Diabetes fuckingsucks. There's no other way to put it. "At least it's not cancer","at least it only affects your eating", "it doesn't seem toaffect you so much". No. It fucking sucks. Sure, it could be a lot worse,but having a chronic illness that you know will never go away is fuckingdepressing. It's always there, festering at the back of your mind, alwayspricking away at your conscience. The first thing on my mind when I wake up andthe last thing before I fall asleep, always that little part of me fearing thatI could not wake up again.
I try not to let itfill up so much in my life. I try to push it away, but it only makes it bigger.Ignoring it doesn't work. It makes it so much worse. I don't want to be sick. Idon't want to be diabetic. So my diabetes takes revenge. It wants attention andgets mad when I leave it out in the cold and don't pay attention to it. Itmakes me lose all focus, not able to see clearly, not able to processinformation, feeling claustrophobic in my own body, using all my energy on notshutting down.
2.12.2014. The day Iwas diagnosed. It was a confusing day. I remember not being able to speak,holding back the tears, choked up. I remember keeping my eyes fixated on thesunrise, the sky looking like it was on fire. I remember not knowing what toexpect, clueless but aware that my life had changed. I remember being told topack a bag of essentials and told that I would have to spend some time at thehospital. I remember my family trying to reassure me that I was going to beokay, trying to mask their worry. Arriving at the hospital I remained positive."At least it's not cancer" I told my nurse when she askedsympathetically how I was feeling. I guess it's true, but I wouldn't have saidthat if I knew how much of an enemy I would soon become with this disease.
My two weeks at thehospital were turbulent. I was praised at how fast I took the reins myself, howpositive I was being. I felt like a baby, being taught how to take care of myown body for the first time. How was I supposed to ever go outside alone, sleepalone, exercise alone. They took so many blood tests, woke me up multiple timesevery night, assessed how my body reacted to exercise, was bombarded withinformation on how to control my body again.
Never have I felt asvulnerable as the first time I went outside of the hospital, after a week ofconstant being in the hands of nurses. I was only outside for an hour, myparents and I went to a café. I remember the frustration. Anger filled me. Fearof fainting, fear of how much insulin I should take. Fear of eating anythingthat would make my blood sugar rise or fall. I remember refusing to eat even abite of chocolate.
The next time I wentout was to the cinema. That was my first panic attack. The first of many. Thepopcorn scared me. My brochure from the hospital didn’t comfort me. I was lostin the numbers. The weight of the carbs, the insulin ratio, the blood sugar,subtracting them from each other, how long I should wait to eat. It had to beperfect. I had to do everything exactly perfect. Then my blood sugar rose and Ipanicked. I was scared, it was all so new and suddenly I couldn't breatheanymore, the cinema walls were closing in on me and I was certain I wouldn'tever make it back to the hospital. I wasnever a very anxious person before, but the first two years of having diabeteswere full of anxiety, in classrooms- holding back the tears as I was scared todeath that I would faint or start to tremble in front of the class; in the gym,afraid that I wouldn’t realize how low I was before it was too late; scared tofall asleep, scared I wouldn't wake up again.
Then the visitorscame and I experienced my first low. This time I really did think I was aboutto die. This feeling has since become a familiar enemy. The fear of not makingit through, not getting my bs up in time. The feeling of panic, of my throat stranglingitself and the tears stinging my eyes and not being able to see through thecloud has become familiar.
The first night thatI slept at home again was emotionally draining. It was the first time Iexperienced feeling so utterly alone and afraid. I cried myself to sleep,feeling so weak for being afraid to sleep at my own home. I felt so stupid,being 14 and not knowing how to control my own body, scared to mess up, to taketoo much insulin, or not wake up, to get the wrong numbers on my machine.Scared to disappoint my doctors and myself.
The first year withdiabetes was a rollercoaster, constant lows, near fainting and having to stuffmy face with carbs to be able to walk home from school. The weight gain hasn’tstopped. No matter how little I eat, how clean I eat or how much I exercise,the battle of losing that weight that doesn’t belong to me is multiplied by 100because of this fucking disease and the hormones I inject every day. Thenthere's the bruises. Injecting myself at least five times a day, leaving mepainted with yellow, green and purple. I can make peace with the physicalaspects of the illness, but what hurts me the most is how it affects my moodand the way I view myself. My blood sugar controls me. I feel weak. The highblood sugars makes me angry, sad, frustrated and exhausted. Sure, when my bloodsugar is fine I am in control, but every day is a rollercoaster ride. The worstis waking up with a low. For a second I lay and wonder whether it's worth it. Icould just stay in my bed and let the diabetes take me with it. I could easilyend it. But every time I manage to drag myself to the fridge, sitting on thestone hard floor and poor the juice down my throat, hoping it will be oversoon.
So much fear hasbeen brought on by this disease, so much anxiety, self-hatred and a feeling ofnot being in control of my own body. I can't count on one hand the amount oftimes it all has bubbled over at a doctor's appointment, the tears rushing frommy eyes, hyperventilating, trying to catch my breath. I try not to talk aboutit so much, not let it be a part of me. But sometimes it gets too much. Isimply don’t want to deal with it and the luggage it has brought with it. Ihate how it has controlled me. For the past few months I have tried to ignoreit, not taking insulin and letting my blood sugar rise to critical heights. Iknow the long term affects I am causing, I know how horribly I am treatingmyself. But it's as if someone is stopping me, making me forget to take insulinand not wanting to check my blood sugar, already knowing how fucked up it is.How badly I am taking care of myself. Every doctor's appointment I tell themthat I will improve, but it doesn’t really work. I am getting better nowthough. I guess being hospitalized twice helped a bit.
I could write a bookabout type 1 diabetes and it has only been a part of me for three years. Thatscares me a bit.
Type 1 diabetessucks. There is no cause and no cure. I am just one of the unlucky ones. Iwonder why I was chosen. But despite the shittiness, I have to remind myselfhow lucky I am. I'm grateful that I have access to free healthcare, that I haveaccess to insulin, that I have great nurses that I can cry to and get advicefrom, and supporting parents, who let me handle it myself but are there to wipemy tears away.
I wouldn't wish this chronic illness on anyone and I hope one day that therewill be a cure, but until then I guess there isn't much to do other than takeeach day as it comes…