Category Archives: Diabetes sucks

Why November is rapidly becoming a month I’m not lovin’ so much.

I have a problem with the month of April.  Really crappy things have happened in the month of April and now, whenever that month rolls around, I sort of wish we could skip over those thirty days and get on with May.

November is a bit of a rough month though too.  I was born in November and, seven and a half hours after I was born, my maternal grandfather died of lung cancer.  Exactly one week later, my paternal great-grandmother died.  I’ve grown up with the memories of others in regards to these two individuals and, I must confess, I always feel a little ripped off.

But for the most part, November is a wonderful month.  I love fall and the crisp, clean(er) air it brings.  I love the colour changing and wearing berets and, yes, I even love the cold, wet weather too.

This time though, I’m not loving November quite so much.

For those of us in the diabetic community, it’s Diabetes month, except that, for those living with the disease, every month is diabetes month and we’re all painfully aware of it.

Until this year, I had no idea there was World Diabetes Day (November 14th this year, in case you’d like to “celebrate” it).  I had no idea that there was a blue circle to “brand diabetes” and “give diabetes a common identity”.  Ignorance, as they say, was bliss.

But then I got diagnosed and the last four months have been anything but easy.  And I’ve been on the internet ever since learning about my diabetes and trying to understand the other diabetes out there.

“So what’s your type?”

Mine is the suck ass kind and after reading another (much admired) blog post on World Diabetes Day, I’m not sure I will ever want to answer that question again.

It shouldn’t matter what type you are. Diabetes, all around,  supremely sucks sweaty monkey balls.  No, I can’t relate to having my tubing getting caught on a door knob (I can only imagine!).  I don’t know what it’s like to have to take insulin on a regular basis for the rest of my life in order to survive, but I can learn about it and try to empathize and not be so obtuse to that type.

So imagine my surprise, as I was reading this blog post, that I started getting the general sense that I, along with anyone else who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, that I somehow asked for it.  That I made a lifestyle choice to get diabetes.

I am going to stop for a moment and say that the rest of this post is born out of the anger and frustration of being a diabetic and knowing I am actively doing things to improve the quality of my life and, I hope, for others.

I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

Sure.  Maybe T2D is largely preventable.  It’s much more largely preventable if it’s actually talked about.  But in my case, I wasn’t ever told that I could be running the risk of getting diabetes.

I had no idea the constant stress I was under was making me a candidate for this shitty disease.  I had no idea that my poor sleeping habits weren’t helping the situation either.  I thought I was doing good – I don’t drink any alcohol, I don’t smoke (and I miss a good cigar!), I don’t do recreational drugs.  Hell, I don’t even go to McDonald’s!

Yes, I could have been a bit more active or not had that bag of crisps or whatever, but again, I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

I absolutely resent (many things actually) that my diabetes was a lifestyle choice.  I did not knowingly ever make a lifestyle choice to become diabetic. Never once did I have a medical professional or a pharmacist or anyone say to me, “Hey, you know… you’re getting older and you’re not as active as you once were.  Did you know all that stress and being less active and not eating as healthy as you should could lead you to a path of diabetes?”  It was never in the equation.

Would it have made a difference?  I don’t know.  I’d like to think that perhaps it would have, but I’m not sure.  I am not the same person I was this time, last year.

Maybe there is a huge bias in this year’s awareness campaign towards T2D.  I’m sorry for that.  I almost feel personally responsible because, and God knows, T2D’s are taking over the world one body at a time.

This is in no way meant to diminish the severity of Type 1.  Again, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have Type 1 and I’m not going to pretend to try.  I try to understand it better than some, I try to learn things from those that are afflicted with it and I want to be someone that helps in the battle to find a cure for it.

But I want to find a cure for Type 2 as well.

Maybe that is “diet and exercise” for the masses, but for fuck’s sake, someone start saying that out loud; louder than it’s been said before.  Because while T1D’s had absolutely no control over their disease, and while a percentage of T2D’s may have a predisposition, nobody sets out to become diabetic.

I get enough guilt thrown at me from my government and health care professionals.  I would hope the diabetic community wouldn’t start throwing guilt at T2D’s too.

(As an aside, I have found far more many blogs about T1D than T2D.  I wondered why that was but… I think I get it now.)


Onward and upwards.

This has been a weird, difficult week for me.

It’s funny to think that, this time last week, I was in the midst of a long weekend, I was getting laundry together, doing grocery shopping, getting clothing and such together to donate.  I felt good.

Tuesday I said good bye to my little fur ball and that has had my heart repeatedly breaking.

Wednesday, a well meaning friend came over with sugar free ice cream and an attempt to distract me from my broken heart.  Problem is, my well meaning friend is a doctor (I’ll call her Dr. M) and her idea of distraction was to go on and on and on about how I am diabetic.  It was like being diagnosed all over again.  “You can’t be angry about this.”  “You need to get over this.”  “It’s just like, I know I can’t eat item X because I will put on weight.”

I may not have been diabetic for long, but gees, not eating a chocolate bar because it will make you fat is not the same thing as having diabetes.  Knowing that there are foods (bananas are one for me) that you shouldn’t eat because it sends your blood sugar doing stupid things – well it’s harder still because it’s not like a banana is junk food.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever shown Dr. M this post, but I need to articulate how she made me feel on Wednesday.

I had my friend walk in the door to offer support, but I had a doctor take over the day.

My feelings of anger and frustration, feelings of shame and fear, feelings of deprivation, were completed discredited.  My feelings were dismissed.  I was told that, while my BG readings were within the “normal” range, “People without diabetes don’t ever have readings like (mine).” Apparently the medical profession has tested the blood glucose of everyone in the world and us diabetics?  Well the range that associations like American Diabetes or Canadian Diabetes have are just to make us feel better?  Because, were I normal, my two hour post meal BG wouldn’t be that high. It’s really comforting to know that I’m not normal.

