Heavy Stuff

July 5th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Just because I do a lot with my diabetes doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I don’t let it stop me, but it absolutely tries to, several times every day. 

Over the past few years I have started to share more of the basics of living with diabetes than I have in the past.  I think part of that is growing up some more, and some of it has to do with the fact it feels like I’m putting down more roots than I have in the past. 

I had a friend in my first year of law school say to me that she knew we would be friends for a long time, so she wanted to learn more about my diabetes.  A year later she said it was still a lot to learn! 

I don’t ever want to shy away from explanations, yet sometimes it feels like maybe I’m not getting my point across.  I feel kind of badly when I only explain part of something, but that’s the only way to do it.  There is simply too much information and too many factors to ever explain what it’s like to live with insulin dependent diabetes.  I spend some time explaining something and when the other person repeats it back to me, I smile and say “yes; most of the time” or “yes; when it works” or “yes; at least for a while until it changes.”

There are so many aspects of living with diabetes that really do require an adaptation of an additional sense to manage it.  I’m always factoring in my last reading, the reading before that, what I ate, what I did, what insulin I took, and on and on and on just to come up with a number where I think I’m at.  Then comes the actual checking (most of the time) and doing something about it (some of the time) or setting a mental note to remind myself to do something in the future (the hardest part, for me) and resuming the rest of my life.  Then it starts all over again, and the cycle repeats several times throughout the day and night. 

So sometimes I miss something in a conversation, or I come across a little scatterbrained, or I have to take a moment to remember what day of the week it is.  I have to remind myself that not everyone has to manually function for their pancreas like I do.

(And this is all when my numbers are in range; the swings are another thing altogether!!)

My weekend this weekend involved a few conversations that were oddly juxtaposed in my mind for some reason.  My sister hadn’t understood that I was applying for a service dog for my own disease and what and how I could benefit from having a service dog accompany me everywhere.  I also had a friend ask me if the 142 meter reading I posted to Facebook was a “good” number or what the numbers even really mean.  I also walked to a neighborhood fun run yesterday and had only factored in my insulin for the run itself, not for the 20 minute walk to the start line, so my numbers weren’t where I wanted them for the run.    

I can understand why we often keep our diabetes to ourselves.  It’s a huge thing to live with diabetes and when it feels like someone doesn’t understand, or that someone else could have seen something coming (like the walk to the start line) because they only see a small portion of the disease and not the entire thing, it somehow makes the disease feel heavier to carry.

At least it did for me over the past few days. 

I’m not sure what exactly I can do about that, either.  I’m sure I don’t ever want to not respond to a question.  I’m also sure that I want my family members to have enough of an understanding so that they realize, deep down, that diabetes is a serious disease and it’s through my determination and hard work that I do as well as I do. 

I also want to spend more time with others with insulin dependent diabetes.  THAT is something I know makes my disease feel lighter to carry.  No explanations.  Some sharing, but the rest of the time just being.  Because we all understand that we each are truly doing our best to function with so many variables and oddities and just plain screwey things that happen that it’s amazing most days we can make it through the day without yelling or crying or screaming (or all three).

Go us, working so hard.  We rock.

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1 comment

  1. Auntly H says:

    Thank you for this post. You’ve articulated so much of what’s been on my mind lately. (including that I’m considering applying for a service dog, too!)

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