First of all, the whole job changing/new job thing was a bit stressful and much hard work. I started right before it got crazy busy and then it was full speed ahead. I am now trying to catch up on all the things that are regularly part of my job but got pushed to the side while Walk season was in full swing. This took a toll on my blood sugars and there were some pretty ugly roller-coaster days.
Secondly, just because the people I now worked with got diabetes didn’t mean that they instantly got me or how the disease affects me. I had to show and they had to learn what happens to me when I’m low, how highs make me feel and bottom line they are not my diabetes police. It is wonderful to work every day amidst those who understand diabetes better than most and have a much better idea of what diabetes care entails but each person’s diabetes is so personal and they got that too, so I had to lead the way.
Thirdly, I was embarrassed at my lack of control. A couple of my co-workers seemed pretty excited to have some one board who "got it"; someone who worked hard, lived with diabetes every day and had done something right to stave off the complications. Me? Hell no. I honestly believe that I have made it this far by pure luck. I wanted to be that person they saw me as, but knew I wasn’t even close.
I heard about and saw firsthand those who had not been as lucky as me:
- A woman my age who had gotten a kidney from her sister in order to live.
- A name I recognized as someone I went to camp with was blind.
- Someone’s mother-in-law who was a double amputee.
- A volunteer who was on a liquid diet and near kidney-failure.
- A phone call from an old camp friend who had a double bypass (kidney & pancreas) last year and had news of all those MY AGE who were blind, had suffered strokes, kidney failure and amputations.
It was all too much. I took no better care of myself than these people (well except for the never drinking regular pop, even I couldn’t do that) and look at what happened to them. What the hell differnce did it make if I took better of myself? The complications were inevitable. At least I was doing my part by working at a diabetes organization; the rest didn’t matter. This defeatist attitude lasted for a while and then I began getting really sick of feeling sick all the time.
continued in the next post