I recently celebrated the anniversary of 18 years since my diabetes diagnosis. Same day as my birthday. That’s right, it was during my childhood that I had the brilliant idea of getting diagnosed right after eating birthday cake. That said, I’m quite a bit older now. Oh, and also: I met someone...
That’s usually how gossip sessions start. Around a glass of wine with a handful of friends, I go through all the gritty details of every emotion. Today I want to talk about what it feels like to have someone discover what it really means to have diabetes. And to start caring about it as much as (if not more than) I do.
Our first few nights together coincided with a spell where my diabetes was a bit out of control. I was hardly sleeping through the night. I kept having to wake up to eat, because I was getting too low. But I’m used to my diabetes and barely notice these things anymore. I was waking up at midnight to pick through the large choice of treats I’d piled up on my night stand. It’s routine for me. Like brushing your teeth after dinner.
Then came the breakfast talk. How come you’re so low so often? And, geez, I must struggle to get a good night’s sleep. It’s pretty jarring to hear another person’s perception of how you manage this condition that’s so much a part of you that you tend to forget it’s even there sometimes.
We go shopping together and buy honey, so I don’t pass out while I’m away from my own bed and my sugar life line. I get my shit together and review my night basal rate. I’m down to maybe one nightly hypo per week, max, and now there’s actually a reason for it.
But things don’t stop there, I now have someone looking over my shoulder when I quickly check my BG. He cheers loudly whenever I make it into the highlighted zone, which he’s quickly understood is my life goal ;)
I process good and bad news based on my current blood sugar values. But now I have someone who cares about the bad days too. Checking my blood glucose in the evening, I see that I’ve barely been in range all day, but at least I didn’t make it over 250mg/dL either. I’ve gotten a bit loose with my standards over the year. I look at the screen, basically happy with my performance. His head pops up over my shoulder: “Oh man! That was a bad day.” My first reaction is to turn to him in defensive denial. Later, I sneak off to the bathroom to look back over previous days, away from the curious eyes of my new personal spy.
Crap! The whole week’s been a mess. Daily peaks at different times (a sure sign of sloppy late boluses rather than wrong ratios). It’s time to get back on top of things.
To everyone out there who is sharing their life with a diabetic, thanks for loving and supporting us. Thanks for kicking our asses sometimes. And for bringing us juice when we wake up in a hypo in the middle of the night. Diabetes is super sucky some days. But it sucks way less when we’re taming it together ;)