You are probably asking yourself, who said it would be? Recently on TuDiabetes, someone made the statement, “..diabetes is all about acceptance and management. Both are easily accomplished.” I agree that we need to accept that we have diabetes and we need to learn how to manage it. I disagree with that statement that they are “easily accomplished.”
I think that acceptance is important because no matter what we do, diabetes is not going to go away. There is a lot more to life than diabetes and I would prefer to go thru life enjoying life rather than getting out of bed every day hating the world because I have diabetes. I also realize that some people have a harder time than others getting to that place of acceptance. Some people may never get there. The guy that started the thread was diagnosed in 1975 and he is someone that is still struggling to accept diabetes. Most of his posts on TuDiabetes reflect that. I would never tell someone that it is easy. I would encourage someone to work on acceptance and try to give some ideas on how to do that. I don’t walk in their shoes and I don’t know what is easy for them.
Some things come easier to us than other things. When I was in high school, I was really good in math. I was in the honors math classes. One time I wanted to do something with my cousin instead of doing homework so I picked out a couple of the easy homework problems to do. My math teacher would ask for people to volunteer to put homework problems on the board and if no one volunteered, he would call on people and was not real happy if people did not have it done. Sometimes I would just do a few problems and then volunteer for one of the ones I did do so I would not get called on for the ones I didn’t do. I put what I thought was an easy problem on the board and Mr. G asked me if I had help with it, which I didn’t. He told me that was the first time in like 20 years he ever had a student get that problem right. I picked it because I thought it was easy and I could get it done fast. Science on the other hand was not easy for me. I studied and studied and would get straight Ds in biology. You can probably guess that I was not in the honors science class. Even though math was very easy for me, science was not. I struggled with my science classes.
Management and easily accomplished – that is the part of the statement that bothered me the most. I think as diabetics, we probably are forced to learn some management skills. I think most of us would probably make good event planners. We plan ahead. Even just walking out the door to go to work, we do a mental checklist to make sure we have the basic things we need to get thru the day – insulin, syringes/pen needles/infusion set, meter, test strips, and glucose if we go low. We do extra planning to go on vacation so we don’t run out of insulin in the middle of our trip. We have learned to think ahead and if we forget something, we have to come up with Plan B.
When I read his statement, I interpreted it as meaning management equates to good control. When I responded to his statement, I talked about the effect gastroparesis has on blood sugar but the more I think about it, I don’t think my having gastroparesis has anything to do with it. I think a lot of diabetics get unpredictable results even doing the same thing. I have seen numerous people talk about that same thing. I am sure that even without gastroparesis, I would be dealing with the same unpredictability that I am now. That seems to be more common than not.
When I started having problems with bad lows and passing out, someone criticized me and told me that I needed to change what I was doing. Most mornings, my blood sugar is starts off close to the same number when I get up. I have the same morning routine every day. That particular week for a period of 5 days, my blood sugar stayed in range after breakfast 2 days, it went high 2 days and it dropped low enough to make me pass out one day. I asked what was I supposed to change? If I ran my blood sugar higher to fix the low, then I would have 1 normal day and 4 high days. Then someone would be criticizing me for being high all the time. If I had tried to correct the highs, I would have 2 normal days and 3 low days. With anything, you need to look at the big picture, not just one little detail in that picture.
I would encourage anyone to do the best you can do. There will be good days and there will be some bad days. You might fall, but the important thing is that you get back up. I believe that anything is possible if you are willing to work at it. Don’t try to compare yourself to someone else – you are not them and your strengths are not theirs. I will never tell you that getting there is a piece of cake, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a piece of cake along the way.