Friday, January 27, 2017

The It Could Be Worse Statement

Often times to find light in diabetes, we think of the worst, you know, "well I could have ______ instead of diabetes and that would be worse." While this is totally a way of coping with our diagnosis, this is also a way that our friends, family and strangers phrase our diabetes diagnosis as well.  Raise your hands up if you've been told, "it could be worse."  And, I get that, but here is the problem with the 'it could be worse' statement.

When we think of a diagnosis of diabetes, we think of two things, managing diabetes through frequent blood sugar checks and taking insulin. Seems pretty straight forward. Right?  But, the more you spend time talking to someone with diabetes about their disease, you will quickly learn that diabetes isn't about these two 'simple' steps, rather a complicated mess of things. From the outside, people who love us question why we won't just take another dosage of insulin or check more often. They BEG us to just do something and not destroy ourselves, as if we have simply just given up.  

The problem, of simplifying diabetes, or making it somehow seem like a 'light' and totally 'manageable disease' is that we are drowning those people who live with this disease.  We are telling them that with a few easy steps and some 'harder' work, they to can be living a life of happiness like so-so celebrity who lives a glamorous life with diabetes. But, the reality of what it takes to manage a twenty-four hour/seven day a week disease is incredibly difficult.

As one of my teens from my empowerment once said, "It's hard to manage something you never asked for." And, with any  effort you put towards keeping yourself alive, the strength is admirable.

No disease is easy, no disease is any less than another, all of us who are fighting battles with our own bodies are warriors.


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