Friday, 18 May 2012

Diabetes Blog Week 2012: What they should know

Friday 05/18 Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

If I was to list everything that I wish other people knew about diabetes, I'd be here all night (and possibly the rest of the weekend too...)  So I'm going to focus on one thing.  One thing that I want people who don't have diabetes to understand about living with diabetes.

It's not easy.

That's it.  One thing.  Living with diabetes and trying to manage it on a daily basis is not easy.  It's such a simple thing, but one that I think a lot of people just don't get.  I think we are very good in the DOC (and by extension diabetics everywhere) at making it look easy.  We just get on with it, because what else are we going to do? Additionally, a lot of the things that we do are invisible - people notice the finger pricking and the injections if they pay attention, and maybe treating a hypo, but the calculations that go through your head when you sit down to eat, or when you try to decide what to do about a walk into town, or how much you need to eat to treat that low, if your set needs changing, or if you need to order supplies, or why the hell are you high/low and a million other little things that we do on a daily basis just to try to keep ourselves ticking over?

Those things aren't really noticeable. I will never forget one of my co-workers saying to me one day that being diabetic was easy, because it just involved testing your blood sugar and taking a couple of injections every day.  That was seriously all that he thought it was about.  (I may have ranted at him for about ten minutes about how wrong he was.  He doesn't believe that anymore... ;) )  But it stuck with me how unaware people are of what we do as diabetics, and thinking about it, if you're not diabetic or looking after someone who is, then you don't really have any reason to know. 

I'm not complaining, because I don't really want pity or sympathy - this is part of my life and complaining about it isn't really going to help (though I reserve my right to rant at the diabetes fairy from time to time!), but I really wish sometimes that people would realise that just because I'm not complaining, and I seem to be doing ok with managing my diabetes and you don't see me doing something as obvious as falling over, it doesn't for one moment mean that it's easy.

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