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From Abby: [D-Blog Week] What They Should Know.

Abby's take on the "What They Should Know" D-Blog Week prompt. 

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If I had to tell someone who doesn’t have diabetes one thing about living with diabetes it would be this:

I joke around about diabetes most of the time. I make fun of it. I regularly reference Wilford Brimley. These are the times I’m not struggling with my diabetes. When I’m voicing how I feel, and joking about my dead pancreas, this is not the time to worry.

When I test my blood sugar, put the meter back in my purse, and then sit for a moment silently – that’s when I’m not ok. I probably just saw a number on that screen that defeated me morally and physically. I probably don’t want to talk about it. There is nothing you can do at this moment but appreciate that you don’t have to deal with it, and I’m doing the very best job that I can.

Diabetes is an extremely physical disease (see the giant bruise on my hip from a wonky CGM site) but it is also an emotional disease.

Frankly, you will never understand and I will never expect you to. All I want you to do is laugh at my jokes that aren’t funny and don’t make fun of my Sesame Street juice boxes in the pantry, and don’t judge me when I eat peanut butter on fruit snacks because my blood sugar is 43 mg/dL and it’s the most delicious thing in the world to me at that moment.

I guess what I’m saying is that diabetes consumes my life. It is always there. My reactions to each aspect of it will not make sense to me or you, and I don’t want you to put any effort into trying to understand it. If you are going to be my friend, then all I need from you is to be my friend.

Orange, like a giraffe.  Just for you, Abby.
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Abby, the part about "don't worry if I'm making jokes," totally resonated for me.  When I'm silent is when I'm the most vulnerable, not when I'm vocal about it.  I loved this post.

Comments

Me too Abby and Kerri. Me too.

Wow, what an outstanding post, Abby!!! Thanks so much for this. Hitting at the points we don't often see or talk about, and aren't visible even when we are chatting up a room or joking. I love how you're talking about normal friendships that have understanding.

Wow, well said. It really made me think. Thanks for a great post.

Ah. Now I see. Abby is fantabulous!! In this post, Kerri, I see what you see - and mean!

So true. A lot of time, it's about what I'm NOT saying...and what I'm NOT talking about...

I LOVE this.

We call the Sesame Street juice "Elmo juice". It's exactly the right amount of carbs.

I think that this is the part that we all share (type 1's and type 2's). There are moments when we can be okay with it and laugh it off, but then there are the times we just have to process. Thanks for putting our experience into words.

Love your honesty Abby and Kerri!

This sounds a lot like Lia, right down to the angst over the number on the meter to her delight for peanut butter. Plus: she's even sporting a quarter-sized bruise on her rump from a poorly aimed site change. It is so helpful to hear someone articulate it in such a way that we have a better understanding too of what she might be thinking and feeling as well. Thank you.

Right there withcha.

Oh my goodness this is so true. I'm a type 3, my almost- 11 year old has had T1 for just over 8 years now. Those moments that you find my daughter crying over a site change...or eating a spoonful of sunflower seed butter (she's allergic to nuts ;)...or taking extra big breaths because a drop of 150 in 35 minutes scared the poop out of her. It's when my whole family remembers how vulnerable she really is.

Every year it gets just a little bit harder to emotional deal with "D" as she grows up, loses some innocence and realizes the really crappy parts of this disease. A "bad" number hurts morally and emotionally just as bad as physically.

Thanks for sharing your stories as an adult PWD! You both give me so much hope for the future!

Libby
Mom of Ella age 10, dx at 31 months

Your peanut butter comment made me LOL. I have a vivid memory of waking up low in the middle of the night in my college dorm. After somehow getting down from my lofted bed I spread peanut butter onto a granola bar and ate it by the light of the mini-fridge so I didn't wake my roommate.

Fabulous Post!!! Love it!

What a great post!! You really got it right for me and so many others.

Your blog made me cry because I relate to what you said so much. And there is no way I could have ever said it so well. I hope you don't mind if I share some of your feeling and ideas!
Thank you!
Hilary

This blog may change my life.

Thank you. This expression is one I have been trying to convey for over twenty years. Well done.

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