It’s Not Just My Diabetes
A woman with Type 1 realizes she has to let her family own her condition, too.
So you are dealing with your Type 1 diabetes all by yourself. No one else can do it for you.
That’s what we’re told by our doctors as they try to instil in us personal responsibility, and we take it to heart, perhaps too much. Since we’re the only ones who have to count carbs, check blood sugar, and be careful when exercising, it is our condition alone.
But we all know deep down that it isn’t just our diabetes. Our moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and partners all endure this with us. Just because people who love and care about us can’t relate to our daily experiences, doesn’t mean they can’t understand us when we are feeling down and out.
For a long time, I didn’t realize that every time my blood sugar plummeted, my family felt it, too. I would pout and whine about life not being fair and that no one knew what I was going through, and not realize they were affected by every low.
And then I endured my first extreme hypoglycemic episode. It started when I gave myself insulin and took a nap. When I awoke, I made myself a hotdog. As I shook the bottle of ketchup, I began to convulse. I collapsed, my head repeatedly banging against the floor. Finally, my two younger sisters called for my mother. As I lay there, helpless, I saw mom’s feet as she rushed to my rescue. She grabbed a bottle of soda and told me to drink. After a few seconds, I regained strength in my body and was able to hold the bottle myself.
My whole family had to endure that frightening moment with me. Later, so did my pastor, my best friend, and neighbors. Finally, I decided to get those closest to me more involved since they were involved already. To do this, I had to open up and talk about my good days and bad days. Moreover, realizing I wasn’t alone, I finally trained myself to eat better and exercise. I had to start living for those around me, too.
I encourage you to think of all the possible ways you can share your diabetes experience with those around you; you might also find it encourages you to take better care of yourself. For me, I have found that this diabetes thing is actually not just mine; it’s the world’s.
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