What is NORMAL?

For the last six months, I have strived to have my life be normal even with my diabetes. I don’t want to be singled out at dinners, restaurants, coffees by friends as the “one with diabetes”. I want to carry on my life as “normal” as possible even though it’s far from “normal” in many ways. Some of the things I do, are to remind my friends that they wear glasses, but I don’t point that out to the waitress…the first time I did, everyone snickered…and then saw how silly it was to tell everyone in town I had diabetes… I do make it to the pool and the clinic to ride bike on time, at the same time…so that they are expecting me…that’s what a normal person would do it they had an exercise class. I do carry some Nutrasweet with me, so that if the places I go don’t have it, I’m safe…but then, moms carry stuff in their purses all the time. The only thing that is different about what I carry with me, is my BS meter…but with all the iphones, i pods, etc, whose going to suspect anything different.

What do you do to try and keep your life “normal”…I’d sure like to hear.

Cathy J

make fun of my kids… and laugh when they make fun of me

Hi Cathy,

I will never say at a restaurant, party or any meal or place where food is served, “I can’t have that, I’m diabetic.” “No Thank You” is the most effective and diplomatic thing I can think of to say. No reason necessary. Once in a while someone gets pushy about eating or trying something I will once again say, No thank you and walk away.

I really do not consider having diabetes abnormal. Yes, I test my blood 2 or 3 times a day and I take meds 2 times a day but the most normal part of having diabetes is it gave me permission to take good care of myself. To get regular check ups, to eat better and exercise regularly.

my best to you


For me Normal is having Diabetes, it’s a part of my life, a big part.
If someone points out to a stranger that I am Diabetic, I find that
a little embarrasing, but just shrug it off. For people I know I just don’t
want them to mention it every 5 minutes, and that they realize that
im OK and can take care of myself, most times. But really there are times
I say that I can’t eat something or can’t eat right now because my sugar is high.
This is my normal I have no choice in the matter. Diabetes adds a challenge to
my life, without it life would be boring and Ho Hum.

Cathy, you’ve brought up a great question. When I was first diagnosed in 2001, I didn’t want people to know that I had diabetes unless I told them. I tested my BG and gave myself injections in the stalls of public bathrooms to keep my condition private. I hated it when people asked why I wore a MedicAlert bracelet (which seems like a pretty rude question, in my opinion). My family and close friends knew about my diabetes, of course, but I didn’t volunteer the information to many others.

Over time, having diabetes has become “normal.” Taking care of myself in the stalls of public bathrooms gradually felt more like I was ashamed of my diabetes rather than keeping it private. Today, I’m on the OmniPod and wear pods on my arms where everyone can see them and don’t mind explaining what it is at all to anyone who asks. Don’t get me wrong . . . when I first wore pods I made sure that no one could see them.

The process of adjusting to my new normal has taken years and years and has been very gradual. At first, i tried hard to seem like everyone else, to seem “normal.” The key word there for me is “seem.” I was more concerned about what others thought of me than I was about taking care of myself and accepting my diabetes.

I hope that my post doesn’t sound like I’m saying “get over it – adjust to your new normal” because that’s not what I mean. I’m simply sharing my own story (as others have done for me through the years) so you can try it on for size and see if it might fit you. We’re all so darn unique. :wink:

Now I’d say that diabetes is a huge part of my life but it doesn’t dominate my life, if that makes any sense. There are still plenty of crappy days when I’d just as soon forget the whole damn thing and act like a “normal” person but then I find support from places like TuDiabetes from people who walk my walk and know what it’s like.

Your mileage may vary, of course. :slight_smile:

I guess for me I don’t care so much about “normal” as I do “balanced.” I got diagnosed late enough in life that I don’t really worry about what others think or compare myself to my peers. I really love the diversity of humans I’ve met in my life in every sense of that word and pretty much find it all interesting! I’ve never felt any sense of shame or stigma but I at times feel isolated by the lack of understanding I see for this disease.

As for the balanced part: In February, having been mis-diagnosed with Type II for a year and a half I started on the search to find why my diabetes was not being managed well. I did a lot of research, and talked to a lot of people here and elsewhere and discovered that I was LADA. That process and the subsequent attempt to get on the right treatment regime obsessed me and took all my time and energy. Learning to manage this disease is a giant learning curve! I needed that degree of obsession then but now I am in a good routine and am working on balancing my life by making sure diabetes doesn’t take up to big a piece of the pie that makes up Zoe (now what’s wrong with that metaphor!!). I’ve worked in behavioral health for many years where we say someone “has schizophrenia” rather than “they are a schizophrenic” to remind people there is more to the person than their disease. So similarly I try and say “I have diabetes” instead of “I’m a diabetic.”

I think you are both right, we adjust to our “normal” in various stages. Diabetes is normal for me right now, but I am sure if there are major changes, like adjusting to the carb thing, there will be periods of new adjustment. Janet, I do really hear you about people not understanding and all the mis information…I really think we as a “nation of diabetics” need to get the word out to people that we are just as normal/sane/fun/happy/sad/mad/glad as anyone else, we just have diabetes, but it doens’t have us. I think Patti LaBelle did us a big favor by pointing that out to people, she performs, and makes life work for her, with her diabetes. YEAH. I am not ashamed of it, I am not worried about it, I am frustrated by the lack of understanding and acceptance. I still know people who will hide in those bathroom stalls, of all sanitary places, to give themselves an insulin shot…how silly. Not that they should whip it out at a dining table, but why do we insist on hiding? I don’t know.

I don’t think one way is right and one wrong, but speaking for myself, I do test and do shots in the bathroom. It is not, however, because I am ashamed or “hiding”. It is because I am private and it feels better to me to do it that way. YMMV

I’m sorry if I led you to believe I think everyone should do their insulin shots in public, that wasn’t my idea.
Of course we are all very private about things, but as I said, it depends on what your needs are…if you feel more comfortable giving your shot to yourself in the bathroom, do it…getting it done is the important thing here. I don’t do shots, yet, so I have no idea how private or how much privacy you need. The people that I know that are type I; think nothing of “shooting” themselves in a more private area of a restaurant or a corner away from everyone else…it’s your shot, please do it where you feel best.