This is not a blog about diabetes. Or at least, the whole of it is not. It has to be said though that, as someone newly diagnosed, it’s something I’m bound to beat to death. But really, the goal (“goal” makes it sound so lofty) of this blog is to just be a general commentary on life.
But this post? This post is about anger and my friend Annie.
I made the “mistake” of going for my physical on June 28th, 2013. I had to get the complete physical done because, well, I needed my birth control refilled. No doctor is going to refill without an exam. And I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
See, I don’t do birth control to prevent me from having babies. I do it because, otherwise, I’d feel like I was dying on a monthly basis. Getting my plumbing removed seems like an awful extreme step, so I opt for an injection in the butt and I’m gold for three months.
But back to the physical.
I fasted. I scrubbed behind my ears. I made sure my breath was fresh. I prepared for the obligatory “step on the scale” and the myriad of emotions that inevitably follow after the number is read and recorded. At no time did I prepare myself for a diagnosis of diabetes.
The results of the blood work came back lightning fast. By July 2nd, the temp. doctor (my “real” doctor is on mat. leave) had labelled me diabetic. Not a cushy “pre-diabetic”. A full on diabetic. I was angry. I refused to believe her. My fasting blood glucose levels were at 4.4, how could I possibly be diabetic
? Diabetes does not run in my family and I am sure I do not wish to be the first person diagnosed with it. Yet after demanding the two hour glucose test, drinking that nasty drink, I am, apparently, diabetic.
Being handed down a life sentence, strange things have happened:
- I’m angry.
- I don’t eat a whole lot.
- My sleep, which hasn’t been great in forever, is getting worse again. Dreams of being diabetic, or discussing diabetes or anything to do with diabetes, have been dominating my sleep. Or have prevented me from sleeping at all.
- Shame is not something I was expecting to feel, and yet I am amazed how much shame I feel because of this diagnosis.
- My depression, which had been all but gone for the past year, is rearing its ugly head again.
- The self-loathing is incredible.
- I cry and am hyper-emotional.
- Did I mention I’m angry?
Now I should mention that, in the world of diabetes, I suppose I am one of the “lucky” ones (there is nothing lucky for anyone labelled with the diabetes tag). I am not being put on any sort of medication at the moment. I was told that “a glucose meter isn’t really necessary for medical purposes.” although I fail to understand the rational behind that statement from the Johnny-Come-Lately doctor that diagnosed me.
In fact, first the fear of God was put into me (saying nothing and leaving me to my own devices to figure this out on my own is crazy, in my opinion) and then I’m told “it’s not that bad!” Have I missed something about diabetes being a good thing?
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, I can no longer get pedicures, go barefoot – anywhere, cannot wear sandals or open toe shoes, cannot wear shoes over 5 cm in height and this is just talking about feet.
There’s a whole lot of you can’t do this anymore! but so precious little about what I can do. It should come as no surprise to anyone that 25% of diabetics develop depression. You’re not giving us much hope about there being any pleasures to living.
Now let me just say that this is very much early days for me. I haven’t lived with diabetes. If friends have it, they keep it to themselves. No family members have it. I don’t know a whole lot about it other than it zaps the life out of spontaneity and my fingers hurt all the time now. Oh. And I refuse to wear diabetic socks.
But back to the anger for a moment.
I need to vent my spleen to the universe (or, you know, just here) about how angry this makes me. I’m angry that I wasn’t told what I’m supposed to do with my used lancets and test strips (apparently throwing out bio-hazardous materials in the regular rubbish is frowned upon). I’m angry that I’m absolutely paranoid to eat or drink. I’m angry because my fingers hurt from testing multiple times a day. I’m mostly angry because I’m so angry.
Which brings me to Annie.
I adore Annie.
I met Annie many moons ago, and back then, well if I’m being honest, until very recently, she scared the hell out of me. Annie’s no nonsense and I like that about her, but I’m chock o’ block full of nonsense, so many times I feel like I’m this goofball fool that she has to suffer gladly (or not). Annie is fiercely strong, independent, smart as a whip, funny, gorgeous and humble. She’s a total package.
I said to Annie, sometime earlier this year, that she always comes across as having her shit together, whereas I am my own shitstorm. She assures me that she isn’t this level of perfection that I’ve made her seem, but I don’t know. I tend to beg to differ.
Annie runs. I don’t mean for the phone, or a bus, but actually runs. You know, those crazy distances that us mere mortals think it’s insane to run, Annie does those and I am so wickedly proud of her.
So when Annie took the time to check up on me (I’ve cut myself off from all sorts of social situations be they in person or virtually), I managed to respond with a scathing email that held back no vitriol.
To put it succinctly, she didn’t deserve that.
I’ve realised since then, that I cannot respond to emails from friends because I’m not dealing well with this at all. I am too emotional, too raw at the moment, to be able to respond to emails or texts without wanting to just let the torrent of anger spew in all directions.
I know I need help in figuring all of this out and pushing away people I love and respect isn’t very clever but I don’t know how to handle this.
I’m trying though. Truly. Apparently, the trick is to keep breathing.