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Tough Questions.

A few nights ago, I had the opportunity to co-host a webinar for WEGO Health with Janis Rozsler (who literally wrote the books on handling diabetes and chronic illness).  It was a really cool discussion, and even though I have diabetes and Janis's expertise is in the field of diabetes, the talking points were applicable to more than just this one disease.

But since type 1 diabetes is what I'm most familiar with, and I couldn't help but spin every question in relation to my own health condition.  This question, in particular, threw me:

Asking the tough questions about diabetes and relationships.

I get a lot of questions from blog readers.  (I ask a lot, too.)  Lots from family members.  Some from new friends, some from old buddies.  Some from people I've dated in the past.  And so many from Chris, as we learned about one another and planned for our future together.

The toughest question I've had to answer about diabetes is very direct, and completely innocent.  I've been asked this question over and over again, and have sometimes even asked it of myself.

"Will you be okay?"

It's such a simple question, but I know the words that are missing from the beginning and the end.  "You have diabetes ... will you be okay?  Or will you have complications?"

There are days when I'm certain of the answer.  "I'll be fine.  I'm working hard - I'll be just fine."  These are the days when I'm having a decent run on the Dexcom graph, and the average on my machine is under 120 mg/dl, and I'm feeling strong.  When I feel like diabetes is on the peripheral, and not the focus.

Other days?  Seems like the answer should be "Nope."  Those are the days when I'm screwing up every carb count, when my numbers are pinging from one end of the spectrum to the other without spending even 15 minutes 'in range,' and when I feel whipped by what this disease requires, physically and mentally.

I can do so much to protect my body from this disease.  I can test my blood sugar all day long, and really try hard to immediately correct the highs and quickly treat the lows.  I can keep a good attitude about things and realize that while my diabetes isn't completely in my control, my attitude can be, for the most part. 

But I'm never sure, and I hate when my brain starts to think too much about my control of the future.  I've written before about how diabetes complications are from diabetes, not from my lack of or emphasis on effort.  It comes down to us doing our best, our very best, to stay on top of our physical health as we remain tuned in to our mental health.  The last few weeks, with such a heavy focus on my diabetes management and with every breath (mine and my baby's) being tracked by my medical team, I'm hitting a level of burnout that I've never felt before.  I'm trying to stay focused on the end result - holding the baby!! - and that helps keep me grounded for a few more days.  I am pretty damn sure I'll be okay, overall, and even if my body has some physical hiccups as I spend more and more time with type 1 diabetes, I'm hopeful that a good attitude will see me through the tougher times.

"Will you be okay?"

Sometimes I just have to shrug and say what's really in my heart:  "I hope so."  And then a grin.  "I plan on it."

Comments

You are so strong, Kerri. You will be just fine. Thanks for sharing this amazing journey.

"I plan on it" that is a great response and something we should tell ourselves.

I am always convinced that I am fighting a battle I cannot win but that is not the right attitude and not necessarily the case.

Inspirational words, Kerri. It is the question we asks ourselves everyday about our daughter. Thank you for sharing a positive, heartfelt answer.

Great words to say Kerri. Empowering.

I like "I plan on it" a lot too! :)

Hi Kerri - my daughter 13 just went to Diabetes Winter camp and came home and told me about a lecture they had that covered the whole diabetes complications are from diabetes scenario. A disheartening reality but she was also motivated to do her best everyday! Stay focused on your new reality - she will be wonderful!

I think that works best for me, saying I think I'll be okay. I want to be okay.

Well said, Kerri. Wishing you lots more "I'll be fine" days over the next couple of months! I can't even imagine how burnt out you must be.
I'm usually a total lurker, but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing all that you do. Being able to follow your pregnancy has taught me a lot about what I'm (hopefully) in for some day. And I'm anxiously awaiting BSparl's arrival!

I always have that question on the back of my mind. My dad came to visit me and I have only seen him twice since I was diagnosed and he got super sad every time I talked about diabetes. Poor papa.

Thank you for the wonderful post, I am so glad that I found this blog, you really express what we are all feeling perfectly :)

Great post Kerri. It IS hard to think about that question.

I think that so many of us have had to adopt Dory's "Just Keep Swimming" attitude about surviving all the damn work, mental and physical torture, and worries that diabetes puts on us.

From a type 1 mother of a beautiful 11 year old daughter..."stick" with it it's worth every blood test, poke, prod, carb count, stick, test...your baby will be sweet and healthy!

I needed this post today. :) Thank you for being so honest Kerri!!

love that! such a simple question but it is such a relevant one as well...

It's so nice to know that someone else out there understands how scary that question can be. I know with every fiber of my being what that feels like to wonder. But bottom line...we are not alone! Keep on fighting...

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