At my old job, where I worked for 5 years, I was given the nickname of Bubbles. It was a name provided by two of my co-workers who had nicknames for everyone. I don’t necessarily condone what they were doing because some weren’t so nice, but I was happy that mine wasn’t too bad.
Why was I given the name Bubbles? Well, because they thought I was always happy. I guess that’s a good thing to be known for but I sometimes don’t think they thought it was a positive thing. I’ve always been pretty bubbly, but I think sometimes it makes people think I am too happy (which apparently some people don’t like really happy people).
I’m definitely not an overly happy person (not that I’m not happy), but I think I created the bubbliness (like my made up word?) to help cope with my diabetes. Nobody at my old job knew that I had diabetes or if they did, they definitely thought it was an invisible disease because they probably never saw me struggle with it. Back when I worked there (about 3 years ago), I still kept my diabetes a secret. I didn’t test my blood sugar all that much; I kept my blood sugar on the higher side so I wouldn’t get low at work. For the most part, I never needed to change an infusion set at work. I didn’t have my continuous glucose monitor yet, so I didn’t have a lot of beeps going off throughout the day. I would often be tired, probably a result of my high blood sugars, but these two ladies thought it was because I was going out the night before and was exhausted from drinking (I was in my mid 20’s then).
For the majority of my 20 years with diabetes, I basically kept silent about D. Even though I was pretty silent about my diabetes, I still dealt with a lot of issues over the years. I had an endocrinologist that would just yell at me every visit about my lack of testing, using bolus wizard, carb counting, etc. I had high blood sugars that made me tired. I had health complications that I think were a result of my higher blood sugars. My health complications in my 20’s included foot pain-plantar fasciitis, kidney infections, shoulder pain, etc. At the time, I didn’t realize that they were all from diabetes but as I’m learning more about diabetes from the online community, I’m beginning to think that a lot of my issues were diabetes related.
I put up a wall of happiness to deal with my diabetes. I think if I wasn’t so positive I would quickly let the depression take a hold of my life. It’s a hard balance sometimes to stay positive when dealing with a relentless disease like diabetes. For the most part, diabetes is an invisible disease and most people don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with all the emotions that come with it (guilt over a high blood sugar or guilt of over-treating a low, having to think about every single carb that goes in your mouth, poking yourself with needles multiple times per day, etc).
I guess my main point or word of advice to others is that if someone seems really happy or bubbly, don’t necessarily think that their life is easy. Everyone is dealing with something and it’s all a matter of how they handle it. What is that proverb? Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes? Some people aren’t as open as others when it comes to their pain but I guarantee you everyone has something in their life that they wish was different, better, easier, etc.
I’ll continue on trying to be bubbly. I get so mad/pissed/frustrated at diabetes (especially recently with my CGM) but then I think that I have a great life. I have an amazing husband who supports me, an adorable dog that loves me unconditionally, great friends and family, a roof over my head, and a job with insurance to help handle the big diabetes related bills. You can call me Bubbles if you would like, but I’m going to try to keep being that way because I am not going to give into the negativity. I’m going to control diabetes, not let diabetes control me.