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(This prompt was pulled from the #happydiabeticchallenge over on Instagram.  To check out that hashtag, click here.)

I feel weird giving advice because even after 32 years of diabetes, I’m still trying to figure things out.  A lot of the time, I have “no eyed deer” what I doing. But the main thing that I keep circling back to is the concept of responsibility.

As much as it sucks sometimes, I have to be responsible.  Some days that means sitting on the phone for hours trying to get through to my insurer.  Other days it means moving finances around in order to make sure we have the bandwidth for my medical necessities.  Every day it means taking my insulin, checking my blood sugar and caring about the results. As often as possible, I exercise and try to prioritize healthy foods with fewer carbs to minimize blood sugar spikes.  I make myself follow through on doctor appointments and health check ups. … and occasionally, I go off the rails entirely with this whole responsibility thing and have a doughnut and sit on the couch and watch entire seasons of Game of Thrones but I think that comes back to responsibility in a roundabout way because you can’t be game (of thrones) on all the time.  Mental health matters and my brain needs breathing room from the constant bitching and moaning from my pancreas.

My advice?  Take this thing seriously.  Even when it’s hard.  Diabetes can be a pain to deal with in some obvious ways, but it can concurrently ruin you with whispers, with signs and symptoms that aren’t readily noticeable until something is very wrong.

It’s much easier to respect the disease in efforts to earn the right to feel “fine.” It’s a weird road to walk, this one with diabetes, but you don’t go it alone.  (Need proof?  Well, you have me, as evidenced by almost fourteen years of blogging. And if you click on any diabetes hashtag or campaign or Facebook page, etc etc you’ll find 10,000 other people ready to hold your hand and flip the middle finger to your pancreas at a moment’s notice.)