Back to reality…
I am diabetic. It sucks. Big time.
I tend to be bad with my diabetes. This also sucks. Big time.
Now that the holidays are over it’s time for me to get serious –again-. I STRUGGLE hard with it. I’ll go for a good amount of time being good. I’ll eat better, take my medications, exercise and check my blood sugar. Yet, for some reason, something happens along the way and all of a sudden I’m eating crap, forgetting to take my medications. Oh, and testing my blood sugar? I think not. I’m sorry, sticking myself with a needle several times a day and bruising my fingertips…not in my top 10 of things I like to do. But, it is something I need to do.
I get so disappointed with myself. Especially this time, I was doing SO well. My A1C was the lowest it had been since I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. (For those of you who don’t know an A1C is like a “picture” or “average” of what your blood sugar levels have been over a three month period). When I get into these cycles its awful. I get so mad at myself for screwing up again. I cancel my doctor’s appointments because I’m afraid. Yes that’s right, I said it, and I’m 25 and afraid that my doctor will yell at me. I just don’t understand why I can’t keep on track. So here’s to a new year, and another go at diabetes management. Wish me luck.
On a side note; I found a “Diabetes Etiquette Card”. I’m not going to list everything that is on the card but I will list ones that I feel would have been useful things to tell people throughout my journey with diabetes. I will also add in a few of my own. So, if you know anyone else who is diabetic, it might be good information to have? Anyway, here goes;
- DO realize and appreciate that diabetes is hard work.
Diabetes management is a full-time job that I didn’t apply for, didn’t want and can’t quit. It involves thinking about what, when, and how much I eat, while also factoring in exercise, medication, stress, blood sugar monitoring and so much more –each and every day.
- DON’T offer unsolicited advice about my eating or other aspect of diabetes.
“You can’t eat that, it has too much sugar. Your diabetic”. Listen, you don’t think I know what I should/shouldn’t or can/can’t eat? Of course I do. Do I always do what I’m supposed to? No. When you are on a diet do you always do what you should do? Probably not.
- DON’T offer thoughtless reassurances.
You may want to reassure me by saying things like, “Hey it could be worse; you could have cancer!” This won’t make me feel better. And the implicit message seems to be that diabetes is no big deal. However, diabetes (like cancer) IS a big deal.
- DO be supportive of my efforts for self-care.
Help me set up an environment for success by supporting healthy food choices. Please honor my decision to decline a particular food, even when you really want me to try it. You are most helpful when you are not being a source of unnecessary temptation.
- DON’T make comments about my mood in regards to my diabetes.
You may feel your being helpful by telling me I seem cranky because my blood sugar is too low or some other diabetic reason. Please resist the urges to point these things out. I need encouragement. Besides, people just get cranky sometimes. There doesn’t have to be a reason and it doesn’t have to be because of diabetes.
- DO offer your love and encouragement.
As I work hard to manage diabetes successfully, sometimes just knowing that you care can be very helpful and motivating.
Whew. That’s a long post. Sorry for the novel. By the way, this isn’t meant to offend anyone. It’s to enlighten and to educate. Many people try to be helpful, and don’t always realize that they are causing more harm than good. Wouldn’t you want to know if you were doing that? I know I would.
Thanks for reading. =) Comments are welcome and much appreciated.