I Worry About Us

June 6th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I worry sometimes about most of us.  I worry because I think having diabetes is really difficult and I see people in the “spotlight” that is the internet and I don’t see their struggles as often as I feel my own.

It’s a little hard to describe.

I worry about the people who are lurking around reading blogs and tweets and random snippets of the lives of others with diabetes.  I worry they see the public successes of these few people and feel badly about themselves and their own diabetes.

It’s kind of a mess.

In a lot of ways, I say “congratulations” and “great job” to those people online.  To myself, I often say “oh crap.”

And I’d say I’m one fairly in tune with myself and my disease.  So I extra worry about those who may not be as accepting of the ups and downs of living with diabetes, or even of life in general.

I know people want to point to others as a way to show us we can do it.  Just look at Sue: she’s doing it!  Look at Joe: he’s doing it!  It’s possible!  But sometimes it doesn’t feel like encouragement. 

Sometimes it feels entirely different.

Since diabetes is such a personal disease and it matters who we each are, what we do, when we do it, what insulin or medications we take, what the weather is, how our immune system is working each day, what our hormones are doing, what we eat, etc that it is almost impossible to compare apples to apples

Yet the numbers we deal with (A1cs and regular BGs) are dangerously identical.  Dangerous to us because they promote a very simple comparison between our own numbers and the numbers of complete strangers.

Clearly, I haven’t solved how to tackle this issue in my own life or in the lives of others.  So I do what I can: I recognize it, I think about it, and I do my best for me and my life with diabetes.

And, I worry too.

I hope everyone is able to recognize that a tweet of a number doesn’t tell us a bit of a thing.  It tells us at one moment someone had a certain blood glucose reading.  Or, for one 2-3 month segment of time someone had a certain range. 

It certainly doesn’t tell us who they are or what they are about.

I wouldn’t want to be judged on my numbers alone and I don’t even want to meet anyone who would want to be judged solely on their numbers either.

There is just so much more to us, as people, than a number.

So I’m still going to worry, just for the record.  I’m going to keep worrying about the people who have determined they are either never diabetics or those who have determined they are always diabetics.  I am going to worry for those in denial in either direction, because we each have a lot of living to do and I don’t think anyone can really live when they are busy denying something as big as diabetes. 

I don’t want you to deny your disease, but I don’t want you to be consumed by it either.

We’ve got a whole figurative fruit basket comprising our identities.  Sure, we have apples and oranges, but I’m betting some of us have kumquats and kiwis and dragonfruits and starfruits and pineapples and even a few bananas and peaches, too.

(Or maybe we’re all fruit loops.  I’m not always sure!)

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