With Thanksgiving just past and Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, this is a time of year for reflection. I’ve been thinking lately not only about what I am thankful for, but also what I wish for, and how that has changed over time. Recently I was discussing diabetes and other health related challenges with someone, and I found myself saying that I would trade my left arm to be rid of diabetes. Never mind that I am right handed, this still seemed like a huge sacrifice. Of course, this is not possible, but still, I kind of surprised myself when I said it out loud.
A few months ago my life changed for the better when I joined the ranks of people living with diabetes who use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). For years I heard people say it was life changing and they couldn’t imagine living without it once they got one. I am now one of those people. My CGM makes such
This month’s Diabetes Sisters theme, Menstruation, Menopause and Everything in Between is huge. It covers the majority of a woman’s life. For me, however, when dealing with diabetes, it’s the “everything in between” piece that is most challenging and confounding. Can I be honest? What’s “in between” in my life is more acne than a junior high school class picture. If there is anyone reading this who has never had a pimple, you might want to move on, this blog is not for you. For the rest of us – can we please join together in one giant “WHY ME???” I’m 48 years old and I feel like a teenager. And not in a carefree, naïve sort of way. I mean, I feel like a teenager in the drugstore, debating between salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide products. Piling on makeup in the hopes that no one will notice (or at least, not be so grossed out they have to pin their eyes on my necklace instead of my face while talking to me).
I will never forget the moment I was told I have diabetes. It was a Thursday afternoon and I was at work, sitting at my desk when the phone rang. It was my doctor. She said, "Eileen, you have diabetes. You need to come see me first thing tomorrow morning." It was that simple. And yet, it wasn't simple at all. I was 43, thin, healthy, and active. Many people would say to me over the coming years, "How can you have diabetes? You are the healthiest person I know!" Yep, I was the healthiest person I knew! Only now I was the healthiest person with DIABETES. As if this weren't complicated enough, like most adults, I was misdiagnosed as a Type 2, by my first two doctors. I did everything right and my A1C continued to rise. I tried a third doctor. The nurse advised me that because I was thin, I didn't need any medication at all. And she argued with me when I insisted that type 2 treatment wasn't working and I really thought there was something else going on. The final straw was when she said to me "you sound like you want to be type 1." Really? Does anyone WANT to have diabetes? of any kind? Really?
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