I like to read all the comments here. It is good and helpful to have a good attitude, but it is also important to have a place to vent. Hopefully someone can relate and help, or at least understand.
Thanks for this Erin. I agree completely!
Since being diagnosed in Nov 2008, I’ve visited many diabetes forums… and honestly, I find the same thing everywhere. Huge amount of negativism. I have left boards because of this, and have come close to leaving this board. But I’m feeling more positive myself lately, and have instead decided to try to spread some positive feelings instead.
I also talk to real live diabetics, people who are controlling their numbers and in great health. Like you, many of them find it no big deal. There’s a lot of worse stuff out there to have. We are thankfully living in an age where this disease is controllable.
My husband said something to me last night about the “hardships” we’ve been going through since my diagnosis. I looked at him and said “hardship? what hardship?” Diabetes is a hassle. I would rather not take all these meds, I don’t like exercising every freakin’ day, and there are plenty of nights I’d rather order a pizza than make a healthy dinner. But all that stuff, it’s just a hassle. It’s inconvenient. It’s not a hardship.
I don’t think I could have said it better, Maureen. Everyone’s path with this is different. Some people have occasional bad days, but otherwise fare well. Others don’t, and I know that the “pull yourself up by your boot straps” lecture is generally an ineffective and insensitive approach - having been on the receiving end of it for almost 20 years. As Maureen said, people’s resources vary, both external resources like family support, workplace support, medical coverage, and internal resources that are informed by mood, sense of self, sense of self-efficacy, etc.
And I like what George said, one man’s pebble is another man’s boulder.
Maybe you think dying of cancer is worse, but that’s your opinion, not a matter of fact. I wouldn’t want to be dying of cancer either, but that doesn’t make diabetes any easier to live with. I love to share something I read a few years ago about a group of kids, some with D and some with cancer. The kids with D were grateful to have D because they wouldn’t want to stay inhehospital and get chemo or radiation. The kids with cancer were grateful to have cancer, not D, because they wouldn’t want to have to take injections, watch everything they eat and deal with an illness for a lifetime. From their perspective, their row to hoe was intense, but at least it wasn’t life-long. Neither come with a guaranteed outcome either, even for people who toe the line. Both illnesses are miserable for different reasons, and you can’t browbeat people into believing their illness is less burdenesome than other illnesses.
All that being said, if discussions where people are expressing how frustrated they feel, how burdened they feel, how depressed they feel, how angry they feel are upsetting or frustrating or feel irrelevant to your personal experience, there’s no need to judge those people there or elsewhere. Just let them be, let them experience and express their feelings, and when they’re ready to see the upside of D, it will become clear to them, not because you pointed it out, but because they found it on their own.
It drives me nuts and makes me want to pull my hair out… I’ll have it etched on the stone that marks my ultimate place of rest. “Diabetics shouldn’t judge other diabetics”. Just because we all have diabetes doesn’t mean we experience it the same.
Yes a positive attitude is a plus. My brother died with totally rotten feet from poorly controlled diabetes but was still smilling. The story of the cancer patient is an inspiring story.
My own experience with diabetes has not been fun. It is a much less intense agony than the cancer patient for sure but spread over many more years. Nietszche said that what does not kill you makes you stronger. That would be good if it were true. But I think even a low intensity agony wears you down of the long run. Like the Vietnam war it becomes less and less fun as time goes by.