I have been dreading writing this post since I read it on the topic list last week. I never think of Diabetes as something other than just another part of my life. Yes, I get frustrated and yes, I get scared. But I adamantly refuse to waste time focusing on what I don’t like about Diabetes. It already takes up too much of my time and life is too short to hate anything. That being said, I will try…
1. I don’t like that the fact that I’m diabetic scares some people. I hate seeing the look in someone’s eye when I say my sugar is low. No matter how calmly I might say it, there are some people who seem to think I’m going to collapse in a heap in front of them. I’m not. Relax and just pass me some juice.
2. I resent how much money I spend to stay healthy. I want to be able to sign up for a race, get my hair cut or just buy a bottle of red wine without having to double check that I can afford it. I want to be able to save money. I want to have something left over after the bills are paid. I don’t. Way too much of my money goes to diabetes.
3. I want to walk barefoot outside all summer. I loved doing that as a kid and prided myself on how tough my feet got by the end of the summer. I could walk across the gravel driveway without a flinch. Now I keep my feet protected in sensible shoes all the time.
4. I can’t go for a run, even a short one, without it being a production. Must adjust insulin, must check sugar, must carry emergency glucose supply with me. Sometimes, I just want to go for a run in a t-shirt and shorts, no water belt, no snacks stuffed into pockets and no prescribed time or distance. Just run. I have never done that. Not once.
5. Eating when I’m not hungry sucks. Eating when I’m already stuffed from a huge dinner sucks big time. Eating when nauseous is just plain nauseating. I don’t like having to eat when I don’t want to.
6. Even less fun is wanting to eat but discovering a surprisingly high blood sugar and having to wait for it to go down first. My favourite thing in the world to have after a long run is a glass of chocolate milk. A post run high = no chocolate milk for me = not happy.
7. There is a part of me that spends every waking moment trying to figure out how I’m feeling. Not emotionally but physically. I can’t let my guard down. Watching a movie, watching the elite runners race to the finish line at the Boston marathon, giving a speech or making love. It’s hard to be 100% in the moment because a small part of me is constantly assessing and reassessing how I’m feeling. Am I high? Am I low? Climbing? Dropping?
8. One several occasions, I have told someone that I have diabetes and heard “oh, but I thought you were healthy”. I AM healthy damn it. Healthier than lots of people out there who have no chronic diseases. Go for a run with me, cycle up the Niagara Escarpment with me and then see what pops into your head. Diabetes? Probably not. Fit, healthy girl with strong legs - I would hope so.
9. Not knowing if what I’m feeling is me or just the diabetes is frustrating sometimes. Am I really upset about something or is my sugar just misbehaving and making me feel like I am? Am I tired and in need of a nap or is my sugar dropping? I second-guess emotions because I can’t be sure that they’re really mine.
10. I hate that I can actually think of nine things that I don’t like about Diabetes. But I do take comfort in the fact that it took me two days to come up with them. That must mean that I’m not too angry and bitter…right?