A New Level of Helplessness

You do everything you can to maintain balance. You count every, single, carb. You carefully calculate every single bolus. You keep candy in pockets and glove compartments and in trap doors – just in case. With all the attention to detail that diabetes requires, there’s never a moment to rest.

Occasionally I try to describe what diabetes is like for the few of you reading this blog that don’t have first hand experience. I try to capture the fear, the anger, the hate, the confusion, the rage, the helplessness, all of it. I doubt I do a sufficient job for what this disease really means, but it’s a start.

Of course, this disease is manageable. With the proper tools, the no-so-fun parts can be mitigated. Then again, even with the proper tools, the proper mindset also factors into ones ability to successfully juggle life and diabetes. All of this is fine and dandy from the first person perspective, but when it’s outside of your control, that’s when the helplessness really sets in.

Whenever I have a low blood glucose reading, I take the necessary corrective measures (glucose tabs, caprisun, whatever) and wait it out. I don’t necessarily have a full breakdown, but it’s one of those few moments that I can be okay with not presenting my super-confident self. Diabetes is quite crafty in its ability to break a person down. But that kind of helplessness is when it’s my blood glucose.

I think I feel even more helpless when that low blood glucose registers on someone else’s meter. I can get a caprisun or glucose tabs for you, no problem, but then the waiting game starts. I hate waiting for the correction to kick in. I hate that I can’t do any more than what I’ve already done. I want to move mountains but have to settle for twiddling my thumbs. I literally know exactly what you are going through, but I can’t settle on the fact that I’ve done all that I can. I’m glad I can be around to help out, but seeing what diabetes can do to you is a thousand times worse than whatever it can do or has done to me. If I could take on twice the diabetes so you didn’t have to deal with any of this, I would. For now, I’ll keep a caprisun on standby.

I hate this disease.

5 thoughts on “A New Level of Helplessness

  1. That’s rare to find, someone that truly does know exactly what we’re feeling and exactly what we are fighting when battling a low BG, and is there with us. Every single low is different, yet they all have a commonality, and that is the helplessness of them. It’s like having to save yourself, every single time. The frustration resonates, and you’re not alone in that either friend.


  2. I never really thought about what it would be like for the “other person” – my boyfriend, my parents, my best friends – until I read your post and really thought about what you guys had to deal with the other night, and presumably will have to deal with in the future. Then I thought about it, what it would be like if the people I care about were dealing with this instead of me. And really, it just makes the disease more sucky. I like being encouraging in comments, but with the crap I’ve been dealing with on top of everyone else’s, I just can’t right now. All I can say is thanks for putting it in perspective, even if it sucks that you have to.


  3. wow. I agree, this disease does suck.

    I haven’t really observed. I remember thinking my husband was low once. I remember being scared.

    Glad you are able to help each other!


  4. Wow. This hit me so hard it took me awhile to formulate a response. How strange and difficult that must be, to see the other side, both of you?



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