I am struggling with the emotions and I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in my body and how I can be the one in control, and not be controlled.  I’m struggling with the title diabetic  and the whole diabetic diet.

I’m feeling really lost right now, a little betrayed.  It’s bad enough my body is doing stupid stuff and depression is hanging around like an unwanted STD, but to have my friend dismissing my feelings on top of it?

I don’t recommend being angry always, but I do believe it is part of a normal grieving process, one of which, I was unaware, there is a time limit on.


Hints, allegations, and things left unsaid

I meant to write something yesterday, but I sort of got sucked into a void of reading other blogs and doing little bits of research and then it was off to the market for steak (yes, I’m still eating red meat!) and fresh vegetables.  Before I knew it, I was already beyond knackered and I blissfully passed out in bed whilst watching some sort of program on murder and mayhem.

So in usual rambling fashion, I’ll try to put my thoughts in some sort of cohesive manner.  If that doesn’t work, diagrams may be involved.

Monday night I came home to find out that my dietitian’s appointment for Thursday had been cancelled indefinitely.  Part of me wanted to say that it was okay, that I enjoy eating rabbit food and drinking water endlessly.  I can survive on nothing else, right?

I wasn’t feeling terribly charitable though, and made sure I made my feelings known.  It sort of feels like that I’m the only one taking this diabetes thing seriously.  I’m putting that feeling down to my heightened sensitivity to everything at the moment.

After dealing with lack of a dietician, I then got a call from the dentist’s office.  More confusion about what my insurance covers.  More nonsense that I wasn’t wanting to deal with.  Forty-five minutes and two phone calls later, insurance has been sorted out and a more sensible dentist office has been chosen.  I find, right now, my reserve of time and patience for stupidity is at an all time low.

Dinner on Monday consisted of a bag of popchips and a protein shake.  Not my ideal.

Since being diagnosed first on July 2nd, and then again on July 10th, I’ve been walking to and from work.  I’m actually so ridiculously tired that I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what’s going on around me in the mornings.  Yesterday though, I noticed just how grumpy everyone was looking.  The shocking realization was that I was  probably sporting a similar look, with the exception of me being all red-faced (the joys of being Scandinavian) and sweaty.  I don’t want to look constipated and angry all of the time, and yet, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.  Okay, not constipated.  I’m getting too much fibre for those shenanigans.

Regardless of my not wanting to be cranky, I was just that.  And things only got worse when I had to rush over for a 12:15 ultrasound appointment at the hospital.

Apparently someone forgot to mention that the ultrasound appointment had been cancelled.  Odd, considering I had called just last week to reconfirm the appointment.  I was asked if I’d like to rebook my appointments and I believe my answer was something like, “Oh hell no!  I’ve had enough bad news already, and this waste of time trip has just been the icing on my cake.  Thanks, but no.”

I was so tired and miffed that, on the way home I stopped at St. Lawrence Market for a juicy steak, fresh, locally grown asparagus and some other bits and bats.  This is a vast improvement over my usual, let’s call for takeaway instead.

This morning had me feeling like death warmed over, except that I was really cold.  My entire body aches and really I just wanted to stay curled up in bed with my cats, a cuppa and either really bad daytime television, or maybe a book.  I complained vehemently that I didn’t want to walk to work today and was finally allowing myself to take the bus instead.

The bus left without me.

It not only left without me, but I saw it drive away.  As much as I didn’t want to, I started walking.  And then a funny thing happened.  Not only did I see the bus that I missed, but I caught up to it.  And then I passed it!  In fact, I actually got to the bus stop I’d get off at for work before the bus.  Take that!

So today I’m feeling a little better.  I’ve eaten real food, I’m not quite so cold, I’m still walking, still eating healthy and I pray that I’m not just in the honeymoon stage with my blood sugar readings.  That’s got me freaked out on a level I didn’t know existed.

Most importantly, I am amazed by this “little” community of diabetics on here that have welcomed me in to a club none of us wanted to join.

Misery may love company, but I, for one, am getting tired of being miserable.


The ersatz diabetic

For the most part, I don’t feel diabetic.

I don’t think I have manic states between super low or super high sugar swings.  I don’t feel overly thirsty and the urge to go potty, but then again, I drink something like two to three litres of water every day, of course I need to pee.

But the lethargy? That kicks me in the arse, knocks me down, runs me over, picks me up, chews me up and spits me out.

Could this amazing need to go for a nap be simply because I didn’t do as much walking over the weekend?  I wasn’t a super star when it came to food choices, but I didn’t eat rubbish all weekend either.

The fact that I’ve been absolutely in a state of chronic fatigue all day is killing me.

Despite having gotten up earlier than normal (read: I got up when the alarm went off), I puttered about my apartment and couldn’t get my, er, “stuff” together to get out of the house to walk to work.  Worse, I couldn’t get my stuff together quick enough to even take the bus.  Nope, I wanted the chauffeur driven experience and cabbed it in today.

Weird thing is, my last reading after breakfast was at 5.7.  My understanding (which is to say I have basically no understanding of this stupid disease) is that a reading like that isn’t bad.  In fact it’s somewhat “normal”.  Top it off, it’s less than my post breakfast reading on Friday in which I ate the very same thing!

Hopefully once I’ve met with the dietician, things will start showing a more marked improvement.  As it stands, I’ve lost 10.1 pounds since July 1st, but tragically have maintained this past week.  Better than a gain though.

Canada really needs to adopt the siesta. *yawn*


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