Today’s Diabetes Blog Week Topic is the Blame Game:
Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another. And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault. Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger. Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had. Now, the game part. Let’s turn this around. If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself? Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us! (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)
Today’s topic is hard for me. I’ve started and deleted about five different iterations to answer todays’ topic. It’s not because I haven’t had a situation, I have. I’ve started to write about a bad experience I’ve had but realized I’ve already written about it or it happened 10 years ago and seems silly to bring something up from so long ago or it was just a comment, that while it impacted me didn’t warrant a whole blog post. Living with diabetes for almost 24 years, I’ve had my share of bad endocrinologists blaming me. I’ve had my share of loved ones or friends saying the wrong thing. I’ve taken time educating and explaining and trying to let the comment bounce off of me only to let it bother me for way too long.
Today’s topic was one I hadn’t started ahead of time (like the other days). I debated doing the wild card post today instead. But I do think this topic is an important one. I actually started reading other’s responses before I wrote my own (something I never do) in hopes it would give me inspiration. But you know what, it hasn’t (although I’ve enjoyed reading them!).
Today is a bad diabetes day. Overnight, my blood sugar was great. It hovered around 120mg/dls most of the night, per my CGM. Around 6AM, I had to calibrate but I didn’t. Instead, I went to check my blood sugar at 7:30AM so I could eat breakfast and also calibrate. When I checked my blood sugar, it was 240mg/dls. WTF. When my sensor ended at 6AM, I was a beautiful 120! How did I climb so high in less than 2 hours (and without eating anything!). Grr.
I continued on with my day. I bolused for the high. I ate breakfast. I took my son to get donuts because I promised him we would after getting his haircut (the haircut didn’t happen but that’s another story). When I got donuts, my blood sugar was 260! The bolus for the high and the bolus for the breakfast wasn’t working. I didn’t care. I still ate the damn donut. I not only ate the donut, I ate a second donut. I’m not going to let diabetes ruin my day (although eating two donuts didn’t make me feel too great afterwards). I’m now sitting high around 300. I’ve started rage bolusing. I am just waiting for the big crash in a few hours. I know it’s coming.
Today is just like yesterday. Nothing is different. I ate the same thing I usually eat for breakfast. I had the same level of activity. I ate the same food I usually eat last night. The only difference is that my infusion set is on day 3 instead of day 2. Is that enough to make a difference? I used to go 6 days without changing my infusion set and didn’t notice much of a difference. Is that changing? I honestly have no idea why I can’t get my blood sugar down. It’s become a repeat occurrence lately, spending way too much time in the 200’s and 300s. Is it hormones? I’m almost 10 months postpartum so things are a bit whacky. Who knows. My endocrinologist doesn’t seem concerned (she has a weird aversion to lows so she’s happy with my average being around 200, I’m not) even though every time I see a blood sugar over 200, I worry about future complications. I already have diabetes retinopathy. I don’t want more.
So how does this relate to today’s post? Well, it doesn’t really. But if someone were to approach me and make a negative comment about my diabetes right now, I might lose it. I am so frustrated with diabetes today. Sure, I am probably to blame for eating the donuts when I was high but I just didn’t care. I was frustrated. I am frustrated. Diabetes is frustrating. Having to always educate people is frustrating. Hearing stories of endocrinologists blaming patients instead of working with them is frustrating. I want to make every doctor a puppet and have them say supportive and helpful things instead of blaming patients, criticizing them, etc. We aren’t perfect. Diabetes is tough to deal with on an emotional level. We are trying. If we aren’t trying then blaming us won’t help. Work with us, help us, support us. Diabetes doesn’t play fair and we don’t need blame on top of everything else it throws at us.
At least my toddler enjoyed his donut but now my baby isn’t taking his afternoon nap. I’m ready for a glass of wine.