One of the worst parts is the guilt. If you eat say a sugary donut, you feel like you have just committed a crime. You should stick to your diabetic diet but if you don’t really the only person who notices is your doctor (should you decide to tell them). Therefore, you don’t always eat healthy 100% of the time. Especially as a type 1. If you want to have that donut, you can just inject a few extra units of insulin right? Perhaps that is one of the few perks of being a type 1 rather than a type 2.
You get the facade of being able to live a normal life but you don’t really get to. To the world you look just like everyone else. But you envy those who don’t have to worry about all the tiny annoying things you have to care about each day. I wish sometimes that I could just get one day free from this disease. No needles, no pricking my finger, not having to care about what I eat or do, no lows, no highs… I remember when I was younger and what it was like to just not feel sick. I wish I had appreciated that more when I had it. Health is really the most valuable thing in life. Without it nothing else matters. When you are sick with anything it becomes you. Hi my name is Amanda and I am a diabetic.
Having a baby as a diabetic has been the hardest though by far. Let’s start with pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone. As a pregnant lady you have uncontrollable hormones. It is so difficult to maintain a steady blood sugar and every time you have a high or a low you know it is bad for the baby so you have this pressure and stress to keep it steady. Every month how your body reacts changes. You have to constantly be adjusting and tracking your blood sugar and everything you eat. I was working as a teacher when I was pregnant and luckily my husband and I had the means for me to stop working when I was 6 months along to focus on my health for the baby. I remember being in a class and having a low for no good reason (probably Tera was having a sudden growth spurt or something). I of course had some emergency candy on hand and started eating it. One student noticed and said, “Teacher, we aren’t allowed to eat candy in class, how come you are eating candy!?” My response was, “Teacher is making a person in her belly and will die if she doesn’t eat candy.” The student didn’t say anything after that. I myself was frustrated. I ate on schedule and extremely healthy, I took the proper amounts of medicine. It just didn’t make sense that I had lows or highs. As well, when you give birth your blood sugar suddenly drops so low and those lows continue to be a struggle as you breastfeed. On a positive note I am saving money on insulin while breastfeeding because my doses have been pretty much halved.
These days I record everything. Mostly this is because my doctor makes me, but also because after having a baby I have become extremely organized and scheduled. Every morning is exactly the same. At 7:00 I wake up and check my blood sugar. At 9:00 when Tera goes down for her morning nap I eat breakfast (the same exact food every day). I take exactly 8 units of my insulin. At 10:00 I check my blood sugar. Exactly the same. Every day. Then why is my blood sugar different every single day? Because everything and it’s dog can affect your sugars. To name a few; stress, breastfeeding, movement, amount of sleep. It is not an exact science and it drives me crazy. Even if you do everything exactly as you are supposed to, you can’t control it. With that being said, my control now is much better than it was when I was younger but I still struggle with highs and lows every week.
I feel like this topic has resulted in a rant. Sorry for that. There are just too many negative things that go with this disease. The insulin pockets, bruises and pain from the needles. Having your fingertips turn hard and calloused from testing your sugars. Having to always worry about having, taking and taking care of your insulin. Doctors appointments, blood work and having to buy all of the supplies to track your sugars. It’s a non stop battle and all of those little annoying things, they add up. Especially when it is always there, every single day. There is so much about this disease that we still don’t understand. There is no winning.
With all that being said, I actually consider myself to be quite a positive person. (If you know me in real life it probably shows more than your impression if you have just only read this post). I know that there are people out there dealing with much worse health conditions and staying strong and positive. Why are the struggles in life usually more interesting to write about? If instead of writing about this challenge in my life I wrote about something like the blossoming flowers outside and how they make it look like life has been breathed into the city, you would probably get bored quite quickly. Maybe even stop reading my blog. But each day I live my life focusing on the positive things and reminding myself that nothing bad lasts.