The incessant need to "manage" my diabetes chips away at my energy, no doubt. Sure, there are good days when I can't imagine letting it stand in my way. But there are plenty of bad days, too, when I may look and feel "OK," even while I'm partially falling apart on some level.
So how do I explain this apparent paradox to other people? How do all of YOU deal with the fact that "you don't look sick" but are still struggling every day with a chronic disease that can definitely sap you dry sometimes?
My January Straight Up column over a dLife takes this one on. Christine Miserandino of ButYouDontLookSick.com -- who lives with the autoimmune disease Lupus -- has developed a great theory to explain this with just the simplest of visuals. It's all about tackling life one spoon at a time. Take a read.
Aside from explaining myself to others, I found her theory just as useful for quieting my own demons: it's important to acknowledge your own limitations, so you don't push yourself to the point of spinning out of control, which is unfortunately very easy to do when it comes to manually "managing" your blood sugar levels every minute of your life.
I think everyone living with some type of chronic illness can relate to the good day/bad day scenario, so thank you for the perspective, Christine.
[Editor's Note: Christine even has a very active Facebook group with over 2,700 members, calling themselves "Spoonies," and was interviewed recently on CNN.com's Paging Dr. Gupta blog about "how to handle a friend's diagnosis." You go, Girl!]