Hello, December. The silly season is in full swing, and no doubt almost every place, business or shop window you can think of will be adopting somewhat of a festive theme. In anticipation of all of the newsletters, articles, social media posts, well meaning relatives and other diabetes interactions that I’m likely to encounter over the coming weeks, I can already tell you what’s not on my Christmas wish list this year. Or any other year, for that matter.
I don’t need to be reminded that I have diabetes at this time of the year. That’s pretty much a fact that isn’t going to change until the cure arrives in another five years time. I do diabetes every other day of the year on my own through rain, hail and shine, so I hardly think that Christmas is worthy of any extra attention.
I don’t want to see any ‘helpful’ and highly unsolicited advice on how to manage my diabetes over the Christmas season, no matter how well intended it is. I don’t need suggestions of what I should and shouldn’t be eating throughout the festive season, or advice on how to keep my blood sugars in tow. If I require some assistance in that department, I’m more than capable of asking. Otherwise, please treat me like any other guest.
I don’t need to be shamed for any of the food choices that I may choose to indulge in on Christmas Day (or any other day of the year, for that matter). Please, resist the temptation to ask a person with diabetes how they manage their blood sugars at the dinner table. Rather, an acknowledgement that I do this on the other 364 nights of the year that I’m not eating dinner at your house would go a long, long way.
I don’t need insinuations that just because I tuck into the likes of chocolate, pavlova or potatoes, I’m not taking care of myself. I take a great deal of care in managing my diabetes year round, and to be honest I’m damn proud of those efforts. I refuse to be made to feel that guilty for numbers that may fall outside of my target range during a time where I just want to be Merry. Nor do I need to explain! Besides, what makes you think that a slice of pavlova is any less healthy for me than it is for you?
I really don’t care how the likes of diabetes organisations, diabetes websites, healthcare professionals, other people with diabetes, or support people for that matter, feel that I should be managing my diabetes over the festive season.
The way I choose to manage my diabetes is, quite frankly, nobody’s business but mine.
At the end of a long year, I look forward to Christmas and the ability to wind down after a long year and spend some quality time with my loved ones.
Diabetes is most definitely not the focus of that.