What exactly is it…

What is it that I hate so much about Diabetes?

I spend a fair amount of time and energy being angry about diabetes. There is a lot of raw emotion there. There are a lot of feelings of it being unfair, of it being hard to do well. There is a lot of vague fear or worry about what is in store for me later in life.

But I have recently started to wonder, what exactly is it that I hate so much about diabetes? Why does it bother me so much on some days, and what exactly am I so mad about?

foggyIs it a tangible thing? Is it some physical thing that I can touch and feel? Something real? Or is it all of the intangible emotions that go along with a chronic condition? Might I be better able to cope with it all if I can identify what exactly is going on?

There is a lot of work that has to be done when trying to manage diabetes well. We all know that. Some days it feels like it is just too much. But what feels like too much? What is it that pushes those frustration buttons?

There are days where you feel like crap. You have some highs or lows that literally wipe you out. They take you down and hold you there until they’ve had their way with you.
Sometimes they are unavoidable. They just happen.

What is so frustrating about those is the fact that life does not slow down and wait for you. Most of the time you have to find a way to push through whatever difficulties you are having.

How many of you have been at work, with a high blood sugar for whatever reason, the blood in your veins feeling as thick as molasses. Feeling so very tired. Every blink feels like there are magnets trying to keep your top & bottom eyelids together. You would give anything to just sleep until your insulin brings that high blood sugar back down.

Frustrated because it will take HOURS for that to happen, and you have so much to do.

Or how about being bitten with a ripping low blood sugar during a meeting or an important phone call? I consider that one to be a very tangible frustration.

There are financial frustrations too. I am very fortunate to have health insurance, and I am thankful for it. But there is still a very real financial burden to deal with for supplies and medicine. I know that there are many of you out there who simply can’t afford to get what you need for optimal care.

How about other aspects of that financial piece such as the denial of private life insurance or disability coverage?

Is it the fact that we have to plan and prepare for everything? We have to do our best to anticipate everything that might happen and be ready for it? Most of the time that is not too hard – or maybe we’re just getting good at it. So much practice you know…

Is it the ever present fear of future complications? It’s like a big storm cloud always on the horizon. We all do our best to stay clear from that storm, but what if it’s not good enough? What if we are not trying hard enough? And just how fierce will that storm be? Will we be able to deal with it?

There are almost always a bunch of extra hoops for us to jump through. Little things like time for medical appointments, or needing to take a little extra time to prepare for an outing. The work involved in making those preparations mentioned above.

We have to be so damn conscious of the food we eat. Even if the dietary choices are not the best, we still need to know how many carbs we are eating. I think that is the hardest part for me. Not hard as in difficult, but rather just the fact that I need to count (or try to count) every damn thing! I hate it.

Another aspect of things that gets to me often is the fact that I did everything “right” and didn’t get the result I was expecting. Two plus two does not always equal four.

After almost 27 years, I know that it doesn’t always work like that, but it still makes me mad every time. It feels like a slap in the face.

I look at my average day to day stuff, and in the big picture it’s really not that bad. But maybe it’s the fact that it’s day-to-day, everyday, forever and always, that makes it hard to bear.

What is your story? What is it that you really hate about diabetes? Have you come to a point where you are able to healthily deal with it all mentally? How?

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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…