I am not a role model in the sense that I have a great A1C, or that I always know what to do about diabetes. I don't have all the answers. I just have 21+ years of experience.
I don't always know exactly what I'm doing, but I am trying my best to keep up. I read a lot of blogs. I may fire off a lot of terminology that you don't necessarily understand. If you want to understand, please stop and ask me. I'd be happy to try and help explain.
I don't need your policing, but sometimes I may want your help. Let's work together to learn the difference.
I appreciate it when you have diet soda or unsweetened iced tea at parties.
Sometimes I don't mind if you're looking at the numbers on any of my screens. Sometimes I do. It can be a touchy thing. It makes me feel fickle. I'm sorry if you want to look, then I snap at you a bit. It's not you. It's me being embarrassed by the results I don't like.
If you think you don't need health insurance, I will try to convince you otherwise. If you think national healthcare is a shitty idea, I will try to convince you otherwise, angrily. Furiously, if you try to tell me that changes to my lifestyle could have prevented me from getting diabetes. I was eight years old. It was autoimmune. If you don't understand that my family didn't choose this for me by their actions, then you may get your toes stomped on with some combat boots.
Sometimes I lick my fingers after I check my blood. It's my blood. It's less gross (to me) than keeping one of those blood-spotted tissues in your testing kit. I'm not a vampire. Deal with it.
When I'm cranky, it might be my blood sugar. It might not be. It's hard for me to tell the difference, too, so don't get too discouraged.
You know those 21+ years I mentioned earlier? I've had type 1 this long, and I'm still learning every day. I'm still trying to figure out how and when to do things, what to eat, what not to eat. I'm always trying to have a better attitude, and sometimes I completely fail. Diabetes management is about trying, and accepting that failures may not necessarily be my own fault.
There is uncertainty built into every single day.
I worry about you worrying about me too much.
I worry about me not worrying about myself enough.
I worry about every ache, pain and discomfort in my body, but I try not to let it get to me.
Every person with diabetes is affected differently. We all need different amounts of insulin, medications, etc. We all have our own management styles. You say your Aunt Matilda was "cured" by a lot of exercise and a raw foods diet? Goody on for her. That doesn't mean the same will work for me, you, or your other family members.
DIABETES FUCKING SUCKS. There. I said it. I love bringing you guys the lighter, goofier side of things. That's just my personality. But at the end of the day? I have a chronic illness. It's not fun. There are times I am actually working really hard to feel like a normal person.
And you? Well, your love makes me feel like a regular, healthy woman. Love me, through the ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, the middle-of-the-night juice run to the fridge, the disgruntled clack of an old infusion set against the wall because I just can't deal with one more failed site change. Love me. Everybody with diabetes needs love, kindness and respect.