All of the emotions
When you’re diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, you feel a million different emotions all at one time, most of them possessing a negative vibe. For me, some of these emotions included:
- Anger- Needless to say, I was beyond angry that I was diagnosed with a chronic disease in the prime of my life. You’re telling me that I’m going to manually give myself insulin with needles, poke my fingers to oblivion, be afraid to drive, and deny myself baked goods for the rest of my life? It felt like my body had betrayed me and had quit working way before I was ready to be done. I’m calling bull on that.
- Sadness- I was sad for myself, because life suddenly got a lot more precarious when I was diagnosed. I was sad for my family, because of all the extra worry I would be giving them for the rest of forever. I was sad for my boyfriend, because now I’m going to awkwardly give myself insulin at the table whenever we go out to eat. (Kidding about the last one, he’s studying to be a nurse and therefore is unfazed by needles and blood.)
- Hopeless- Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. There is progress, but we’re still years away from seeing any kind of progress. The thought of living with this disease for the next 70ish years is depressing and begs the question of what kind of shape will I be in then, anyway? Will I be blind? Still be able to feel all my limbs? These are all valid questions and all equally as terrifying.
As you can tell, emotions were dark upon diagnosis. I’m here to tell you now that it’s not all doom and gloom and that it is possible to find some positive vibes in this situation. Here’s what I’m feeling now:
- Invigorated- A consistently low A1C reading will lower the risks for complications down the road and keep you feeling like a normal, non-diabetic person. The kicker is that A1C levels are entirely in your hands and depend on how you manage your blood sugar levels. Your quality of life in both the present and future is literally in your hands, via a blood strip and meter, and it’s up to you more than ever before to make it healthy and great. Challenge accepted, yo.
- Inquisitive- 9 times out of 10, curiosity is a good thing. I have never, ever, ever been more interested in the carb counts of fruits, vegetables, and bread and how the different kinds of carbs react with my body. I have also never been this interested in current medical research- before if I were reading anything educational it was based 800 years ago in jolly Old England. The more you know y’all, the more you know.
In closing, I would like to point out that I still feel normal- I still go shopping for clothes, I still exercise, I still go out with friends. The only difference is that I always have snacks and juice boxes in my purse and, you know, the whole insulin thing. Life doesn’t end with a diabetes diagnosis. It sucks really, really bad in the first few weeks, both for you and the people around you, but it doesn’t feel terrible forever, I promise!
(Want to read more about my rollercoaster emotions? www.adventureswithdiabetes.wordpress.com)