I’ve been mulling on this blog post since last Friday. Eight entire days, I’ve been debating writing what I’m really thinking, no holds barred. It’s been keeping me awake at night, niggling in the back of my mind, gnawing at my every thought. And I finally decided that I need to write this blog post for one reason: I started this blog to raise awareness, whether that be general type 1 awareness for strangers or helping people I know personally be more aware of their actions and judgments.
So here goes.
Diabetes is my best friend.
It is also my worst enemy.
Last Friday, I caught wind of a conversation about me that had taken place where it was stated that “diabetes has become Abby’s best friend.” It was stated in such a way as to imply that I cling to my disease and maybe even go so far as to suggest that I enjoy being diabetic.
Now let me stop here and put a disclaimer: this post is NOT attacking anyone. No, not even the person who said the above sentence. I’m using this as the basis of informing and debunking myths. Okay, lets continue.
Anyone who truly knows me knows that I LOATHE diabetes. I would not even dream of wishing type 1 diabetes on my worst enemy. It is a vile, destructive, painful, depressing, isolating, and infuriating condition that I had absolutely NO CHOICE in developing. I did nothing to bring it upon myself. It isn’t preventable. It currently has no cure.
In order to maintain ideal A1C levels (a number that tracks what your average blood sugar over a 3 month period) it requires 24/7/365 vigilance.
It requires breaching the skin on my fingers to obtain a blood sample 6-8 times per day.
It requires knowing and keeping track of every single gram of carbohydrate, fat and protein that passes through my lips.
It requires planning meals around exercise and exercise around meals.
It requires carrying emergency supplies of every kind and training your friends on what to do and how to use them if a situation arises.
It requires bathroom trips at 3am when you’re high and juice boxes at 4am when you’re low.
It requires not sleeping through the night – ever.
It requires self-dosing a medication that can kill you.
Diabetes is literally 24/7. I spend more time doing diabetes-related things than I do spending time with my husband. It’s every moment of every day. The moment I let myself forget I’m diabetic, everything goes haywire.
Diabetes REFUSES to be ignored.
Maybe I’m checking my Dexcom every five minutes at church because I’m hovering right on the threshold of a high I’ve been fighting to keep at bay the entire day. Maybe I’m digging a smashed, half-eaten candy bar out of the bottom of my purse in Walmart because I overbolused for my lunch and its the only food I have on me.
I do what I have to do to survive. I will never apologize for that.
During the conversation it was also stated that “If Abby really wanted to be healed, she could be.” I’m only going to dedicate two paragraphs and a photo collage to this sentence: I attend a church that believes in miraculous healings. I believe it is possible to be healed. However, I do NOT want to be healed unless ALL diabetics are healed. I pray every day for ALL type 1 diabetics to be healed. So that means I want a cure. If I were to miraculously be healed, how could I possibly live and be happy knowing that so many others are still suffering?
Be conscious of what you say about something you have zero or minimal personal of understanding of. Again, this post isn’t meant to attack anyone but rather to raise awareness and make people think twice about what they think and say. Your comments can be more hurtful than you realize. If someone in my life doesn’t understand why I do something I do, ASK me rather than pass judgment and gossip about me. I am always more than happy to explain, demonstrate, etc.
So yeah, I guess diabetes is my best friend. Because I do not have a choice.