I have been inspired by a few PWD (people with diabetes) in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) to write about my diabetes and my mental state by starting with the things people say that hurt as a diabetic. All of these things are paraphrased from what people without diabetes have said to me.
'Either you can't take care of yourself, or you won't."
-Not that simple. Sometimes, even when you do everything you're supposed to, you end up crashing and burning from all kinds of things. Just like everyone else, diabetics are not perfect. And as much research that has been done with diabetes, they still don't have all the answers. Anything can spike or drop your bloods sugar levels, including weather, stress, eating, exercising, your pancreas kicking in to work, too much insulin, and lots of other factors that are a part of every day life that you may have little to no control of.
"Should you be eating that?"
-Yes. We can eat anything you can eat within moderation, usually. And even if we aren't suppose to eat as much of it, we have weak moments too. So back off. People with diabetes have a high chance of eating disorders. If that's the case, this statement does not make anything better.
"Why hasn't your diabetes go away? I knew someone who just dieted and exercised and got rid of it."
-I have type 1. It doesn't go away. And even with type 2, you don't know if the person you know was just pre-diabetic, or maybe even just at risk for it. With some people, it will never go away.
"You're too young [or too old] for diabetes."
-Anyone can get it at any time.
"You're not fat at all. How could you have it?"
-Again, anyone can get it. Weight is only an added risk factor for Type 2. And even then, it doesn't determine if you get it.
"You eat like crap, no wonder you have diabetes."
-This was not my fault, nor was it anyone else's. Type 1 has nothing to do with what you eat or when you eat it. Again, I added to my risk factors, but it doesn't mean I gave myself diabetes.
"I could never do what you."
-Yes you could. I hated needles, unless it was in a tattoo or piercing form. I thought I'd never be able to do it. I never once cared about my weight or what I ate. I drank six sodas a day. Ice cream is my favorite food. I was smoking a pack and half a day until about two months ago, when I started weening myself. (Day 14 without cigarettes-hey hey hey.) When you're told, hey if you don't this, you will die, and make your remaining time pretty miserable, you can pretty much do anything. Granted, there are days I don't want to stab myself 10 times a day. But I remind myself: Today is only temporary.
In 2012, I have pledged to forgive people, and myself, for not understanding or being perfect. I have a big goal. But I can do this.
On a positive note, these are the best things people have said to me. Mostly in the past few weeks, but they have been life savers.
"If diabetes fits into your definition of normal, you are normal!"
-Scott about me wondering if I'm a freak. This guy has a great sense of humor.
"I am so proud of you!"
-My doctor on talking about carb counting and a possible insulin pump coming my way.
"You're doing great."
-My oldest sister when I was worried about giving myself shots.
"You look great for being so sick."
-My mom after I had been in and out of the hospital all week before seeing her.
"I'm here for you wife."
-my Husband who has been "Type Awesome" as Babs says.
"You can contact me on Twitter, Facebook, email, call or text any time.:"
-Jess, a new diabetic friend and possibly a guardian angel. She has pulled members of the DOC to me and me to them, and has forever changed my life.
"You can do this."
Lots and lots and lots of members of the DOC. Thank you, guys.
So, if you're reading and you are a non-diabetic, remember what you say is important. (Well, it is even when you are a diabetic!) No one expects you to know everything or understand everything, but remember to listen when they explain to you how things really are. The next diabetic you run into will appreciate it.
If you have something positive and uplifting to say, never cease to say it!!!! To anyone, any where, any time. I found that if you keep the positives up, they will come back to you.