Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Manage Diabetes When You're Trying to Manage Everything Else

I do everything. I don't sit still. I have lists of things I want to do on paper, on my phone and in my head. I am constantly adding things that aren't necessarily needed to be done, but I would like to accomplish anyway. I sign up for everything, I say yes to everyone. I get overwhelmed when I have too much on my plate but I also get upset when I have too little.  Does this sound like you? Or am I alone on this?

All of this doesn't include managing my diabetes.  I do diabetes on top of all of this.  Not only am I thinking what can I create next? I am also having to count carbs, inject insulin and feel the consequences of my blood sugar (because unless you're superwoman and you're sitting at a nice 5.5 mmol/L all day - I know you're feeling something that isn't 'normal') 

Managing diabetes is HARD! It's so hard. It's not just the blood sugar checks and the insulin - it is everything. So many times I have heard, "checking your blood sugar takes seconds - why is it so hard?" WHY!? Because when I see my friends and family members, they're not having to check their blood sugar, they're not having to inject insulin or sit in front of their food guesstimating the carbs of the casserole - while dealing with diabetes come somewhat natural after a certain length of time - I don't think it ever truly is.  We don't naturally want to do it. Just like it takes some 'umph' to go for a 30 minute workout - it takes some 'umph' to take care of diabetes.

But it isn't just about the diabetes remember. It's that we are busy bees. We are not only living the lives of those who don't have an autoimmune disease, we are also living the lives of a person with an autoimmune disease (if that makes sense...)  Diabetics are normal people who live normal lives. We go to to work, we go to the gym, we join clubs, we attend events, we make dinners, we shop, we attend social gatherings, and we go out to parties.  We are totally normal, we look normal, we act normal, and we are in no way limited by our diabetes. But, we have diabetes. So, while we are doing all those 'normal' things we are also thinking about carbs, about how our body feels, about where to put our insulin pump, about the annoying feeling the pump gives us when it's rubbing against our body. We are thinking about how nice it would feel to eat whatever without consequences. We are counting the carbs, we are measuring the insulin, we are pricking our fingers, we are worrying about if we have packed enough supplies. We are counting our money, checking our balance, figuring out insurance, we are buying supplies that are more expensive than our entire wardrobe. We are second guessing if we took our insulin or not. We are debating on telling people we have diabetes. We are tired but we are managing our diabetes. 

I think like my last post it isn't about being the 'best diabetic in the room' it isn't a competition. It is truly about doing the best you can.   We all manage things in different ways. For example, some of us find working out a great stress reliever, while others find having a nap the best way to relieve stress. Just like diabetes, we find a way to manage is that works for our schedule, our lifestyle and our benefit. People like to judge people for how they choose to manage. But, we have to remember that we all have different things on the go. While I am a busy bee, some not so much - so the way a busy bee manages her diabetes could be completely different from someone who has little on the go.  It isn't about being a good diabetic or not, and it isn't about who manages their diabetes better. There are so many factors involved it's insane to think there is a right and wrong way to go about an autoimmune disease.  

Yes, it takes literally seconds to test your blood sugar - but think about everything else that goes on in those seconds. 


1 comment:

  1. I have to say that one of the things I find hardest about managing diabetes is trying to balance a social life with a medical life. Last night I went out to a bar for a friend's birthday party, and as we sat down to have a light drink, suddenly I felt my blood sugar just PLUMMET. And interrupting the calm and happiness with distorted comments born of low blood sugar, and then getting up to check, and then taking glucose tablets, and then realizing it was time to take my Lantus injection - all of this is just so embarrassing in social situations.