It’s a double edged sword

swordBeing charged with managing diabetes is a double edged sword.

On one hand it’s very fortunate that we are able to take measures into our own hands rather than being completely at the mercy of a doctor or clinic.

But on the other hand, that’s a lot of responsibility to deal with. And what if I don’t feel like taking care of diabetes in addition to the “regular people” stuff that is always going on. You know, raising kids, paying bills, working to pay bills, dealing with the little daily emergencies that pop up, etc.

It sometimes seems like a lot to be working on. Overwhelming. Intimidating. Frustrating.

And with it being up to you – who is to blame when things go wrong? Yep, you got it. At least that’s what the perception is. Self perceived or otherwise.

Don’t you ever just want to not be in charge? To take a break from all the responsibility? I know I do.

There are days that I feel very fortunate that I (am supposed to) have the ability to “control” or “manage” my diabetes. There are days where it is easier than others, and there are days where nothing is working right, despite my best efforts.

There are also days where I just don’t give a shit. Where I’m just downright tired of it all, and do just enough to avoid a disaster – but even that seems like more than what I want to do.

But who is to blame when those “screw it” days inflict some lasting damage? Myself. You can’t cheat mother nature, no matter how much you want to stick your head in the sand and wish it all away.

Coming to terms with things is a big task. Figuring out how to keep marching on through the frustrations, inconveniences and obstacles that get in your way. How to manage it all without getting burned out or wore down.

When even doing things that are good for us, like exercise, wreak havoc on our blood sugars.

I don’t have the answers yet, and this month marks 26 years of (not?) dealing with it. Will I ever figure it out? Can it be “figured out”? This makes me think of the discussion around Sandra’s post that brought up “mastering diabetes”, and the great discussion on the same topic over at Caro’s “Diabetes Wise” site. I really got a lot out of both posts and the great discussions that ensued. I think the consensus was that diabetes can’t ever be completely “figured out” or “mastered”, but the key is to find that balance where you are doing the best you can without having diabetes completely control your life. The place where you are happy.

And maybe that is why it sometimes frustrates me so much – because you can’t just get it handled or figured out once and for all, then cross it off your “to do” list like a weekly chore or project. It keeps demanding attention. All the time.

Will I find that balance that seems so elusive? Who knows. But I know I have to at least keep looking – keep working towards that balance. I may not ever get to where I want to be, but every step closer to it, is a step in the right direction.

I also want to acknowledge that it was a year ago today that my mom passed. I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday and this month also marks 26 years of diabetes. I was an emotional wreck yesterday, and my birthday was tough to deal with. But I also know that my mom would want me to have a happy day, and that is why she fought to hang on until the day had officially passed.

I called my dad to talk with him and it made me feel better. I wanted to share with him how much I love him and how much I appreciate him being who he is and the positive influence he has had on my life. When I tried to talk about it I got all choked up and couldn’t spit it out right. And when I got some of it out we both got all choked up.

I know he reads this so – “Dad – I love you very much, and I appreciate everything you have done for Laurie and I, and the sacrifices you and mom made for us. You have had a very positive influence on me. I feel that you and mom did (and continue to do) a very excellent job raising the two of us. We are as proud of you and mom as you are of us. You and mom did such a good job of helping me learn to be responsible of my diabetes, making sure I never felt limited in life due to it, and helping me to develop a positive outlook. It continues to make a difference to me. Thank you.”

I could have never gotten all that out without breaking down a bit. I know it’s not the same as saying it in person, but I hope it’s enough for now.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…