Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Downplaying the D-beastie

"I took insulin. I'll just grab some water to go."

"It's nothing a glass of juice won't fix!"

"Really, it's not a big deal."

I catch myself saying these things all the time. Really, it's understandable. I have things I want to do (plans with friends, a party, whatever), and I really don't want diabetes to get in the way by being its annoying self. The biggest problem is that diabetes just wants to ruin my day sometimes.

I'm going to a beer tasting with my friends, but my BG is really high because my site went bad overnight. Diabetes and I are fighting, and my friends are about to end up in the middle of it. I'd better diffuse this situation. I'm not spilling ketones, so I do an injection, change my set, and head out the door because it's not a big deal

Do you see how easy it is to downplay diabetes like this? The truth is, this beer tasting is outside, during the summer, in Atlanta. The truth is that all I want with a high BG is a tall glass of water instead of beer. The truth is, I'm irritable right now, and I'm feeling dehydrated. The truth is... it is a big deal to me.

I was raised to not use diabetes as an excuse for anything, and I don't. I'm also the person that doesn't want to get in the way; I like to go with the flow. I don't want to be "that diabetic" with the problems, so I never let it show that it bothers me.

I was thinking about my downplaying habits in relation to personal advocacy. What is it saying about the severity and seriousness of diabetes if I'm always saying it's not a big deal? Are people going to take my fundraising and awareness campaigns seriously if I'm able to do things with a high or low blood sugar?

Moving forward, I'd like to change the way I handle it when diabetes acts up. If it's beer time, and I'm high without ketones, I'll likely still go out. I'll explain why I'm holding back on the beers. I'll tell my friends I'm going to be a little cranky for a while, because diabetes is a part of me, and I'm kind of a big deal.