Monday, January 15, 2007

"I'm an adult and I'll do what I want."

This article hit me pretty hard. At first I didn't want to talk about it, I don't know.

Do we all know someone like this? I'm coming from a different perspective, though. I may a diabetic now, but I've been in a similar position to the woman in the article. The person I am thinking of had no qualms about putting their or my life at risk so that they could feel a little more like diabetes wasn't changing anything about life for them. Unfortunately, that's just not the reality of it.

The reality is trying to force juice down someone's throat when they're fighting you and saying they won't treat it, because they refuse to keep glucose gel (or glucagon for that matter) around. The reality is realizing you're out of test strips and you can't bum one because this person doesn't even know where their meter is and probably doesn't have any strips, even though they could get them for free. The reality is recognizing lows by the way the person is driving and never being able to convince them to eat some carbs (yours, no less) until you arrive at the destination. The reality is the constant ups and downs - both bg and mood. Everything has a readymade excuse: "I was high." "I was low." Sometimes it's not even true. The reality is carrying three times as much sugar as you could ever possibly need and seeing it all disappear into the other person's mouth in the space of ten minutes because they just can't get the hang of carrying their own, even after 20 years. The reality is the ugliness that comes out of this person's mouth automatically when you tell them you've just been diagnosed with diabetes: "I guess you should have exercised more" followed later by "you test too much" and "I have no sympathy for you whatsoever." The reality is knowing that all your concern, your planning, and your rearranging of things to make it easier to manage your own diabetes is often not only not appreciated, but explicitly resented. The reality is the cold sweat that breaks out over you when someone who *never* sleeps late does, but you know how angry they're going to be if you try to check on them.

You'd think that becoming diabetic would change my mind about the whole experience, and yet it hasn't. I want to understand how someone could have such a poor relationship with their diabetes that they feel compelled to treat people that care about them like that. I want to, but I don't. Maybe if I could, I could help. Or maybe, as I've often been told, I just need to let it go. But how do you stop caring?


Drea said...


I have been reading your blog...your story, your experiences - they are the same situation my best friend at work is going through - reading your stories are like listening to him talk at work Monday morning!


In Search Of Balance said...

I don't have any advice for you, as I've never been in so extreme a situation, but I'm thinking of you and hope that you find relief from this situation in some way. Best wishes...

Lili said...

Drea - hi. I'm not sure which experience you mean specifically, but, um, I guess I'm sorry to hear that. Nice to see you here, though.

Beth - thank you. It probably sounds more extreme because I condensed eight years down into one paragraph - or maybe it seems less extreme to me because I'm so used to it now. I don't know. But becoming diabetic has made me less willing to take excuses or being treated some ways, so I am a bit more removed from the situation now. Of course I still have hope.

cassandra said...

i think this person in your life with diabetes is not so uncommon. it took me 15 years to start facing the gravity of my diabetes. i think, some people are strong and meet a challenge head on, but there must be a million possible ways of coping, of accepting and fighting, living in denial and pretending, or giving up. don't let him/her bring you down. it's hard to say what an yindividual's reaction would be, but all you can do is take care of yourself, and be there if this person ever decides to change. maybe knowing there is an oc out there might help this person understand that they are not alone.

Lili said...

Cassandra - Thank you. This person does know about OC, but prefers not to discuss diabetes with anyone except their diabetic sibling. Especially groups of other diabetics. I am definitely not giving up hope though. Thank you for your words.