Recently, Kerri wrote a post over at Six Until Me that opened up an opportunity for people to share secrets that they keep relating to life with diabetes. The comments range from common to surprising, and from lighthearted to heartbreaking.
Because the diabetes online community is abundant with talent, I am often touched, impressed, and entertained by the perspectives shared via Twitter and other diabetes blogs. We take time out of our lives, our families, our jobs, and our leisure to share with the world our successes and struggles with diabetes.
But we don’t share everything. Kerri’s post and the comments on it are proof of that. We all live with secrets that reside in the shadows of our lives with diabetes, some of which we don’t want to admit to anyone, even ourselves.
We share all the time about how we can handle diabetes and still do anything we want and have a normal life. That is true most of the time, but sometimes living with diabetes comes at an emotional cost beyond the co-pays and deductibles.
This morning my blood sugar was skyrocketing northward for no reason at all. Even though I was hungry, I skipped breakfast because of the spike, but it just kept climbing. Finally, around mid-morning (and the mid-200’s) while sitting in a class, I got a good whiff of that band-aidy odor we know so well, and I looked down to see a wet spot on my shirt. I went to the bathroom, thinking my pump tubing had just come unplugged from my inset, and after making sure it was attached and dosing again for the high blood sugar, it was still leaking insulin everywhere.
I had changed my inset and refilled my pump this morning before work, and I’ve done it hundreds of times and I know I did everything right. But it wasn’t right, because I didn’t have the sense enough to check it earlier when my BG’s were rising for no reason in the first place. I had put work and progress ahead of me and my diabetes, and the diabetes monster was letting me know it.
I was in the bathroom, with insulin and the guilt of a stupid high blood sugar that I should have caught sooner all over me, and I was missing a training that I had been looking forward to for two weeks. I now had to go back to my office, fish out my backup pump supplies from my desk, and start all over. I leaned over the sink, looked in the mirror, and tears of frustration were running down my face. It was only for a moment, and it wasn’t the end of the world or a complete Shakespearean tragedy. In fact, it was quite small and insignificant compared to what others sometimes have to deal with. It was just more than I could deal with at that moment.
I tweeted lightheartedly about what was happening, but I couldn’t share my real frustration. I kept that secret. Sometimes we just want things to be easy, and with diabetes, so often everything feels harder than it should have to be. But we’re strong. We pick up the pieces, put them back together the best way we know how, and we make it work.
We don’t have to be perfect. Life with diabetes isn’t perfect. Life with a pulse isn’t perfect either. It would do us a lot of good to remember that when we’re kicking ourselves over our diabetes.
As Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler Alfred best puts it, “Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”