I think being a diabetic is hard work. (Obvious statement, right?) But, I feel like people don't know how much that statement means.
Since being diagnosed in October 2010, I have talked to so many non-diabetics and received a lot of feedback about their views on diabetes. It's easy for them to offer up suggestions or statements to relate. And I appreciate that they want to be in the conversation. My favorite statement is "I hate when people don't take care of their of diabetes, but it's good that you do!" I have such mixed feelings about this statement.
Here's the deal. It's day to day. Some days, it's easier to take care of than others. Some days, I care more than others. Most days, I do exactly what I'm supposed to do-whatever that means.
But some days, I don't check my blood sugar more than twice. Some days, I run out of insulin in my pump because I wasn't prepared, got busy and didn't think to do back up. Some times, I sleep through my pump vibrating because I'm took tired to get up and test. Some days, I forget extra test strips. Some days, I forget my meter. I have yet to leave my pump disconnected when I leave the house, but I don't doubt that some day it will happen. I'm pretty bad about exercising more than my job that keeps me on my feet or playing soccer once a week. I go on spurts of when I wear my CGM. I have no health insurance because it was too costly. I over treat some times because when I feel low, I feel like the world is ending. I go too fast at work some times and don't pay attention to lows because I think my job is more important at that moment. I drink alcohol and some times, I drink more than two in one day. I smoked cigarettes forever because I thought it wasn't that big of a deal. I don't always eat every two hours. Some times, I only eat once a day. I choose french fries some times over veggies. I take the extra bolus when I want dessert. My A1C isn't below 7.0. I wear flip flops, and heels, and walk around barefoot. I get pedicures. I've been bad about Twitter lately, which disconnects me from my DOC to an extent. I haven't participated in DSMA in months because of other life happenings (work, soccer, etc.)
I'm not always the best I can be. But it's hard. Really hard. And I don't want my diabetes to define me. I want to try and control it as much as I can, and give myself some slack when I don't. And I want everyone around me to give me some slack too. I don't need a policeman to tell me how to take care of myself. I don't want you to ask me how my blood sugar is when I check in front of you. I appreciate when people notice I'm shaking or being aggressive to say, have you checked lately? But then, I appreciate they back off and let me check and treat as necessary.
If you tell you know someone that has diabetes, my first thought is, "How can I help?" I connect people with the DOC every day. I just talked to a girl I work with about meeting for lunch with her sister who is struggling to take care of herself right now. I'm not going to try and fix her. But I will listen. I will offer my heart and my ears and anything that I can.
I imagine that it's what everyone wants in any situation. Because, it's all I want.