Well, today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day. For whatever reason, I was inspired to Google some new blogs and I was curious if I could find a few from people like me living with Type 1 diabetes. Well, I found more than a few!! I found hundreds. And I also happened to stumble upon the fact that today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day.
Seeing all these people's blogs humbled me. I feel like I try damn hard to take care of my diabetes and be an example of compliance and control. Well, these people put me to shame. Some had A1C's higher than mine, some lower. But they put me to shame because they have a voice. They are speaking out to other diabetics. Shit! I feel downright lazy in comparison.
For those who know me well, I'm sure you've seen me get frustrated with my diabetes. But it's more than that. It's something I live with every moment of everyday. I can't even get hungry without thinking a thousand thoughts of "am I hungry enough for it to be worth eating?" or "is this snack worth taking a shot for" or "why am I hungry? what's my blood sugar?" This stupid disease is a mind-game, it totally gets in your head and messes with you. For example, my dilemma right now is I'm about to run out of syringes. I'm "not allowed" to get anymore for another week because my insurance won't let me refill more than once every 3 months. So with every shot I think, do I have enough needles? Should I throw this one away or save it and use it again? So this week, I'm resorting to using syringes multiple times before throwing them away in order to stretch my supply. Ever been given a shot with a dull needle? Not fun, my friends.
But it's not about the shots. Everyone thinks it's the shots. The number 2 question I get is "how many shots do you take a day?" (The number 1 question I'm asked as a diabetic is "are you allowed to eat that?" That's about the most obnoxious thing and I hear it over and over and over again.) When I tell people the answer (which is 4 or 5 usually) they gasp, act pained and say they could never do that. Damn right they could. I hate when people say that, like I'm better or braver than them. I don't have a choice. And if they had diabetes, they wouldn't have a choice either and you better effing believe they would take shots, prick their fingers, get their blood drawn and do whatever they had to to stay healthy.
Anyway, my point is, the shots don't bother me. They bother everyone else but me (the one who actually takes them). What bothers me is the mind game this disease plays with my head. The symptoms of the highs and lows and never knowing when they will strike (at work is the worst, by the way). If I gave myself the shots and tested by blood sugar and did everything I do now and my health was always kosher (great blood sugars between 80 and 110, wonderful A1C under 6, no symptoms, no highs, no lows, no complications later in life) this disease would be a walk in the park.
But, no. Unlike other chronic diseases, the patient can do exactly what they are supposed to do and never know what their blood sugar will be, never be able to get their diabetes under control and never be able to predict what the future will bring. That's what sucks. I'm testing my blood sugar all the time and I feel like I'm constantly on top of my diabetes. My best A1C ever was 6.1. Usually I run mid-6's. But I want more. I'm sick of the giant swings in blood sugar and the headaches and jitters. But what else can I do other than just keep on keepin' on?
I'm so happy that today is World Diabetes Day. I hope people other than the diabetics in this world actually know about it and care about it. I'm also happy that this day has been recognized by the United Nations. But for me, November 14th doesn't go away. Every day is diabetes day. It follows me everywhere. For me, this isn't a cause. It's my life.
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