5 Reminders For Anxious Diabetics
By: Sarah Ball
1) You’re allowed to feel thirst, hunger, irritability, and tiredness without having your blood sugars any less than normal.
I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel what may be symptoms of high or low blood sugars without actually having those symptoms. You’re human. Humans feel thirst. Humans feel tiredness. You are doing fine.
2) Yes, they may be staring. But who cares? You’re taking care of yourself.
When I was newly diagnosed, I was often very anxious in public when I saw people looking over when I was checking my blood sugar, or giving insulin. I often caught kids in school staring at what looked like a pager on my waist. I constantly wished I could hide it, but I realized it doesn’t matter. I’m taking care of myself and ensuring I am living the best life I can. That’s all that matters.
3) You are not a burden.
Never apologize for having to leave the room at a party to check your blood sugar, or to take a break at work to take care of a low blood sugar, or apologize for mentally not being present when you just can’t break that high blood sugar. These are things you can’t control and need to be done. Do not apologize for taking care of yourself. Instead, thank your friends for understanding that sometimes things happen unexpectedly.
4) It’s okay to take a step back and start again.
Sometimes, life can get overwhelming and stress can take over. Finding balance with a disease that never takes a day off can and will be complicated and often it will be difficult to prioritize you. But it’s okay. It’s okay to start over. It’s always okay to fall back as long as you get back up.
5) Have patience.
Many people don’t understand the complexity and toll that diabetes carries. Many diabetic jokes can only progress ignorance towards stigmas, and yes, you may get tired of the “will you die if you eat that?” question. But many people are willing to learn. Explaining things can often help people understand that Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t stem from eating too much sugar or not taking care of yourself. This can help create a better environment, but it may take time.