The other side of diabetes

Earlier this week I spoke about how I find the online community a strong tool for support. Today, I want to show how support comes to me also in the offline world.

I’m very lucky to have a close family, boyfriend, friends who also have diabetes, and friends who have no experience of the condition. This post today is going to focus on those friends who have no experience of diabetes.

Up until now, I’ve assumed the view that those who don’t have diabetes, don’t really take much notice of the condition. To them, I have diabetes, I inject insulin and sometimes need to guzzle a sugary drink. End of. On the most part, I’m fine with that trail of thought. Why should they be interested in something that doesn’t concern them? Unless someone asks, I don’t tend to talk to anyone other than my family and diabetic friends.

I have recently been stopped in my tracks, and given some food for thought. A friend sent a message that when I read it back, I wanted to cry. It’s so heart-warming to hear someone say they want to understand what I’m going through.

“I want to understand how you deal with it on a daily basis”.

My initial reply (perhaps mirrored by all of you who have diabetes) was I haven’t a fricking clue! Just how do I deal with injecting 5,6, sometimes 7 times a day, when I hate the thought of needles? How do I dare eat when my sugars are sky high? How do I manage to stumble to the kitchen and logically work out how much I need to eat, to get my sugar levels up from that pesky 3.2? How do I manage lugging all my diabetes equipment with me at all times, even when I have THE perfect clutch bag that I could be using…?

For about half an hour, I was giving bite size chunks of information about what diabetes is, why there are different types (type 1 and type 2 for example), and how diabetes affects me on a daily basis. The tiredness, the hunger, the cupboard raiding at 2am when I’m having a hypo. All distinguishing features of diabetes, that I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with.

At the end of the conversation, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I had been made to promise that I would sit down with my friend and really describe how diabetes affects me. Why the silly grin? Someone is taking an interest in my condition, and not because I’ve hinted that I want to talk to about it.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll be providing plenty of tea and biscuits to break up the boredom!

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