Confession and Revelation

Some days

Some days I am disgusted with myself. I work for an organization that is all about diabetes. The mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. I am surrounded by the statistics the risk factors, I process donations made in memory of someone’s loved one who has died from complications associated to diabetes on a daily basis and I put together educational packets on diabetes. Both information on my disease and support too is right in front of me, yet….

Yet I still work very hard at ignoring my own diabetes. What the hell is the matter with me? Am I really that cocky that I think I can be the one to beat the odds? Am I just that lazy? What is my mental block? Days like today, I just think I am an idiot. I should ‘just do it’, just get over it. But for some messed up reason I can’t. I will sit there for hours with the nagging though that I should do a blood sugar, maybe bolus for that coffee and muffin (mind you, it’s a healthy muffin I made from a diabetes cookbook) I ate and the sickly sweet, sluggish feeling of a high coming over and yet I don’t. Instead, I have another cup of coffee, take some ibuprofen and get on with work.

Days like today, I am so fed up with being me. See, most days, as of late are like this in the aspect that I have done, maybe, a blood sugar a day, and bolused only after a meal and by guessing how much to give. To some this may scream ‘crisis’ but to me this is pretty much status quo.

Being this honest is hard; I’m not sure I will even post this. It’s not like I have hidden that I am not exactly a good diabetic, but I’m not sure I want to be this honest…with myself or with anyone else.

Later that same day…

The topic of fasting blood sugars came up with my co-worker who has gestational diabetes and she was shocked to hear that I almost never do a blood sugar (fasting or not) in the morning. I went on to tell her that in the past few weeks I have done hardly any blood sugars at all. She replied that she had seen me do some and admitted that those were probably the only ones I was doing. She says, “So you just don’t do blood sugars? Why?” I confessed that I didn’t really know why, that I would think about doing one then, just not do it…for hours. I told her about my theory of a mental block or a piece missing. I was able to just be totally honest with E and talk about how I simply don’t comply. I think I was ready to come clean.

Sheepishly I admitted that I had really been digging the Dixie Chicks song “Not Ready to Make Nice” lately. This is not my typical type of music but the lines:
"I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should"
These words have just really resonated with me lately and I have been playing the song over & over, singing at the top of my lungs inthe car. E told me I was in denial and I agreed, but countered with how can I have been in denial for nearly my whole adult life? Then she asked me a very pointed question: “Do you feel like that by not complying you are fighting diabetes and to comply would mean you were giving in?” I paused and told her that I know what I should say, but she wanted to know how I really felt. How I really feel (even though the logical part of me knows it’s crap and that by gaining control of my disease, I would really be setting myself free and fighting it), is that deep down I do believe that by being the good little diabetic I should be I am admitting defeat.

This is all still sinking in a day later but thanks to a wonderfully insightful co-worker, no, friend I think I am one step closer to understanding my twisted relationship I have with my diabetes.


BetterCell said...

Hi Melissa.....If you ignore your constant companion(Diabetes) and decide not to give it any attention for a day or longer, it will always remind you of its presence. It never sleeps nor requires any rest.
Sometimes its reminder can take the form of a nudge and at other times can and will knock you out.

Kelsey said...

I'm sorry you're struggling Melissa.

I know it's hard to believe, but you truly will set your worries free by taking control of diabetes.

Right now diabetes is controlling you, and that's a terrible feeling.

Ultimately we're all controlled by this disease, but how one reacts has a huge influence on their quality and duration of life.

Please know that you've got a supportive environment in the O.C. We're here if you need us!

Good luck!!

Scott K. Johnson said...

I can relate to the denial thing.

It's so strange to think you may be dealing with denial when you have been diabetic for most of your life.

But you know what? When diagnosed at a young age, I think we don't go through the grief process the same way as an adult would.

We find a way to continue living our daily lives, but never take the time to stop and really appreciate what has happened.

I feel that I am just now BEGINNING to go through that long process towards complete acceptance and appreciation for my condition. For OUR condition.

I think it is a sign of your maturation, of really coming into your adult life, that you are even starting to look at the whole denial thing. It's worth a good, thorough, deep look.

It's not an easy thing to do - for me, my mind has built up layer and layer of protection mechanisms. Scraping away at them feels threatening sometimes, so my mind will start playing NEW tricks on me so that it doesn't have to go through the experience.

But I can also say that the little bits and pieces of truth and acceptance have been so very liberating. It's very much worth the work.

I'm right there with you, and am always willing to talk with you (or just listen).

Leverage the O.C. - it's an incredible resource. Like no other.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I agree. Taking control of the D makes the D so much less of an issue. Hard to believe, I know. And about the co-worker with the gestational...there is no comparison. She has another life to consider in all this.

I did not kick the D care into gear until I was planning for a pregnancy. Not that I would recommend that to you, but it truly gave me perspective.

That said, it was a huge PIA to test that much. However, in a way, knowing that much about my body and how it reacted to certain foods and situations was liberating.

I had a CDE once say that you have to start small. Get the fastings under control first. Test before you go to bed and when you get up. That's it. Find out what pm/sleeping dose works for you. Baby steps Melissa, baby steps.

Julia said...

Melissa - I'm glad you left this post up.

I agree with the baby steps advice given above. I think that's the best way to tackle something as all consuming as diabetes. It's a pain in the arse of a disease, but it does require constant attention or it will turn around and bite you.