Friday, July 16, 2010
Be a Diabetic
A few days ago in a comment about another person with type 1 diabetes I wrote that he should "buck up, be a diabetic, and test his blood sugar."
The second I typed that, it started to make me wonder what I meant, and I've been thinking about it for a while. It definitely had some connotations similar to old, chauvinistic terms like "Be a man."
That's kind of what I meant. Like "being a man," being a diabetic implies that you have certain responsibilities, to yourself and to the people around you.
If you have it, you have it. However, really owning your diabetes implies a certain level of self-reliance, self-control, and self-respect.
I didn't decide to be diabetic, but now that it's here, I can take pride in how I handle it. (Sometimes.) I've met a lot of people who make me proud to be a diabetic.
So wear the scarlet letter, own the big D, make it yours, take care of it. Test when you need to test. Shoot up or change your infusion set when you need to.
There's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed about diabetes, type 1 or type 2. It's a disease.
If you do feel ashamed or embarrassed, fine, feel that way, but feel that way while you're taking care of yourself, not while you're avoiding doing a blood test. You don't need to be obnoxious about it, but you need to do what you need to do for your health.
We're in this for the long run.