Monday, March 6, 2017

An Honest Look at Diabetes With Me...

I hate diabetes. I said it. It's out in the open now. I have been living with this diagnosis for the past 14 years and when I say it is a day-to-day struggle, that's exactly what I mean. It is an everyday struggle for balance. I'm going to be open and honest in this post.

14 years ago right before I was to say I do, I was diagnosed. I had been eating healthier, lost a ton of weight and was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Then came that day in October when the doctor looked at me and said, "you have it". She didn't want to give me that diagnosis but she had to. From that day forward, my life changed forever. I started testing my sugar multiple times a day, went on medications, and then went on to get married the next month. 

When you find out you're a diabetic your whole world rocks. You immediately start worrying about your eyes, your heart, your kidneys, what will you eat, how can you enjoy life when this diagnosis is hanging over your head. I can't imagine getting this diagnosis as a parent for your child. I can't imagine what a child would go through as they have severe consequences even more on top of what I was now having to learn about. 

The Harsh Truth From a Diabetic
Okay so I'm going to be a little blunt and honest here. I'm not writing this because of the need for sympathy. I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I want to help others understand a little bit about this so that maybe you can understand why someone you care about struggles. Keeping your sugar in balance is an everyday uphill battle. It's not easy. It's not something that can be fixed just by eating right for everyone. It's not something where taking a pill can help fix everything that ails you, in most cases. And in some cases you have to worry about what the pill you're taking is doing other than helping your sugar levels.

So here's some crazy, honest, "why I can't stand diabetes" facts from a diabetic: {please don't think less of me when you're done here ;-)}

  • Some days my stomach looks like I've been sucker punched. Three shots a day for the past 10+ years does that. Sometimes I hit vessels and it is an immediate bruise. Other times I go to give myself a shot and notice a huge bruise from the last one.
  • My fingertips get really, REALLY sore sometimes. Which is really fun when your job is typing on the computer and you LOVE to play the piano. It stinks.
  • My fingertips also look like they are dirty at times because of all the tiny little pinprick bruise/spots.
  • Some times I eat a salad and my sugar skyrockets with no apparent reason. I can sometimes eat everything I "should" eat and deal with high numbers. There is no rhyme or reason. Others can eat some things I can't and never have a problem. I can eat things that others can't and don't have issues. It's not a one-size-fits all plan.
  • If I don't sleep well, guess what? My sugar goes up
  • If I'm stressed, angry, sad, sugar is crazy
  • Sometimes it doesn't matter what I eat, I can go from a high sugar to bottoming out and have to find food... fast.
  • Some days I wish I could stop having to care what I eat
  • I've had to apologize to my son about being snippy or short fused because, you guessed it, my sugar was high or low. It effects your emotions as well. I can become very irritable and downright hate being around myself, all because of the blood glucose levels at the time.
  • I'm afraid of getting Alzheimer's. Did you know that diabetes is connected and they think that Alzheimer's is now Type 3 diabetes? Every time I forget something, can't remember a word, or blank on what I'm trying to say that concern is ever present.
  • I get tired of pricking my finger multiple times a day.
  • I get frustrated and tired of planning to get eat somewhere and worrying if there will be something I can eat that won't mess up my sugar too bad. When friends want to eat out, I have to mentally think about what I can eat there. Sometimes I hate salads. I've always loved them but after so many... they get old.
  • I get frustrated when people tell you that if you just lost some weight it would help. Yes people have told me that. When I was first diagnosed, I was thin. I was at a good weight and then diabetes was in the picture. Let me explain something to you. Before you say that, please think about this. When a person takes insulin it causes them to hold onto fat. Which makes it really difficult to lose. The more weight that someone carries, the more insulin they may need to take care of their sugar levels which in turns, causes them to gain. Add on top of that a thyroid condition and you have something that is a never ending fight to lose an inch or a pound.
  • Every single diabetic is different.
  • Sugar is not the only culprit to a diabetic. Potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, carbs in general turn into sugar. So it could have 0 sugar and still cause a diabetic to have a bad reaction.
  • This is an every day fight. This is not something that I'll ever get rid of. Even if in a perfect world I could eventually come off meds, it's always there. It's always lurking...
  • Some days are better than others. Some days it's just another thing I deal with. Other days it gets to be too much and I want to break.
  • God is bigger than any of this and that's why I can keep moving forward. When my days get rough or I feel like I am about to break from the weight of this whole situation, God is still holding me up. Wipes away the tears and the frustrations and says keep moving.
Like I mentioned, I'm not saying this for pity, sympathy or anything else. I just wanted to share a glimpse into what this disease is like. What a diabetic that is trying desperately to fight, live a life, and take care of their family goes through. What someone who knows what this disease can do and wants to avoid is dealing with. Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2... no matter the name, diabetes is a never ending, lifelong fight. If you know someone living with this, please pray for them, encourage them, listen to them cry and fuss for a bit knowing that they need your shoulder right then. Then help them pick up the pieces and walk forward.

Thanks for listening to me whining and venting. Be Blessed this week!


  1. Jennifer, I know exactly what you are going through even though my diabetes is type 2. I it is neverending and people don't understand. Praying for you.


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