What does it feel like to live with diabetes every day of your life? That's certainly something no doctor can tell you. That's the magic of blogging and social communities and all this Internet stuff that allows people to share their experiences — across the country and around the world.
Many terms come to mind: frustration, anger, exasperation, desperation, sadness, and hope. (Refer to yesterday's post on "the inner game of diabetes.")
I'm just feeling very grateful today for all the people like Andrew who are baring their hearts and minds and making me feel so much better understood and so much less alone.
Fellow D-blogger Scott Johnson writes:
"Feeling lost is something that comes and goes when dealing with a lifelong thing like diabetes... I also believe that when our blood sugars are out of whack, our chemical balance is taken for a ride along with it. This pulls and tugs on our emotions just as literally as a puppet-master pulling strings on his/her marionette."
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And when it comes to the many, many trade-offs we endure (that others without diabetes probably can't imagine), Birdie puts it so simply and so well:
"Like should I really have that handful of crispy, hot, freshly made tortilla chips? Is the delight of them now worth the probable higher blood sugar a few hours later? ... Is the desire for a longer walk with my dogs on a warm summer evening worth the risk of a possible low after bed because it's out of my usual routine?"
I've just discovered the newest columnist over at dLife, Kathryn Foss, who writes in her flagship column after my own heart:
"The last three years have been quite challenging. I wish I could say that I had it all figured out and that I was a superstar diabetic, but the fact remains, that at the end of the day, this disease is HARD. It is constant and it requires patience and consistency. Some days I am the master of it and other days it totally kicks my ass. I have to take it day-by-day and meal-by-meal, but I am a fighter and I am determined to figure this whole diabetes thing out."
I too have been reflecting a lot lately on how I FEEL about this condition, which so often seems a bigger obstacle than the condition itself. Crazy?
Over at dLife, they've just published my latest Straight Up column called The Biggest Change, which talks about how, YES, the diabetes changed everything...
It changed my sense of self, and my appreciation for the people and things around me. It changed the way I view social situations. And it changed the once-easy confidence I had in my own emotions (is that the diabetes talking?).
Nope, no way any doctor could have prepared me for all that.