Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quitting (and I'm Not Talking About Smoking)

I have had a lot on my mind over the past week, mainly stuff dealing with diabetes and all it involves.  Anyone who has this disease understands the sometimes overwhelming impact it has on your life.  All of the finger pricks, carb counting, and remembering to take your meds takes up a lot of brain capacity, to say the least...And that's without counting the thought space devoted to worrying where your BG is at at any given time, and how the things you're doing are affecting it-one way or the other.

I talked yesterday about how anxious I get when it comes to my numbers; how stressed I am when they're high and how ambivalent I get when they're actually within my normal range.  The lows don't concern me so much except for when they're actually happening--then, the shakiness and everything else that comes along with it sucks, but I always carry glucose tablets with me, so it's usually not that big of a deal.  The numbers game that is my BG is always floating around in the back of my mind, although I have gotten a lot better in terms of the level of attention I give it. 

One thing I've learned, though, is that it's something I'll probably always have to deal with.  This disease is not going to quit, so I can't either.  I suppose it's all a matter of balance--not ignoring your diabetes (bad), but not letting it take over your life either (also bad).  I often think, as I'm sure many of you do, about how good people without diabetes have it.  They can eat 10 carbs at any given meal, and *poof*...their pancreas makes up for it, with them being none the wiser.  I know, I used to be one of "them"; however, that's another thing that strikes me as unfair...aside from my childhood, when I was overweight, I've always eaten fairly healthy.  I've always been the one who buys the low-fat dairy products, lean meat, and low sodium versions of most everything...I was always known as the one who ate healthily.  I look at other people who are overweight, never move far from the couch, and eat whatever they want, and I think that it sucks that I'm the one who got this disease instead of them.  I know, I know, life is not fair.  And trust me, I try to keep a positive attitude most of the time...But I am human.  I have moments of "it's not fair."

It's not fair that other people can just decide to have a baby, and that's it.  All they have to do is try until it happens.  Yes, I know, it doesn't happen quite so easily (or sometimes at all) for everyone, but most people don't have to give thought to the effect that pregnancy will have on their body, or vice versa.  They don't have to worry about getting their BG under control for three to six months before conception, or else risk miscarriage; or if the baby is full term, macrosomia (an abnormally large baby).  They get a free pass for nine months to eat whatever they want, whenever the want; they don't have to worry, as I will, about how everything they put into their mouths will affect their BG, and in turn, their baby.  They don't have to give a thought to the fears of being on insulin and having a severe low while being alone and somehow damaging their unborn baby or themselves.  Theirs are not automatically labeled "high risk" pregnancies, even if they are healthy as can be.  They measure their pregnancy in trimesters, not A1Cs. 

Again, I know.  There are other people who have it much worse than I do, and trust me, I am grateful that although I have a chronic illness, it's a manageable one.  But until you've walked a mile in my foot-friendly shoes, please don't judge me.  As I said, I'm only human.  The purpose of my blog is to share my journey through my diabetes life with you, and I promise to always be honest and candid...But it isn't always going to be pretty.

Probably the biggest, most overwhelming thing about this disease for me is that it isn't going to go away.  You may be saying "duh" right about now, but think about it...It's never going to go away.  There is no cure for diabetes, despite what so-and-so's Uncle Tito did that magically made his disappear.  For me, that means that this is something that I'm going to have to deal with day in and day out for the rest of my (hopefully long and fulfilling) life.  It's not going to quit, so I can't either.  I could quit my job (though I don't want to), I could quit my marriage (definitely ditto on that one!); I have the option of quitting a lot of things, but diabetes unfortunately isn't one of them.  Sure, I could do as many PWD (People/Person With Diabetes) do and completely ignore it, let it (and themselves) go; however, I'm not that irrational.  I want to live.  Not only that, I want to live well.  So I guess I'm stuck wishing I could quit, but knowing there's no way in hell I will.


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