This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
My entire life this question has incited a deep festering volcanic eruption of rage within me. Any non-diabetic reading this is probably confused as to why such an innocent question could result in so much anger.
Well, it’s probably because nine times out of ten the question is rooted in suspicions based upon mood, attitude, and behavior. I’m being upset, snappy, snarky, or otherwise in a bad mood, so oh, my blood sugar must be high.
Yeah, because it absolutely couldn’t be for any other normal reason, right?
I’m acting loopy, lethargic, stumbling, slow to react, weepy, etc. My blood sugar must be low.
Yeah, because it couldn’t be that I’m wasted or high, right? Ok, ok, you got me on this one, it’s much more likely that I’m low…
Growing up I was always high. It’s no secret. I’m open about my past behavior of being rebellious and not even trying to take care of myself. So it was a regular assumption to everyone who knew me that I was high. This only proved to send me deeper into hopelessness and depression and self-loathing. And whenever someone asked me what my BG was or how my BG’s were doing I responded by exploding in anger because the only way I knew how to take the question was that the person was being accusatory and pointing out my failure.
Blood sugar numbers are usually instinctively kept close to the chest by the diabetic. In my own personal experience this is caused by the fact that most type 1’s are diagnosed in childhood and most parents, fearing for their child’s health and well being, become over protective and almost militaristic in the control of blood sugar numbers. Many children become paranoid when their BG is too high or too low and feel immense guilt and shame over their numbers.
But the fact is it is impossible for a type 1 diabetic to have perfect numbers all the time. If we did then we wouldn’t be diabetic!
Any non-diabetic never knows what their BG is at any given time. A diabetic must check many times a day and keep a log of it. It’s almost like taking your deepest most sensitive secret and hanging it out for the whole world to see 4 to 8 times a day.
And the shame can potentially be the heaviest burden you’ve ever had to carry…every single day of your life.
And the sad thing is, none of it is your fault! You didn’t do this to yourself! You didn’t ask for it! You have no reason to feel guilty!
But you do…
I thought I was over my reactions of anger when asked how my BG is. I thought, because I’ve been doing good at bringing my BG down now days, that I was actually proud and wanted and hoped to be asked what my BG is at any given time.
I was wrong.
Just a few days ago I was feeling down because, once again, my BG’s have been outrageously high for no known reason. It’s like my insulin just didn’t want to work (despite taking 2k mg of Metformin a day on top of injecting tons of insulin). Or more accurately, my body didn’t want to use the insulin. I just wanted to curl up in a corner and hide from myself and the world.
I checked my BG that evening, it was very high. As I was walking past my hubby he heard my pump administering insulin, so nonchalantly and very innocently (pure curiosity and caring of his wife) he asked me “How’s your blood sugar?”
I promptly snapped, “None of your business, if I want you to know I’ll tell you!” Or something of the like.
I was instantly surprised at myself, and brought to the reality of my attitude by the utter look of hurt and confusion on my husbands face. It had been a very long time since I had reacted in such a way to that question.
“It’s high, really high.” I said in shame and frustration. “I’m dealing with it.” I turned and walked away in self-defeat…
Or more accurately, defeated by diabetes…again.
BTW, current BG is: