The Struggle

In August I became very ill and spent 5 days in the hospital. In the process I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which was the underlying culprit in my whole medical misadventure. So for the last 6 months I have been struggling to come to terms with and learn to cope with now being a diabetic. Not my idea of a fun time.

Days of what sometimes felt like endless finger sticks to check my blood sugar leaving my poor fingers looking a bit like they had been through a war — which I suppose they had. Trying to figure out what I can eat and what drives my glucose levels too high. Feelings about myself rising and falling based on the verdict of my glucometer.

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That was a reasonably good day.

Then came the days when I just cried in frustration over no longer being able to eat what I want when I want it without worrying or even thinking about what price I might pay when the meter rendered its verdict. And the weight of knowing this is not a temporary thing, not something I will get over and go back to normal, whatever that is. Diabetes and checking my blood sugar and paying attention to my feet, because I have mild neuropathy, and monitoring myself as I never had to before is a part of my life for the rest of my life. Days like that come and go. Days when I feel rage at my body. Deep sadness. Depression. Writing in my journal trying, trying to get what this means for me, pouring out words for my feelings. 

A “lifestyle illness” is what is often said about Type 2 diabetes. Implying, if not saying outright that being diabetic is my fault, the fault of my lifestyle. Bad Cheryl. That really pisses me off. I stopped dieting almost 40 years ago . I was sick of the whole rollercoaster, going from elation at pounds lost to feeling utter failure when those same pounds came creeping back as they do for nearly all who diet. And most everywhere you read about diabetes is the assertion that losing weight is one of the paramount goals for diabetics, even to the point of touting bariatric surgery as all but a cure for it. Except that there is no cure for diabetes, even if blood sugar levels decline — it is a systemic illness and remains. 

Wrestling with what it means that I am diabetic is where I spend time these days. Not what the details of daily life are but deeper. Paying attention to the physical aspects though sometimes frustrating and annoying is easier really than considering what inner meaning is. What does it mean, in terms of who I am, that I am insulin resistant? So I contemplate where else I encounter resistance, often fierce, in me and in my life.

No doubt I will complain and rant and bitch and moan about this in the weeks and months ahead. Today is an up day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.