Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month

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.


  1. Virtual hugs to you as you struggle in these dark days and hope that things aren't as bad as they seem today. Your post is so poignant and awakened a few fears that usually stay hidden inside me.

  2. HUGS to you... I cannot imagine what you're feeling right now. I sort of get it from a caregivers perspective, but it's not my own, and I will never fully understand what my daughter and others with D go through on a daily basis.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear of the bad news and struggles, Shara. I'm sending you as many good vibes as I can in comment-form, and wish I could send more. All I know: it is tough, especially this month and for those of us who are not only living and struggling with D-aspects, but also working in this world. It's basically like All D, All the Time, and we have no break -- even beyond just the D-Management stuff. The eye stuff just adds to it... I've actually been postponing my own latest visit and dread what may come from that, but it's probably time to get in there and face the music.. Anyhow. Know that I've got you in my thoughts, and am always here if you need to chat.

  4. I also immediately wanted to give you a hug when I read this. I don't have many more words, but if you can get an extra hug from your hubby from me. Tell him to make it a good one.

  5. It is so unfortunate that there are many people in Asia and other western culture who still are unaware of Diabetes and its complications. More information is needed not only to make them aware but influence them to change their lifestyle and diet so that to minimize the effect of Diabetes on their health.


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