Sunday, 19 April 2015

I Wish People Knew That Diabetes...

Hat tip to Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness for this one! Here we go!

I wish people knew that diabetes is hard. People with diabetes may make it look easy, but it's not. And there is no time off - it's something I manage and make decisions about 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

I wish people knew that diabetes brings me a lot of guilt.

I wish people knew that (sometimes) diabetes makes me cry, whether it be over a stubborn high blood sugar, a low that just won't come up, frustration over a kinked cannula or just grieving for the life I had pre-diabetes, when I was 17 years old.

I wish people knew (and sometimes I need reminding) that diabetes is not a character flaw. I spent a long time thinking it was and hiding behind it and I feel I missed out on a lot because of that. It is not a character flaw. Just a small part of a greater whole.

I wish people knew that diabetes doesn't have a certain look about it. People don't "look diabetic", there's not a certain physical description you need to fit to have diabetes. It's a disease that doesn't discriminate.

I wish people knew that diabetes isn't cured by eating less sugar and exercising more. Okay, I find watching what I eat and exercising helps make it a little bit easier to manage my diabetes, but it by no means jump-starts my pancreas into producing insulin again.

I wish people knew that diabetes isn't cured by my insulin pump either. Just because I no longer do injections on a day to day basis doesn't mean I'm cured. My insulin pump is just the device I choose to use to manage this thing, and it's what works best for me at this point in time. (Also: my insulin pump doesn't mean I have the "bad" kind of diabetes.)

I wish people knew that diabetes is an unpredictable fucker: you can do everything exactly the same, two days in a row, and see completely different results. And it's a bit of a mind-fuck for a while as you try to work out why.

I wish people knew that diabetes-related paraphernalia is a luxury, and one I don't take for granted. I'm incredibly fortunate to live in a country where we have an NHS, meaning free health care. I don't have to pay for my insulin, my insulin pump, my glucose meter, the test strips that go with it, lancets...nothing! Yet there are still people in this world that struggle with gaining access to insulin. And that makes me angry.

I wish people knew that diabetes has caused me to see food as a number before I see the food itself. So when I go to delve into that lovely lemon poppy seed muffin from the coffee shop at work, know that I know exactly how many carbs are in that and how to bolus for it.

I wish people knew that diabetes, for all the things I hate about it, has brought be some of the best friendships. People that I can't imagine not knowing. And that screws with my head as well. Because SO MANY wonderful people have entered my life as a result of this diagnosis. I want to keep the people, but kick the diagnosis. But it doesn't work like that. I know that I can't have one without the other. And I, I know, that I will always choose the people over a life without diabetes. Like I said, some of the best friendships, both online and off.

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