes on my back. We can do anything we put our minds to, with just a little more pizzazz, and a lot of snacks.

What’s something you wish people knew about living with Diabetes?