May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?
Ah, another hard one. A hard one indeed. I think the honest truth to that would be that often I simply don’t cope at all. I get angry and frustrated and I feel hopeless. I get paranoid about possible complications. Remember, I’m not working right now nor attending university because of my diabetes. It has taken away two years of my life that I can never get back, never mind the ones I struggled on with.
It is emotional because it dictates my every move from what goes in my handbag to which shoes I should sensibly buy to protect my feet. It doesn’t go away. It is not just insulin and carbohydrates with blood tests in-between. Maybe it would be easier if it was. There are the times when friends don’t understand why you can’t do something or other or why you can’t do it right now. People don’t understand why you can feel fabulous on a 7.0 one day and feel like your body is a battleground with shadows under your eyes and the same reading the next.
It is the constant correcting of false information and the constant answering of questions you answer so others don’t get asked but don’t really want to talk about. It is associating certain places or activates with highs or lows and getting anxious and depressed and wanting to avoid it all. It is knowing that whether your control is good, bad or indifferent the first thing you do in the morning is test your blood and the last thing you do at night is test it again.