Some thoughts on my life with diabetes

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday that made me think. We haven’t talked in a while, so I never got around to tell her about my diagnosis, but I was pretty sure she already knew through mutual friends. People talk and that is fine by me, I don’t keep my diabetes a secret. Any attempt would be futile at best, because it’s such an integral part of my everyday life.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this: ‘I don’t know if you’ve heard…’ ‘Yes, could it be you’re sick?’

And I surprised myself, because my first impulse was to say ‘No, I’m not sick!’. And that’s true in a way. I certainly don’t feel sick, in fact I’m probably in better health than a lot of my friends. To me a sickness is something like a cold, you feel bad for a few days and then you get over it. But I do have diabetes and I never will.

And that is the reality of life with a chronic disease. I like to think that I’m dealing well, but I don’t think I’ve quite grasped all the implications of it half a year after diagnosis. I got used to all the new things like testing, the injections and the number juggling, they are routine by now.

It’s the confrontation with familiar things that suddenly make diabetes real for me. Like going to my favorite Mexican restaurant and not being able to eat the things I’ve had a million times before, because I don’t know how to bolus for them. These rare moments make me a bit sad. It feels like mourning for the days when I just didn’t have to care about carbs, insulin or blood sugar levels. But there is no anger (maybe there will be in the future) and the sadness passes quickly.

So life is good and I enjoy the things I do, my research, this community and the friends I have. Everybody around me has been very supportive, asking lots of questions and in the case of a good friend even counting carbs for me. And at the end of the day, I feel like a lot of things changed in my life, but the really important things are still there and always will be.

I totally understand about the sick part. My Daughter was diagnosed a few weeks ago. When I told the few people I did. They all said i am sorry she is sick. I was a bit confused, because I really didn’t feel that she was sick. Just had something that we had to deal with several times a day that made her different. But the truth is that she is sick and it could and probably will be more sick on day. I hope and pray that she sticks with the diet (bad word) of counting her carbs and eating way more healthy.
I guess there is no good way of dealing with it, be it being sick or not feeling sick.
Good Luck, and I hope that things are going well with you.
C.

Thank you for your kind words. How old is your daughter? I imagine a diagnosis as a child or teenager is harder. Growing up is difficult enough as it is and suddenly you’re different from everyone else…

Have faith, you are an intelligent person that cares about their health, and you will always do what is best for you. It won’t always be smooth, but you will always be able to handle whatever comes your way. Life goes on and it becomes a part of us, but we don’t become a part of it, this is just something we manage to live with.

I was in a diabetic support group (run by a non-diabetic) and was asked “when did you get sick?” The question just didn’t make sense to me. I’m not sick, a feature of my body dictates that I need to live a certain lifestyle.