Friday, January 14, 2011

Wanted to Buy: 1 Complete Paradigm Shift

Unfortunately, my life as a Type 1 Diabetic is all about being judged.

I am judged through those eyes that say, "You're a diabetic? Shouldn't have had all that sugar. Should have exercised more. Shouldn't be so fat."

I am judged by the companies that want to know if I am the right candidate for a continuous glucose monitor; shouldn't everyone with Type 1 Diabetes be a candidate for a CGM?

I am judged by the doctor who says, "Your weight is high. We need to work on that," without having any suggestions or offering help when I ask for it.

I am judged by the strangers who stare in restaurants when I load up the insulin pen, and God forbid, when I actually inject it.

I am judged by the pharmaceuticals as a life-long money tree.



But I have learned these last 12 years,
that the hardest judge to push aside,
the hardest judge to forget about,
the hardest judge to deal with,
is myself.

I judge myself when I see a high number, "Come on, April, can't you count carbs right?" I judge myself when I run out of test strips, "Come on April, can't you remember a simple thing like grabbing more strips?" I judge myself when the reading doesn't match how I'm feeling, "Come on April, can't you feel when you are going low?" And I judge myself absolutely every time something is not "just right." I hate having to react instead of prevent. I hate thinking of all the consequences...short term and long term. I hate being a burden to others when I have to run home and change my site or grab some test strips.

And unfortunately, these feelings, these ideals will not change any time soon unless there is a complete paradigm shift, unless people are educated, unless people are not scared of Diabetes, but rather understand it. I hate having to hide Diabetes just because it singles me out, it makes me "weird", it makes me "fat" or "lazy". I hate the lectures about complications and the "you-can't-eat-this" attitudes.

I hate having to "prove" that I can do it, that I can eat it, that I can calculate it, that I can inject it,
 that I will live through it.