It is approximately the eighth day that you get up at midnight to go to the bathroom, it is already the fourth time so far this night, you do not feel that you have rested well these days, after you finish urinating you stare yourself into the mirror, you feel thinner and you have not even tried to lose weight, your bags under the eyes are evident. Suddenly… you realize that you are dying of thirst and you go for a glass of water, at that very moment you begin to suspect that something is not right; passing fingers through your hair, you notice that it falls a little more than usual and you think to yourself: “I have to go to the doctor”. Going back to bed a little bit confused and soon you fall asleep.
The next morning you wake up and the first thing you do is tell your parents that you think you should go to the doctor, so they decide to take you to the consultation. You arrive with your doctor and after he checks on you and finishes asking the necessary questions, he requests some laboratory tests and asks you to give him the results as soon as you have them, not before he tells you he thinks you may have DIABETES. “Diabetes? Isn’t that for elder people, a bit overweight who spend eating cakes to fill? How can I have diabetes if I am young, I don’t have extra weight and I exercise? The doctor must be wrong” … you thought while waiting for your results.
Laboratory calls and the results are ready, you take them to your doctor and waiting impatiently for him to explain what the results mean. “You need to go to the hospital; we have to stabilize you; fortunately we detect your diabetes on time”. The doctor tells you. You are a little stunned, you don’t know very well what that means, you don’t know what to expect and your parents are looking worried and staring at nothing. On the way to the hospital, there was nothing but a worrying silence. Arriving there and after doctors stabilized you, they had the chance to explained to you everything you had to do for this new lifestyle. Right there, you understood that you had to pinch your fingers several times a day, know which foods had more sugar and, therefore, be careful when you eat them and what worried you most was that you had to inject insulin every day! What martyrdom no? But what was really weighing you down was the thinking: “What are others going to think of me?! My friends will see me as a freak for sure!
The above is the story of a large part of us, many of us share this story or at least something similar to it. How worrying is what they will say! True? It is very likely that we have all had a moment in which we think that it is better not to say or not to let it be known that we live with Type 1 Diabetes, perhaps because we think that we can look a bit weak, or that our friends will prefer not to be with us because of the possibility of having an “unbalanced” or simply because we are afraid of “what will they say”. This is totally normal, there will always be times when we have that fear of not pleasing others, after all, we live in a herd, and it is natural to want the total acceptance of those around us. It is completely a survival instinct.
“Could it be that if I tell him that I have diabetes, he will no longer want to be my friend?” What a constant question! But do you know what? Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who turned diabetes their best version every day! Since we were diagnosed, we have had to overcome obstacles every day that no one else does, we had to suddenly change our habits, from one day to the next we had to do things that we had never done before, and look at us now! ! Being experts in the insulin injection technique, knowing so much about nutrition, we even know in what order it is better to eat our food, sometimes we are also advisers to our acquaintances; “Hey, what will have the most sugar between these two meals?” they ask us frequently. We have to deal, sometimes, with the frustration of not having the glucose levels we need despite thinking that we are doing everything necessary for it and still remaining calm to continue making the best decisions. What a great discipline we have developed! Thanks to our constancy is that now, I am writing this, and you are reading this, and if your diagnosis has not been given much, sooner or later you will develop all the necessary skills, you have to believe it. Without a doubt, Diabetes has made me the best version of me.
Hiding our diabetes from everyone is very similar to hiding our name, or perhaps it is similar to not wanting to show our right eye, perhaps more similar to having half our face under a mask in front of others. Think about it, maybe you already have half your life living with diabetes and, if not, sooner or later diabetes will be a big part of your life, there is so much experience that you have with it, and what is missing! Invariably diabetes added aspects to our personality, it is part of us, it is an important reason for being who we are. It is literally hiding a part of you, a part that will not go away, something that will always be there, through thick and thin. And no, diabetes does not define us, it is we who define diabetes! We define what diabetes is with each action, with each decision we make or stop making, we decide how we are going to show our life partner, we decide if we have, as people say, “good or bad diabetes. the bad one ”, in my case, it will always be the good one. What do you say? In addition to all of the above, communicating to our loved ones that we live with diabetes is to add allies in our favor in most cases. Has it happened to you that they say “I brought you this sweet in case you get sick” or “if you want you can have some insulin in my refrigerator in case you ever need it when you are at home”? It really is a relief, although they do not understand how it is to live with diabetes, but hey! you have people who genuinely cares about you, and believe me, they are the most! Our true friends will always be willing to help us when we need. Who wouldn’t help having someone who knows what to do when we have an important sugar low and we are not thinking clearly? I think that for everyone living with diabetes it is a great help. You will have to trust: your friends are not going to define who you are because of diabetes, your friends will be with you because of who you are.I really hope that my writing has served you well, either to reflect on the topic I decided to write about today, or just to have a good time. Remember that we are not alone, go out and show that you have made diabetes your best ally and that it has made you your best version, a slightly sweeter version, but the best you have to give.See you soon!