Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Will You Hold onto My Diabetes...Just for a Bit?

I started this blog because it was extremely therapeutic to post about my d-life. And it helped to "meet" other people who were going through similar experiences and emotions. But then, I decided to stop all of it. I didn't write. I didn't read. But I wondered about what was going on with all of you. And maybe you wondered if I was okay. And I am--okay, that is.

It just became too much. Too overwhelming. I needed a break. But as you already know--you never get a real break from diabetes. Even if you've got a good handle on it, it's still always there.

When I was first diagnosed, I started out with a pretty great attitude about the whole thing. This came after crying in the doctor's office about how I couldn't have milkshakes anymore, of course. (And yes, I know I can still technically have milkshakes, but I also hate the whole mentality of, "I can eat ANYTHING with insulin on my side!)

Anyway. I tackled that whole diabetes thing. I cut a lot of things out of my diet. I learned a lot about nutrition and carb counting. I learned that being low doesn't mean I get to eat a kit-kat bar. I learned how to use a glucose meter and prick my fingers without hesitation. I learned to say things like, "It's really not that big of a deal" or "You could do it if you had to." I learned to NOT say things like, "Fuck you. I'll eat this if I want to, jerk."

I took a break from my insulin pump because I was tired of hiding the thing in my bra. I was tired of feeling it there, always attached. I was tired of inserting the CGM and having one more thing to stress over and obsess about. I was tired of the beeping and the vibrating and the constant mental calculations.

I've been on shots for a year and I've been doing pretty well (hello, 6.7% A1C). But doing pretty well isn't enough. For the last year, I haven't really learned anything new about managing type 1 diabetes. I've just been plugging along. I've been taking care of myself, sure, but I've also been complacent.

More recently, I went to the diabetes expo in Portland. As weird as it sounds, it re-energized me to learn more about diabetes and the products and tools available for me. I realized that while I was taking a break, I was also scooting diabetes under the rug or shooing it into another room.

For the most part, I pretend my diabetes doesn't exist. I look down and don't say anything when people who don't know me make diabetes jokes (would you joke about any other chronic illness, you assholes?). I give myself shots under tables. I never explain why I can't eat just yet or why I don't want a free company lunch that involves lots and lots of carbs. I live with it every day, but I don't let others live it with me. I don't let them see it because I'm afraid I will turn into the kind of person I don't want to be--the person who thinks, WOE IS ME. I HAVE DIABETES, WAHHHH.

To be honest, I feel that way more than I probably should. And maybe that's because I haven't been exposing that side of me. So maybe it's time for me to get back in the game. Share my ups & downs and read about yours. And maybe by doing that I can be a little bit stronger.


  1. Valarie - good post, I enjoyed the read. I just started my blog and I do it more so I can talk to myself and maybe someone will see it and understand and maybe not but at least its not on Facebook where all my other family and friends look at it and say "what the fuck is doug talking about again?" I am open about my diabetes, when I talked about getting a pump I remember someone saying "things are that bad?" and I just thought "you idiot, I either pump it into me or I take a shot, which method would you prefer?

    My blog is salguodmai.blogspot.com or something like that, not quite sure but feel free to check it out. I recently started running(last couple years) and so I'm connecting with folks to ensure other PWD know they can live life w/o worrying about all the stuff that could go wrong and manage and things will be prevented from going wrong.

  2. Hey - great post. That's me right there - never test or inject so anyone can see. I'd say just recently I started to be more like - whatever, gotta do what I gotta do... But I know what you mean about hiding it from most people.. Cute puppy - Weimeraner mix?>