Recently I've realized that sometimes I just can't tell people the ugly truth, even when I really, really want to. For example, those days when everything that can go wrong does diabetes-wise (like running out of strips, highs and lows that won't quit, etc) and someone asks "How's it going?" What I really want to do is launch into a rant about how I'm a woman on the verge who really just wants to flush her meter and call it a day. And yet. . . . I can't, or anyway, I don't.
Another classic is when someone finds out for the first time that I'm diabetic and they say something like "How do you give yourself shots?! That must really suck?" I won't bother to go into how it drives me nuts when people comment on how they couldn't give themselves shots. Like I choose to do it. Like I'm the brave soul who stepped up, sacrificed myself and opted to take the diabetes so that some other schmuck who didn't like giving themselves shots could be spared from it?!?! WTF?? But I digress . . . Some days I do want to say YES!! I do hate this crap. Yes!! This does suck. And then I would lauch into a diatribe of all the stuff that drives me up a wall. It would be very cathartic, really.
But I don't. I smile and say "it's not fun but I'm used to it, blah, blah, blah." That's kinda what people expect to hear, after all. They expect a brave front from folks in general. It's kinda like the "How are you doing?" question. What does everyone say? "Fine." And if you say anything else you are usually met with polite tolerance, at best. People want simple and they want happy. They do NOT want the truth. Especially when it comes to something like diabetes, something they really don't understand to begin with. They want to hear that I'm okay, I'm brave, I'm used to it and I don't feel any different from anyone else despite my diagnosis.
But sometimes that's just not the truth. Some days it's really hard to pretend that I don't see the differences between me and everyone else. To feel bitter that those around me have an advantage. That there is life beyond and even without diabetes. There are people who don't have to worry about using their last needle and not realizing it until it's too late. They don't have to worry about getting low in the middle of work and scrambling to find a snack. They don't have to angst over whether to get that really yummy carb-laden non-virgin drink because really it's a choice between temptation versus blood-sugar hell. And then having friends ask why didn't you get that yummy drink you were drooling over? Again, I can't tell them the real answer because then I either sound like I'm making excuses or make them feel bad about asking in the first place. And mostly it just sucks on those days when it dawns on me that the vast majority of folks don't deal with the crap that I do. That my normal isn't their normal. That my normal could be better, calmer, less stressful if it weren't for my stupid pancreas being all effed up.
I'm exaggerating, of course. I don't know for sure that people would make a face, turn and run if I told them the "truth." But I'm assuming most don't really wanna hear it. Because it's hard to hear stuff like that and, honestly, would they even understand if I did go into it? I can always talk to my husband. He's really good about understanding that I have those days when it gets to me and I need to vent. But what about the times when I feel like having a diabetes-related conniption and I'm at work or out with friends. And I just feel like I can't talk about it. Not only do they just not get it but it kinda feels like whining.
I think that's the heart of it. If I say it's all okay then I'm brave and strong and whatever. But if you catch me on a bad day? Can I say no really, it sucks? I've actually had people say to me after they've seen me wince from a shot, "So you still feel those? I figured you'd just be used to it by now." Well, um, NO! I mean it's not the end of the world but occassionally those suckers hurt like hell. So allow me to utter certain choice expletives or screw up my face funny when a stinger catches me by surprise!!
I know most people figure I've had it so damn long I should just be used to it. And most days I am. But guess what? I'm human and the frustration, unfairness and the overall suckage of the situation gets to me every now and then. But I also wonder if saying so would make me sound like a complete and total baby. I feel like venting would be a sign of weakness. As a kid, I was allowed to be bummed about diabetes. But as an adult? Who's had it for 18 years? Is it kosher to still be bummed? To still have down days? Will people get it when I do and not think I'm a huge wimp who just needs to get over it? Who knows?
I'm starting to think maybe I care too much about what other people think. But on the other hand, most everyone out there wants people to understand where they are coming from. So I'm just putting that out into the universe. It's just a rant but it's also something I've been thinking about lately. Otherwise, I've been okay on the diabetes front. Had some insurance issues that were driving me bonkers but that was balanced with an A1C that I was pretty stoked about. (6.5!! YAY!!)
Over and out,
4 days ago