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Still Affected

May 17, 2017

“Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another. And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like
you’re at fault. Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger. Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had. Now, the game part. Let’s turn this around. If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself? Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us! (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)”

I remember this distinctly, and I remember how I wanted to respond. 

I played four years of college tennis, and occasionally I’d go low. I was the only teammate allowed to bring regular Gatorade on the court, plus tabs, juice boxes, granola bars and of course, water. Sometimes, I’d have a match that was 45 minutes, and other times I’d have matches that were over 2.5 hours. Luckily, this is what an insulin pump and temp basals were for. But one year, I just kept going low ALL THE TIME. It was incredibly frustrating. I don’t remember if it was at the end of the meet or right before one, but someone said to me, “you’ve been dealing with lows for years now; they shouldn’t still affect your play!” They were very serious and I was shocked. If I hadn’t been so quiet and meek, this is what I wanted to say. “Just because someone is an alcoholic, doesn’t mean you encourage them to drive while drinking.” 

Ten years later, and I hope I would have the courage to say what I wanted. It doesn’t matter how many lows I have, my body still shakes and sweats and gets weak. Just because time passes doesn’t mean I function any better. I believe I’m better equipped to deal with lows now, because I am more knowledgeable, and more interested. But I still hate it when lows interrupt my life, especially my team life. I am a more involved patient than I was then. I am more able and willing to notice and look for patterns and to reach out to say “what am I missing?!” 

I do not know what they could have said to make me feel empowered at that time, because I was so frustrated and embarrassed by my lows. Head here for more puppets! 

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 17, 2017 6:48 PM

    Those moments are so frustrating. Thanks for sharing.

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