Telling the truth about diabetes

I have an essay that will be published in the November issue of skirt! magazine called, telling the truth about diabetes. I realized as I worked on the essay that I’d spent so much time and energy trying to act like everyone else and denying my disease that I’d made myself invisible. I spent so much time trying not to stand out, trying to fit in, that I was unrecognizable.

I think there was a part of me that was always internally trying to apologize for being different…though no one could see that I was different unless I told them, or unless they saw my blood sugar get low. I have no scars, I don’t wear a pump and in fact, when I tried a pump, I only lasted a week because it was such a shock to see something attached to my body that made my disease visible. I immediately got rid of it.

It took me years to come out of the diabetic closet and when I finally did, I felt a huge relief. When I became a mother I realized, if I can breastfeed in public, I can certaintly do my shot and/or check my blood sugar in public. Though, why do I still feel self-conscious when I pull the needle out, why do I still try to hide, why do I still worry that it will make others uncomfortable? Why do I still care?

I’m slowly starting to tell the truth about my disease, about myself. Instead of sneaking a handful of Skittles from my handbag when I feel myself start to drop, I tell the person next to me that I have diabetes and am low and I eat without shame. I’ve joined online diabetes groups and subscribe to all the diabetes magazines and am writing a book about having diabetes. I’m accepting this part of myself that I kept in the dark for so long and it feels good. I just watched the original version of Peter Pan with my boys the other day and acknowledging my disease, after all these years, feels like Peter, (with the help of Wendy) re-attaching his shadow.

4 thoughts on “Telling the truth about diabetes

  1. Even though I wear a pump, I’m still largely “in the closet” in my daily life. At the heart of the matter, for me, is that diabetes makes me feel constantly and inherently deficient. I can intellectually tell myself all day long this isn’t the case- that I am strong and healthy- but psychologically, that feeling prevents me from being more universally open about it.

  2. Amy your site is exquisite, and thanks for all your hard work.

    Our teen son was set to go on the pump in September (10th grade high school) but then decided halfway through pump night trainingthat he wanted to wait. He’d rather take his blood at 3:00 am to deal with the dawn effect. I know its because he doesn’t want something attached to him. More important, he doesn’t want evryone knowing he is a diabetic. He has been that way for years…We just found our his recent A1c is 6! So he’s really not going to want to get one now (smile).

    Amy I also wanted to touchbase with you about an essay I wrote on him which Diabetes Health accepted and edited drastically and which I decided not to have published there. I subsequently sent on tyo Dianetes forecast through that online submission process. I wanted to ask how long it took Kate Bunker to respond to your first contact.

    Good luck with Skirt. They’ve got a good thing going over there….

    Best

    W. Eve
    Wash DC

  3. Amy your site is exquisite, and thanks for all your hard work.

    Our teen son was set to go on the pump in September (10th grade high school) but then decided halfway through pump night trainingthat he wanted to wait. He’d rather take his blood at 3:00 am to deal with the dawn effect. I know it’s because he doesn’t want something attached to him. More important, he doesn’t want everyone knowing he is a diabetic. He has been that way for years…We just found our his recent A1c is 6! So he’s really not going to want to get one now (smile).

    Amy I also wanted to touch base with you about an essay I wrote on him which Diabetes Health accepted and edited drastically and which I decided not to have published there. I subsequently sent it on to Diabetes forecast through that online submission process. I wanted to ask how long it took Kate Bunker to respond to your first contact?

    Good luck with Skirt. They’ve got a good thing going over there….

    Best

    W. Eve
    Wash DC

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