Diabetes is hard game. No joke. There are very few type one diabetics that will say, “It’s easy.” . To these diabetics I say, you are either the most awesome super hero in the world or you live the most strict and boring life, ever. This post is all about why being type one diabetic is so difficult for me. This is strictly my point of view based solely on my life with diabetes. In doing all my thinking and research I have found the sole reason I have such a hard time being diabetic:
The difficult thing is…ME.
I’ve said it many times before, and those that live closely with me know it well. I thrive on variety. I can not live my life doing the same activities, eating the same things, every day. Routine, schedules, monotony, these drive me insane. I need variety! Constant change! Different experiences daily!
So what’s bad about that? Everything, if you are a type one diabetic like me.
It is not impossible for a diabetic to live a varied lifestyle. But it is a lot easier to control your blood sugar if you have a set schedule, a daily routine, a fixed diet.
Why is it more difficult to control your numbers with variety in your life?
Your blood sugar is sensitive to foods, activity, insulin, and other factors. So if you eat different foods at different times, it can have a large impact on your blood sugar. So if you have a similar diet day after day, it is much easier to predict your numbers and keep them in line. Same if you change up your activity level. And oh, God, what an impact your insulin dosage and schedule has.
Many of the type one diabetics I know have pretty set schedules because of the fact that they are diabetic. Sure, their routine might change on the weekends, but during the week they follow a pretty set activity, diet, and medication schedule. It just makes life easier…and healthier.
But, OH. MY. GOD. Is it boring…monotonous…mind numbing…I can’t live like this!
I need different foods every day. I need to be doing different things, be in different places, every day!
I instinctively rebel against schedules, routines, and monotony. These things make me unhappy, depressed. I feel trapped.
More modern treatments, insulins, and technologies have made it a bit more easy to have more variety in your schedule and routines as a diabetic. But it is still a somewhat risky game to stray from the set schedule. And it requires a lot more monitoring and planing. And who wants to plan ahead for variety?
I like to live on the fly. No planing. Just do whatever sounds good at the time. It’s totally irresponsible and immature. But it’s who I am. And being diabetic just cramps my style.
I am the most self-destructive person I know. Look at me, I am type one diabetic. Of course that is not my fault. But all the complications of diabetes I suffer are my fault. I’ve known my entire life how to control diabetes. I’ve always known all the ins and outs of diabetes and how to live healthy with it. But I didn’t. I chose to rebel, to fight it at every opportunity. I spit on all that was right and good because I hate routine, I loathe being controlled, policed, imprisoned. This was what I saw when I thought of diabetes. Shackles, restriction. Nobody puts Tiki in a corner! (altered Dirty Dancing reference). I knew all my life that my choices, my actions, were going to kill me slowly and painfully, but I did it anyway because I’d rather die young and free than be tied down by some fucking disease.
I would highly suggest any diabetic choosing this road to go down change lanes right this second!
I have always rebelled against diabetes. But there was a time when I might have grown out of that behavior and come around to caring for myself. But something terrible happened that ripped every last ounce of hope from me. My father, who was a type one, died from complications of diabetes. I watched him have a stroke right in front of me. He died the next day and my hope of living a long and healthy life with diabetes died with him. He took care of himself and still died young.
“Why should I even try?” I thought to myself.
You know why you should try? Neuropathy, retinopathy, coronary artery disease, frozen shoulder, inability to fight infection, PCOS, gastroperisis, and so many other complications that come with uncontrolled diabetes. This is why you should try no matter what!
I’m 36 years old and living in the body of a seventy year old. That’s why diabetics need to take care of themselves. Being happy doesn’t come from living how you want …it comes from living how you need.