Diabetes & Dealing with Change!

Written by Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE

It’s early morning, about 2am, I think and I am stuck in a cold and sterile room. I can’t fall asleep with this thing attached to me. I feel like a prisoner and just want to get out. But, that warden won’t let me.

When I came here they told me that I was lucky. I think that some might feel that way but I didn’t. Chained up here like a dog waiting for his master to return. Lucky! Lucky she said!

I didn’t feel lucky. I felt anger, sadness, numbness and guilt over something I could not control. I didn’t put the chains on but I sure would like to get them off.

Alas, that was a long time ago. It’s been over 36 years since that first visit to the hospital. The intravenous saline is no longer confining me to a bed and I can’t believe it but I am going to deliberately chain myself up all over again. The device will be a constant reminder that I have diabetes. Sometimes I get angry but I do feel lucky. I could have died that night but instead I got a diagnosis.

I have learned a lot from having diabetes about myself, and how to adapt to change. Change is scary! When I look back, I find even scarier the times I decide not to change my behavior, my environment or my thinking, out of fear.

I have stayed in pain out of fear of the unknown. Settled for the pain I knew. At least I knew what each day would bring. ‘Anything could happen if I change, maybe something worse’ my fear would tell me.

Nope, it wasn’t always smooth sailing but I found embracing change improved my life and my control around diabetes management.

Now as I was saying, I am going on intravenous insulin, an insulin pump. Being tied to a device that keeps me alive is a very scary thing. It may be bumpy, but change is good. More on this topic and ways of embracing one's feelings around change in my next blog.