The Emotional Side of Diabetes
Dblog week Day 3: May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
I have never thought about the emotional toll living with diabetes takes, but when asked to write about it, one thing in particular kept running through my mind and that’s the idea of difficulties when it comes to having children. I know diabetics get pregnant and have healthy pregnancies more often than not these days, but I have this fear in the back of my mind that I will never achieve those perfect numbers to even begin the process. It’s something I struggle with silently whenever I go to see my doctor and see my average. Don’t get me wrong my average is actually pretty good. At my last appointment I was at 7% the lowest I have had in the last 9 years. But the pessimist in me only sees that it’s not the number I’d like.
I’ve been married for almost 4 years now and my sister just had a baby, which means now I am getting the constant question of when will I be doing the same. Thankfully those closest to me know not to pressure me about it, but it’s now something that is constantly in the back of my mind. And the answer is I will like to get there someday. My ideal situation would be for it to just happen without having to think about it. But lets be honest having diabetes throws a wrench in that plan.
When I’ve talked about it with my doctors they have all said the same thing; that it’s best to be within this perfect blood sugar range, which for me puts me in a mental lockdown. I turn into the 5 year old me when my grandma would take my sister and I to the toy store with a limited amount of money to spend and with the limitations I would take hours to choose a toy because having limits overwhelmed me. I almost feel like I’ve been set up to fail because if we choose to have children and I am unable to stay within my limits it will all be my fault if anything bad were to happen.
I have the whole living with diabetes thing down. Some days it makes me want to punch a baby, but other days I forget it’s there. It’s just a part of my everyday life now. The only thing diabetes and I are fighting about currently is the idea of perfection which in my opinion doesn’t exists in the world of diabetes. And yet this is what is being asked of me when I do consider children. I understand I have other options if I can’t achieve the perfect blood sugars, but there is a huge part of me that feels like if I can do it I want to do it. I have overcome so many things in regards to my diabetes, I’ve created a schedule, I’ve learned how to work my insulin with a variety of food, I’ve learned how to manage it while I work out, but the one thing I haven’t worked out yet is how my diabetes world and my family world will collide.