Why I Keep Diabetes To Myself

A couple of weeks ago, I poured all of my diabetes related thoughts and frustrations going through my head into a post titled ‘The Things I Don’t Tell You About My Diabetes (click here to read).‘ I think its one of the best posts on this blog to date if I may say so myself. It was so good that it was even featured on DiabetesMine‘s April Blogosphere wrap up. It’s definitely worth a read if you have a spare moment, as it ties in nicely with today’s dBlog week topic.

But I’m not cheating myself out of some original thoughts either! Keep reading…

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 17, so I’ve never really needed any help from my parents in managing my condition. Once I overcame my first year and things settled down, diabetes just became something that I kept to myself. I didn’t often talk about it with my family. I never complained to them about it. I just get on with the job on my own.

From time to time, Mum will ask me how my blood sugar levels are going. And that question always makes me uncomfortable. It puts me under pressure. It annoys me. I’ll always start my answer with ums and ahs and try to make my answers as vague as possible. And why? Because my blood sugar levels aren’t perfect. They never are. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. There will be weeks where things are smooth sailing and other weeks where my eating habits go wayside and its hard to pick myself back up.

And I feel guilty and embarassed to tell my Mum that. My parents are my rock, the two people who have always unwaveringly loved and supported me. And in a way I feel as though I am letting them down in admitting that things aren’t perfect. But I know Mum isn’t asking me to be a nag. Or to judge me. She just does it because she loves me and she cares about me. She takes an interest in me. (Or, at least that’s the job she signed up for when she decided to have me!)

But I think the real reason I keep it to myself is to avoid facing the truth. Imperfect diabetes management doesn’t become a reality until those words come out of my mouth. Until they are spoken out loud, I don’t have to face that I’m letting myself down. I don’t have to feel unhealthy. Guilty. Depressed. Worried. So long as I keep it to myself, I can stay in my perfect bubble.

Talking is healthy. And if there is one thing that has come from starting this blog, its the fact that I’m more focussed on diabetes. I’ve become even more passionate about it. And when you’re passionate about something, you want to pour your blood, sweat and tears into it. And I can’t wait to go home and share it with the people I care most about.

I’ve written this post as a participant in Diabetes Blog Week 2015. Follow #dBlogWeek on Twitter for the latest updates from the event and participants.

12 thoughts on “Why I Keep Diabetes To Myself

  1. I feel the same about becoming more passionate about diabetes. I have the benefit of also being diagnosed at an age where I’m looking after myself, and my mum doesn’t know the first thing about diabetes! She wouldn’t even know to ask how my levels are, or what they mean.

    1. Me too. My parents were a huge support after being diagnosed, but I was pretty much able to look after myself. I’m really glad I didn’t have to place that burden on them.

  2. Thank you for sharing – I appreciate it so much & I know I’m not the only one.
    We are perfectly imperfect and that’s OK.
    It’s more than OK – it’s being human – busted pancreas or not.
    Keep writing, keep advocating – we need you!

  3. I do the exact same thing with my parents – that question annoys me and I feel bad that it does! I was also diagnosed at 17, and it took my Dad 2 years to understand what a hypo was…pros and cons 🙂

  4. Totally appreciate what you just said here. I think you’re right about when we become passionate about it, we put our energy into it and then we see results. So true 🙂

  5. Spot on. I was the same way, not focusing on it as much and letting so much of my D-management go by the wayside until I started getting more involved in the DOC and talking about it more. That put my energy back into myself and taking care of my health, and that was huge. And really, looking back, I think a lot of the foundation for me slacking on BG logging and data-tracking when I was younger (and not so much younger), was all rooted in me just not wanting to admit how poorly I was doing. Not seeing those numbers helped push it all to the back-burner. So in the past number of years, I’ve found that even little things like Tweeting my #bgnow and random shares of little D-nuggets helps keep me accountable. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  6. I absolutely agree, especially the part about imperfect management becoming “reality” when we say the words out loud. i think for me, that is even more true when it comes to saying it to my doctor, and no matter how long I’ve been doing this, its never easy, but so necessary. Great post!

  7. I was in my early 20’s when I was diagnosed and never had parental supervision with it. I think that protects me from the mental stuff many T1’s have to deal with of trying to please parents, lie to parents, feel guilty for all of the above, etc. I also believe that the DOC is hugely instrumental in keeping me healthy. Great post!

  8. I agree with your post. Except just let me say, imperfect diabetes management is quite often the fault of diabetes!!! We can do everything perfectly and it still doesn’t work out. So try not to feel too guilty. (I know, easier said than done!!)

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