What I hate about diabetes

As we start diabetes awareness month for this year, I started to reflect on strange things. The biggest being how much I hate this disease. Not what you usually think people are maybe going to say when it is supposed to be a month of awareness. But it is looking at things that people maybe don’t think about in terms of diabetes.

I hate the way it keeps me awake at night. I hate that it involves me having to constantly e thinking about what I eat and how it will affect me. It can keep me awake in so many different ways – from dealing with a stubborn low or high blood sugar or even waiting for your continuous glucose monitor to warm up so that I can go to bed and at least have a small bit of comfort knowing that something is at least looking out for me while I sleep.

I have the way that it caused others to treat me throughout my life. From people saying I was contagious to people just not understanding that there is no such thing as a “good” type of diabetes, I hate it all.  Throughout school, I never had many friends. I hate that too. I was always the outcast, the kid that everyone didn’t want to be around. And as a human being, that can hurt. It doesn’t feel good.

I hate the fact that I have had to go to the emergency room SO MANY TIMES. I have been there so often I pretty much know where everything is. I even have figured out how to speak their language and read the monitors. I hate the fact that I have woken up in a room surrounded by doctors and nurses, and not knowing how I got there. I hate that I have had to be admitted to an ICU in multiple cities because of diabetes. I hate all of the tests. The exams. The questions. The fact that whenever I see a new doctor the first thing they see is someone with diabetes. Even before I have had the chance to talk to them, there first thought is “how does the diabetes affect this”?

I hate the fact that my whole life has led to a point where I have so much anxiety that I have never been able to walk up to someone and talk to them. I hate the fact that I have never been on a single date in my life. I hate that I maybe put out a vibe that that is okay with me. I just hate the way that nothing has seemed to turn out well for me.

I hate the fact that diabetes has affected my life at school. I’ve missed so many classes, had to do extra work to catch up…because of doctors’ appointments, hospital admissions, or just plain feeling not quite right. It has affected my work life too. So many times, I drop low when I try to do physical work. I hate that.

I hate the fact that I feel like it wouldn’t be safe to live on my own with how I have woken up to paramedics over me, giving me medication to bring my blood sugar back up. I hate that people don’t understand that and will constantly try to tell me I just need to “grow up” and get my own place. I hate that even when I try to explain the reason to them it just goes right over their heads.

Diabetes sucks. And this is just a short look at some of the things I hate about it.

Just being honest with everyone today I guess?

I don’t think I have ever been this honest on here before, so…here goers nothing I guess….

The other day, I saw an article from the BBC that sort of describes me much better and more eloquently than I have ever been able to. It essences, it says;

“…but I experienced a sense of shame, and I felt stigmatised. I was a terribly shy and anxious person, but not isolated. I always had friends but I was never able to translate that into intimate relationships. At school and sixth form I was surrounded by girls and women, but I never made the kind of move that is probably quite a normal one to make. By the time I reached university, my pattern was set…”

That hit way too close to home. And it is true. I am terribly shy and anxious about, well, basically everything. It does feel stigmatizing to be in my mid 30s and have never been in any sort of relationship. I have never been able to make any sort of “move” that is considered normal for guys, either my age or younger. And I feel stuck in a pattern I am not able to get out of.

While a date or anything like that is not the be all and end all, it still doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. And it isn’t like this is the first time I’ve ever felt like that. Back when people I knew were getting married and I was going to their weddings, often the only thing I could think was

“I really hate weddings”.

They are designed to cater specifically to people who have a date to them and if you don’t, you’re basically stuck sitting in a corner by yourself.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this sort of stuff and i honestly think it has been building up for years and maybe now I am just at a a point where I can get these feelings out. I am so scared of talking to people and this means that even if I want to talk to someone, i get physically sick feelings and sometimes feel like I’m going to throw up. It’ll definitely not that I don’t want to have some sort of a relationship- because I do. I just don’t know how to go about it. I’m almost at a point where I think I need someone to set me up with. Unfortunately, the few people I know up here, don’t seem all that interested in helping me out.

I’ve just been watching people all around me getting into relationships and while I am happy for them, it makes me feel bad about myself.

One of the things that I am beginning to think more and more is that I have undiagnosed social anxiety. Based on some reading I have done and other things, I seem to fit the mold pretty well. Although I want to be out and doing stuff with others, I also feel anxious about doing it because I feel like I will not be able to contribute anything to a group of people. Based on past experiences, where people would plan to do things and everyone in a group other than me would be invited/told about it, my mind automatically assumes it is because they don’t want me there, whether it be true or not. Things like this can really destroy your confidence in both yourself and others, and therefore lead to other difficulties down the road.

And while I know these are all things that I do need to work on, it doesn’t mean that they will be easy to do. I’ve had 30 years of dealing with these sorts of things and so they have become so much of my personality (especially offline) that it’s going to be a long process. I don’t really even now where to begin because there is so much to deal with but maybe writing some of it down will help get me there.

And unfortunately, there is no one near me who would truly understand the struggles of diabetes and how it can not only affect you physically but mentally as well. I have looked into Diabetes Canada and there major focus appears to be Type 2 and I have no issue with them also helping out those with type 2 but our struggles are different and I feel they need to be fairer in their programming. I have even written them a letter where I basically tell them that as someone living with type 1, I feel that there is a lot of work they still need to do to help s out as well. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any changes in how they do things other than an even more intense focus on type 2.

And then, there was school. All throughout (elementary and high school), I had many people in my class who honestly believed that diabetes was contagious and as such used that as an excuse to avoid me. There were many projects that I ended up doing on my own because no one wanted to be my partner, or if we were assigned partners, you could tell that they were just looking for any excuse to get out as quickly as possible.