Tuesday, November 16, 2010

World Diabetes Day: The Late Edition??

I know, I'm a week or so late for the diabetes blogathon, and I know that I have not blogged since July (?!?! Really!!?!). I DON'T know what my deal is. I'm in a slump of sorts. I've been trying to figure it all out for months.

Maybe it's because before I got pregnant, I didn't really have a good diabetes routine. I didn't focus much on it. I checked here and there and bolused along those same lines, but it wasn't a focus for me. It was just there, and I had to deal with it to function, but it was certainly not a priority.

It was certainly not the priority it became once I was pregnant... maybe the better term would be obsession. I obsessed over it. I checked 25 times/day the first two days I found out I was responsible for another life. I cried when I had blood sugars of 130 for more than 30 minutes and I checked my CGMS every 10 minutes, at least, even when I settled down a bit. It was easy, though. Well, not easy, but it was worth it. All of the time, dedication, the finger pricks, the huge CGMS needles, the site changes... all of it was so worth it. It was for her. So why can't I do it for ME?

Well, here are my 6 things I'd like for you to know about diabetes, and they do all somewhat run together, but here they are:

1. There are no real rewards.

Sure, living, and especially living without complications, is a reward. But it isn't tangible. It isn't like we get a gold star or a tootsie roll at the end of a hard day's work. And even then, it isn't a guarantee. Even if I do everything I should, I could still have complications, and diabetes could still kill me.

I think that is why it was easy when I was pregnant...I was working toward a goal, a very tangible, perfect little reward. But now, and before? Well, I am already living, and shouldn't that just be a given? That I get to continue living, without having to FIGHT for it every.second.of.every.day...

2. It doesn't stop and it will never end.

...Diabetes is all day, every day, there are no breaks, and there are no vacations; the further you try to run, the harder it will hit you. There is no escape. It's always on my mind. I'm always calculating, wondering, and waiting. I never know when my next low will hit me, when the next time I'll be shaking all over, unable to focus or think clearly, covered in sweat, and faced with the fear that this may be the one that gets me...

3. It is scary.

...This may be the one that knocks me unconscious, the one that I'll never wake up from. The one that will leave me helpless, and maybe I'll have my daughter with me, or maybe I'll be alone. Or maybe it won't be that quick, maybe it will just debilitate me, leave me blind, or require amputations, or dialysis... These are not always conscious thoughts and I certainly don't live in fear... but the reality is always there, no matter how deep I try to bury it, and that reality won't go away, no matter how hard I try...

3. It is HARD.

...To do well is far from easy. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of thought and calculation. You have to always be on your A game, never slacking or losing track. There is no mindless snacking, or getting too busy to eat. Things that other people take for granted are the things that keep us alive. One wrong move, one guesstimation that is off can send us spiraling out of control. So we have to be determined, and dedicated and check check check to make sure we're on track, but that is no guarantee that we will be. No matter how hard we try, there is no such thing as truly getting it right...

4. I'm never in control and I'll never really get it right.

...Even when we're at our best, we're always susceptible to things going wrong: bad sites, bad insulin, wrong calculations, getting sick, and the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as total control. We are never really in control of anything... Diabetes always has the one up. So sometimes I just don't feel like fighting it anymore. What's the point if it's a losing battle, if it's a battle I can't win...

5. The fight is worth it and despite it all, I am truly happy.

...I guess the thing is, I'm not in it to win it. I'm in it to keep fighting, and it isn't a losing battle, just a continuous one. Life isn't guaranteed, diabetic or not, but every day I get to spend with my daughter, and my husband, and my family, it's worth it. That IS my reward, and they are certainly tangible. So what if the fight doesn't end, who said having somthing to fight for was a bad thing? It keeps me on my toes but it doesn't take away from my happiness. I have so much to live for and couldn't ask for more out of life. I don't want anyone's pity or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't need that, because, I'm okay. I'm truly happy. If given the option to remove diabetes from my life, would I take it? Yes. In a heartbeat, but then I would never have come to appreciate the value of a good fight, or the million other lessons that diabetes has taught me, and I certainly would not understand how close the bond can be between people who have never even met, but who rely on each other for support...

6. Together, we are strong.

I have never known a more powerful group of people than the group of diabetics that we have in our online community. I am proud to be a member, and even when I feel weak, I can feel the strength of our group and know that it will be okay; we may fight our own individual battles, but we also fight together... and that is powerful, and to me, having that kind of support, makes having diabetes a breeze (most days!).

9 comments:

meanderings said...

What a great list!
And yup, thanks to our D-OC friends, we will persist in our optimism to do our best.

Layne said...

GREAT post Suzanne! So true and articulate. I've been wondering how you and the baby are doing. Hope everything is going great! Expecting my little girl soon and I can't wait!!!

The Newlyweds said...

Thank you so much for commenting and finding my blog. Congratulations on your precious daughter! Yeah, this diet is insane and honestly, I'm able to stick to it 100% about 50% of the time.
As you saw my last A1c was 7.9 and have always been in the 7-8s. I read one blog post where you had gotten down to 8.4...what was your A1c when you got pregnant? I'm really glad to see all you diabetic mommies because my doctors have gotten my so scared about pregnancy :( I look forward to following your blog :)

Anonymous said...

What a great post...you really summed it up. I read your posts while you were preganant, and wished I could get those feelings back from when I was pregnant. Those were the two times in my almost 30 years of having diabetes where I took excellent care of myself- there's something about doing it for someone else - just more tangible I guess. Hang in there, and thanks for the post - sometimes all I need is to know I'm not the only one having these feelings and there are others out there just like me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Thoughts!

Laura said...

So well said Suzanne! It's just so hard to do it all! There is something so comforting in reading your post and knowing I'm not the only one with these struggles.. So thank you for this one! xo

Anne said...

Hi Suzanne,

Thank you for this honest and inspiring list. I think you paint the real picture here and offer some great advice on how to cope with the condition.

I am working with a well known brand to build a vibrant community to help spread the word about diabetes and a healthy lifestyle. It would be great if you could join our community to help educate, inform and converse with those living with Diabetes.

If you would like to learn more about this and help us spread the word about diabetes awareness, please send an email to info@atomicreach.com

Thanks,
Anne

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