Diabetes Blog Week - Day 2 - Keep it to Yourself

Originally I didn't know what I'd write about when asked what parts of diabetes "I keep to myself." Truth is, I don't keep a lot to myself. Opinions? Oh yeah, I've got them. About diabetes. About the next Star Wars movie. About rye whiskey. You ask, I've got something to say.

But there are certain things related to diabetes that I don't tend to talk about much and blog about even less. Not many, but a few.

1.) I don't talk much about infusion set failures that lead to high BGs. I've read some extremely emotional posts from diabetics who'll allow a bent cannula to be the catalyst for a tirade about the frustration of the disease. And I get it. It's annoying. But things - particularly mechanical things - fail. The added stress you feel because of the bad infusion set? It just pours gas on the fire, so I don't do it.

2.) I don't tell diabetic parents how they should feel or what they should do. I am a parent. I have diabetes. One plus one does not equal three, and those perspectives in my life don't give me a windows into yours. I'll be glad to share my experiences with you and attempt to give you perspective on how your child might feel, but I stay outside of the lines when it comes to advising parents of diabetics. It's one of the reasons I've never had a public opinion about Nightscout, because I honestly don't think I have the insight to offer one. I could argue either side of the "Would I put my kid on it?" question, so I choose to argue neither.

3.) Finally, and if you've ever seen me speak on the topic, you know this is one of my recurring lines, you'll never hear me say, "Diabetes doesn't make sense." Is it confusing? Yes. But in the end, what you're dealing with is fourth grade math and eighth grade chemistry. The fact that you got the problem wrong today doesn't change the fact that on some level, a simple miscalculation was made or a different type of chemical reaction occurred than the one you planned for. Some say diabetes is complex and there's certainly some truth to that, but I think the greater issue is that diabetes is relentless. It barely rewards yesterday's good blood sugars and demands constant attention. So you'll often hear me talk about the relentlessness of the disease and the discipline required to deal with it every day. But you won't hear me personify it as being mysterious, because I don't believe it is.

And finally, I think I should mention that the "public diabetic" I've become hasn't been a lifetime thing. I was diagnosed at 13 and was as likely to engage in conversations about my diabetes at that age as a typical 13 year old, meaning not at all. I didn't outright deny having it, as some will, but I also didn't wear it on my sleeve, either. My employers when I was younger were kept much more in the dark about it, too. My process to get to this point has been gradual and only began when I turned 30. I think that's important because I wouldn't want anyone to think that my openness is how they should be. Rather, it's just where I ended up.


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