LIVING with Diabetes Group I BLog


There’s living with diabetes. There’s living with DIABETES. There’s living WITH diabetes. . . . . I suppose I could go on with the myriad possibilities I’ve been pondering in the last several months. It’s fair to say that while diabetes and I have wrestled in the ring for 31 years, up until recently I’ve lived with diabetes.

Let me explain: I’ve come to believe that living, living well, as a person with diabetes requires a zen-ish outlook on life. While diabetes has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember (did I ever not give shots?), I paid it no mind. If I ignored it, then it didn’t really exist, and, if it didn’t exist, then I was like everyone else. Never mind that in my attempts – or lack thereof – to live this way, I was farther from normal than I knew. Diabetes was my imaginary friend and no one else could or would know.

Days, months, years went by, and the living-with-diabetes plan kept me going. Intellectually, I knew that this lack of a plan was really not the best of plans. Actually, it was the best of plans and the worst of plans since I really sat back and did, well, nothing; no responsibilities. Not knowing anyone else with diabetes, I had no diabetes compass. So it all seems like a blur, this living with diabetes.

The turning point was my mother’s death from ovarian cancer. My parents had never been the hovering types. Raw, honest truth was that they were not very involved with my “care.” I’m not sure at what point I realized I was angry about this little item, but upon my mother’s death, the anger rose up like a green monster and consumed me. I would call that my living with DIABETES stage; outward anger and the sudden (?) realization that I did, after all, have a chronic illness and I couldn’t go on pretending as if. Well, I COULD go on pretending as if, but I did know that while that had worked thus far, luck always runs out when we least expect it.

That was three and a half years ago. My so-called diabetic life is completely different since learning to live WITH diabetes; to acknowledge its existence and its impact on mine. While it’s not always at the forefront of my daily life, I am always aware that’s it’s there. Oddly enough to me, this acceptance has opened up my world rather than shrinking it. I’ve opened up myself to others living WITH the diabetes. I’ve laughed and cried over the things I’ve discovered. I’ve become a pumper. I’ve become a more complete me having accepted this piece of myself that I always denied. I’ve learned that life can be something resembling normal. Whatever that is.


So Kimberly, when does one actually pass from living WITH diabetes to LIVING with diabetes? I always THINK I’m taking that step, but I somehow seem to always either fall into a crack on my way, or go for the scenic route. Can I give myself credit for half a step? Certainly reading about other people’s journeys helps. I think I now have a better picture of where I WANT to be!