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The Worst Of It
I could give insulin injections or put in pump sites twenty times a day, eat lean, check my bloodsugar - happily and faithfully without much fanfare - if it meant I was absolutely assured of good health. I could do those things without as much as a second thought if it meant some guarantee that in the end I would be able to live a normal, healthy life.
Diabetes doesn't come with those kinds of assurances and that can cause such an overload of worry and frustration and guilt. And really, that's the worst of it. This thing isn't just physically complicated. I think most of us could deal with the physical stuff if the emotional impacts weren't so heavy. We could deal more easily If it wasn't for all the days we wake up and do everything right on the diet and exercise and medication front - and yet land up with inexplicable highs or lows.
Every day we get up and the specter of complications looms large over all of us. The waves of guilt and fatigue are sometimes almost too much to take. The waves of injustice are enormous, because really if you're doing everything right and taking care of yourself you should have the privilege of living healthfully, right?
Recently, one of my favorite people in the diabetes community wrote a post about a complication that's been recently diagnosed. She wrote very honestly about the physical and emotional impacts of this secondary diagnosis. There was one line that caught me - I read it again and again - it was basically a line about when she was first told, her asking herself if it was maybe "that high bloodsugar or that food splurge" that caused the complication... I hate that she even had that thought cross her mind. I hate that people with diabetes must deal with those kinds of illogical, irrational, but nonetheless at the forefront thoughts when the complications of diabetes hit.
Because the thing is, you can be in "perfect" control and still have a secondary diagnosis because of the duration of the disease in your body, or because of your genetic conditions, or because that's just diabetes or for any number of other stupid reasons. Sound like it sucks? It does. And that? That is the worst of it.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)