2015 Diabetes Blog Week Day 2- Keep it to yourself

Diabetes Blog Week

There’s one aspect of my diabetes that I’ve kept hidden, hidden from the Internet and online community, hidden from my friends and family, and in many ways, even hidden from myself. What have I hidden for so long?

My fear.

When I started this blog over a year ago, I stumbled on a blog post from Six Until Me from a couple years ago about PostSecret. Kerri asked her readers, “What would be your PostSecret submission?” A lot of people responded with different “secrets” that they had, but one really struck me. This anonymous poster’s secret is my own biggest fear, one that until now I have never told anyone.

“I feel that despite my best efforts, I will still end up suffering with complications, and I will have to live with the guilt of feeling like I did it to myself.”


This is probably the biggest internal struggle that I have. I know that keeping my blood sugar in control now will help me to avoid future complications. This is not a hard concept for me to understand. Yet, my A1c is consistently higher than I want it and higher than the recommended number to avoid complications. So the obvious answer is, lower it! Get it under control! It seems so easy, but it’s not. Every single day presents the struggle of keeping my numbers in range. Every. Single. Day. I have good days and I have bad, but I am trying.

I often wonder if I am too late, have I already done irreversible damage to my body? And who will I have to blame except myself if something does happen? Even with good control, it’s still quite possible to develop complications as I have read from other diabetic’s experiences. Then what? How do I explain that? How do you avoid the guilt and the blame and the “could have’s”? I know that I would be saying to myself, “you could have prevented this, you could have done more, you could have done better.” Maybe that isn’t true though.

In many ways I’m afraid of the future. But I hide that fear among my hope and optimism. I bury it under the long list of things that I have to do each day to manage my diabetes and live my life. I know that I can’t live my life in fear, I have to just live each day the best that I can and cross each complicated bridge when and if I get there.

This post is part of the 2015 Diabetes Blog Week. Today’s topic: Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?

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Diabetes Art Day 2013

Today is Diabetes Art Day, and my first time participating. I’m so glad that I learned about this opportunity as I am quite excited to be combining my creativity and love of art with such an important part of my life, my diabetes.

Taken from the website, here is a description of the initiative:

Diabetes Art Day is a web-based initiative for the Diabetes Online Community to “tell a story” about life with diabetes though creative visual expression. It’s a way for us to tell our stories so we can connect and share with each other and with our loved ones. It’s a way to generate diabetes awareness outside of the DOC (diabetes online community) by sharing artwork on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and community websites…Diabetes Art Day is for you to show the world what it’s like to live with diabetes in that “a picture is worth 1000 words” kind of way.”

I’ve never really been one to sketch out my work before I begin. I always just start and see where the picture takes me. And that’s exactly what I did. Here is the final result:

 
Depicted in my artwork are three fishlike creatures, representing the dark and mysterious unknowns of diabetes in general and of the daily management of it. These ominous creatures are always swimming and lurking, whether in darkness or in light. They feed on the blood sugars, shown here as a school of CGM arrows. The varying directions of the arrows shows the ups and downs of my blood sugar, as they swim through and around difficulties and obstacles. The repetitiveness of the arrows also signify the repetitive nature of the disease: blood sugar testing, carb counting, bolusing, blood sugar testing, carb counting, bolusing, etc. The light and colorful background is in stark contrast to the dark creatures, showing that hope and light can and does still exist. Finally, the intermittent patches of tape say that even though there are unknowns and moments of darkness and fear, I will stick with it and take care of myself and my diabetes.
Working on this artwork was a truly positive experience. It allowed me to take some time to reflect on what it is I wanted to share about living with diabetes and how I wanted to accomplish that visually. It had been a while since I had done anything artistic and I appreciated having such a positive purpose behind my work.
I hope that you will take some time to look at some of the other wonderful pieces submitted by people living with diabetes, found on the Diabetes Art Day website.