I have never been more acutely aware of diabetes than this particular month. And all I want to do right now is ignore diabetes completely.
I know that designating November as Diabetes Awareness Month was not meant for making the patients themselves aware, but for the public. For the masses that don't know anything about Type 1 or Type 2 or any other type and for those that think diabetes is not as big a deal as breast cancer and heart disease. I appreciate that. I just can't bring myself to join the movement at this moment in time.
I got bad news at the ophthalmologist at the start of this month regarding my recently diagnosed retinopathy. It is news that will be more eloquently fleshed out in a future post, when I have the strength to chip this mountain of emotion down into words and sentences.
For now, I just want to bury it. All of it. The tears, the guilt, the frustration, the anger, the shame, the fear, the regret. The massive regret. I can't face it all head-on right now. I want to walk away from diabetes.
But diabetes is holding me hostage. As much as I want to ignore it for even a few hours, knowing that ignoring it is what gave me this complication in the first place forces me to pay closer attention. Test, bolus, repeat. I am shackled by the guilt of it and fear of doing even more damage. The ball and chain has always been attached, it's just never felt so heavy before.
Work has been busier than ever, but I have been slower to get out of bed. I drag myself there and put on a happy face. I encourage patients to keep doing their best. I diagnose kids with new-onset Type 1 and tell them that they can live a perfectly healthy, normal life free of complications. This is the truth. It isn't my truth, but I keep that to myself. And I constantly feel like a hypocrite behind my cheerful facade.
My very situation is why Diabetes Awareness Month needs to exist. We need to get the word out to fund the research that improves and eventually eradicates this illness so no one else has to feel what I feel right now. I am grateful that the diabetes community has been so involved in getting the word out and wish I was a more vocal participant, but my rally cries have been overcome by a different kind of cry.