Sunday, April 28, 2013

Suffering with Diabetes

There are many things I see on the internet or hear in public that get under my skin.  As someone dealing with diabetes those things often revolve around “cures” and “if you’d onlys”, but there is one word that never ceases to bug the crap out of me: suffering.  “Do you suffer with diabetes?” “Diabetes sufferers” etc.  ARGHH!!!!  This word is not only used by snake oil salesmen but often by reputable diabetes sites which I admire. I do NOT suffer with diabetes.  I live with it.  Recently, however, I began thinking about this “suffering” in a different way.

There are many, many people who ARE suffering with their diabetes!  All you have to do is read comments on a diabetes Facebook page or after a blog or article to find them.  How sad is that?

I love my mom.  I’ve learned many things from her in my lifetime but there is one recent lesson I hope to remember for the rest of my life.  You see, Mom is old…very old.  It’s not so much her age that’s an issue but more her attitude.  She’s very “woe is me” all the time.  I understand completely because, basically, her life sucks right now.  I verbalized my concerns recently when I told Ray, “I don’t want to be a “woe is me” old lady.  I want to try to enjoy my life regardless of my limitations.”  I don’t intend to wait until I’m “old” but am trying to have that commitment now.  I want to enjoy life; focus on the good stuff and try to keep the crappy things in the background, including my diabetes.

Do I always succeed?  Heck no.  I can whine with the best of them.  I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.  No one, other than Stepford people, is happy all the time.  We all have our down days and our days of feeling sorry for ourselves but the trick is not to live there.  I’m afraid that when people are diagnosed with T2 diabetes they think their lives are over and lament and stew and revel in their new-found suckiness.

Let’s face it, we’re spoiled.  We’re used to doing whatever the heck we want when we want to do it.  Then along comes diabetes and we’re told that, in fact, we can’t just do whatever we want.  We have to change our lifestyle.  We need to eat a healthier diet.  We need to move more.  We probably ought to lose a bit of weight.  We have to poke our fingers and bleed daily.  We may need to take medications or inject insulin or some other injectable med.  Woe is me.  Life sucks.  Why can’t I just eat my beloved pizza and soda and fast food???  Because you can’t, not all the time.  Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!  

Wait, maybe you can continue to eat that way!  Go ahead!  After all, it’s your life; your short, complication-filled life.  Is it reasonable to do that?   I personally don’t think so but it’s not my place to judge.  But please, if you continue on your destructive path and aren’t willing to make changes, don’t bitch about it to me.

I’m not without compassion.  I completely understand how hard it is to make major changes to your lifestyle.  Remember, I’ve had to do it too.  It’s taken me a long, long time to get to a point where I don’t feel so freakin deprived.  I rarely feel deprived any more.  In fact, when I “splurge” I often feel as if it wasn’t worth it at all.  I would rather eat my healthier stuff.  How strange is that?  It’s pretty danged strange.

My point; I do have one.  When you’re diagnosed with T2 it’s hard, no one is denying that.  There are many things you have to change and one of those things needs to be your attitude!  Don’t live the rest of your life as a “woe is me” person.  Do whatever it takes to embrace this new lifestyle and get on with the good stuff.  You know what?  My new lifestyle has become the good stuff!  I feel good about how I’m eating and the fact that I’ve added regular exercise to my life.  These changes will go a long, long way to making sure that I’m not unhappy like my mom when I’m 95.  I know I’ll have “those days” now and then and when they happen maybe I’ll just pop back here and read this post to remind myself that my diabetes does not make my life suck.  It’s just something I have to deal with, and I do.  I’m not suffering.


  1. Kate, thank you for this post! I needed it today!

  2. I love this. Like you I do not "suffer" from T2 D though I live with it.

  3. Thank you for your post!!! I really needed to read it! I too, am living with it and feeling very good about the healthy changes in my lifestyle. I actually feel so much better and am fully embracing this new me. I don't want to suffer, but LIVE!

  4. You are in the right path as your life is yours to take the right action.

  5. I just read this again today and it really set me back for a minute. I was "complaining" in my post about insulin envy and being very woe-is-me. It helped to read my own words again. I'm NOT suffering!!!


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