As we all know, diabetes is a strange beast. Sometimes our BGs play nice, staying within range, and those of us who practice pre-bolusing actually remember to do so all day. Other times, we’re subject to wild swings, lows that just won’t come up, or highs that can’t be brought down no matter how much insulin we throw at them.
Likewise, we’re stuck with the constant requirements of managing (to the best of our ability) a condition that never plays fair. People not living with diabetes don’t always understand that this disease is not as simple as do a calculation, take a certain amount of insulin, eat perfectly, and our numbers will be awesome all the time. And there’s that little tiny voice in the back of our minds that we try to keep silent, warning us of possible complications. On top of that, let’s face it: We’re human. We’re bound to make a mistake or two (or three). Yuck.
Okay, so we know that things aren’t always perky, right? What do we do about it?
Far be it from me to give advice (famous last words). First, let me give an appreciative nod to this amazing post by Briley at inDependence. In addition, I’m hoping a few reminders here will help you in a moment of diabetes stress. Think of it as a Friday diabetes pep talk.
Yesterday may suck, but it’s yesterday.
That’s the best part of awful numbers, stupid people who think cinnamon will cure you, and CGMs that go kaput in the middle of the night. It’s over. I’m not saying forget about it… that’s impossible. What I am saying is be glad that the moment is over and you survived it. Whether you think you are now or not, you are stronger for it, and the future is unwritten. Carpe Diem, baby.
You count. Diabetes doesn’t.
This is one of those sayings where, sometimes, you have to keep repeating it to yourself over and over again before it sinks in. But like I said, if you’re surviving, it also means you’re living to see another day. For some people, and for some circumstances, that’s not just something… that’s everything. Particularly in America, it’s easy to hide what’s going on. We don’t like to show weakness. We like to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, move on. That can be good (see above). The reality, however, is that occasionally it’s good to stop, take a moment or two to compose ourselves (even if it takes all afternoon), and then move on. Doctors are learning more and more that our mental well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. Let’s prove to ourselves that we’ve received that message. Let’s remember that how we feel about things does matter. A lot.
We have more resources than ever before.
In the past month, we’ve seen advances in diabetes technology that many couldn’t see coming a year ago. Meanwhile, there are more diabetes organizations, conferences, and informal get-togethers where peers (you and me living with diabetes) can meet and commiserate. On top of that, there are more diabetes blogs where people like us are sharing our stories, and what was once a fun, quirky Twitter chat has now become a Wednesday night institution. Heck, in just the past week I’ve seen a number people get late night diabetes help and support via Twitter, myself included.
Diabetes takes a lot away from us. It also gifts us with perseverance and empathy. Perseverance to endure the tough times and continue on where non-pancreatically-challenged individuals might indeed falter. And empathy that allows us to recognize when someone needs help and then do something to lift them up. I almost never encounter others with these qualities. Yet they are almost universal in our world.
So why not use our unique qualities to make a great life for ourselves and our diabetes friends going forward? YouCanDoThis. Bring on the day.