Friday, January 28, 2011

How Diabetes Makes Me Feel (In Pictures)

I was on CafePress yesterday browsing their Diabetes awareness t-shirts and other products, and I have to say that I was quite amused by all of their designs.  Whether serious or humorous, they are all just so...true.  Some are strictly awareness-based, while only someone with diabetes could appreciate the wit in others.  They range from self-depreciating to downright angry, and manage to hit on everything in between.  In other words, they cover the wide array of emotions a person with diabetes has on a day-to-day basis regarding their disease and all it takes to manage it.
So, for today's post, I decided to chronicle my feelings about diabetes in CafePress designs.  It goes without saying that all of the images are from their website and are their intellectual property, so please respect that!

My D-Life in Pictures

When I was first diagnosed (August 23, 2010), I learned as much as I could about diabetes.  Then came American Diabetes Month in November, and it gave me the chance to participate directly in raising diabetes awareness through my blog:

I soon learned how often you encounter all of the myths and misconceptions surrounding diabetes while talking to people about your disease.  Some are simply curious, but others want to impress their "knowledge" (and miracle cures) upon you.  I learned to take these opportunities to educate people rather than being defensive.

However, sometimes it's hard not to be defensive, especially when you encounter the always-lurking "Diabetes Police"...These are the people who, upon finding out you have diabetes, make it their personal mission to watch everything you do and put into your mouth.  They question whether or not you should be doing/eating things, and it's never hard to read the judgment on their faces.  They're usually of the old-school way of thinking:  DIABETICS (because we're not just normal people to them) should never eat sugar or carbs, and that you have the disease simply because you ate too much sugar or didn't exercise enough.  White foods are all bad, and if you work hard enough, you can "cure" yourself of the disease...Because after all, their aunt/friend of a friend/preacher did.  Psh.  I don't even have to tell you what I feel about that.

There are days (usually when things are going well and my BG stays within my target range) that I feel like this:

Then, there are times when nothing I do seems to work and all of the effort I put into managing my diabetes is for nothing...When I think I'm doing everything right, and my BG numbers are still high, I feel like this:

Or, when I get completely overwhelmed at all I have to do to keep this disease from taking over my life, and at the fact that it's NEVER GOING AWAY, I can't help but feel that:

...And neither can I.

Then when I'm at my lowest, I realize that God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, and that He is always with us during all the struggles we have to go through.

Which gives me the courage to believe:

And remember what it is I'm doing all of this for...That one day, I'll be able to put a onsie on my healthy little baby that says:

When I think about my goals, and that the end result will definitely be worth all of this pain and effort, I feel better about this disease and am able to keep it in perspective.

And when things are in perspective, it's easier to have a sense of humor about your situation:

The chemical formula for glucose =)
And because a little humor never killed anybody:

Then, once you feel (kind of) okay about your disease, you can feel more confident in yourself:

Being able to use an insulin pump has given me an extra advantage over my disease.  I got started with it on Wednesday, and it's already made my D-life less complicated and a little easier to manage.  I'm still trying to think of a name for my pump, but right now I just call it my diabetes superhero.

And finally, insulin (whether from the pump or through injections) keeps me a live, literally.  But it isn't a cure.  It's a band-aid solution to a major operation kind of problem, and the number of people affected increases every day.  We need a cure!

And, just in case:

Diabetes isn't a fun disease to deal with, but it's better than the alternative...Complications only occur when the disease goes uncontrolled and unmanaged.  Knowledge is power, and the sooner you're diagnosed, the better!  With proper control and effort, you can live a long, happy life with diabetes.


Post a Comment