May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?
I won’t lie and say living with diabetes is easy, but the tools and technology at my disposal certainly reduce a lot of the external stress and frustration that are often associated with this disease. When I talk about my own diabetes, I understand that control is largely within my grasp, and up to me to follow through on. When we’re talking about someone else’s diabetes, like say, the woman I’m going to marry. Keeping calm is a bit more difficult.
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.
So what brings me down? When I have to apply patience and a level-head to situations that don’t deserve them. When, even when I know everything will be okay, I have to wait those 15 minutes. It sounds hypocritical, because one of the foundations of the diabetes community is finding solidarity in knowing that other people out there know exactly what you’re dealing with – that you are not alone.
But when I know exactly what she’s going through because I’ve experienced it myself, that doesn’t make it better. Not by a long shot.
My offer still stands to take on twice the diabetes.