I Don't Heart Diabetes

Me and My Boo : Summer 2008
Miss Alexis Monique Turner is my “BFF, forever” (you’ll have to ask her to explain that one). That girl has seen me at rock bottom and at my absolute best. There have been times when I have felt unworthy of her friendship because of all the drama I’ve brought into our relationship, but she has stuck it out with me.

She has brought in her own drama, too…drama that is beyond her control. Alexis has Type I Diabetes Mellitus. Yeah, my beautiful “bestie” has lived with this condition since she was eighteen months old.

I can’t tell you how much it’s affected our friendship over the years (trust me, it’s a lot), but she wanted to use my blog to attempt to explain how it’s affected HER over the years. She sent me this email yesterday…

“So, if I was a Blogger, I’d blog this. Since I'm not, I'm going to send it to you instead. Feel free to re-post or respond if you'd like, but either way, this is something I wanted to share!

I'm not a Blogger, but I do follow a few Diabetes blogs. This week, every blog has a prompt about a topic to write about and I really wanted to participate in this week’s shenanigans. Today's (5/12/11) prompt is to write about ten things that you hate about Diabetes. I try not to focus too much on the negative, but today is a perfect day to do so. Here I go!

One. I hate that I feel like a presence is always lurking or hovering around the corner. It’s waiting for me to miscount my carbs or to forget to bolus for insulin. It’s the feeling one might get while playing with a "Jack in a Box." You know the more you turn the crank, the more likely that ugly, scary clown will jump out. It’s going to happen…it's part of the diabetes game.

Two. It drives me INSANE how my emotions are affected (negatively or positively) just because the number on my meter is "HI” or “LO.”

Three. I hate how out of control my blood sugars can be just because of hormones. I can plan and measure a meal out to the tee, yet still have unexplainable sugar values.

Four. I deplore the leopard print spots all over my body because of my pump site and CGM system. The clinicians most definitely didn't warn me about them. SURPRISE!

Five. I really hate the time I lose in “The Black Hole,” AKA The Doctor’s Office. Time is valuable and I lose, like, a quarter of a day twice a month because of various appointments.

Six. It's super annoying to try and explain to an elderly person with "Diabetes" that diet and exercise won't decrease my total insulin intake.

Seven. I know that many people are truly sorry when they find out that I have a chronic life condition, but please, DON’T TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY! I know they mean well, but "I'm sorry” won't make my beta-cells kick in again! I’m not sorry and my life is most definitely not sorry!

 That's my other BFF, Nessie.
Eight. I HATE having two extra appendages (my insulin pump and Dexcom). It sucks that I'm always attached to something that reminds me of how dysfunctional I am.

Nine. I hate the love/hate relationship I have with food! I love food and I mean ALL FOOD, but I also hate how my body responds to it.

Ten. I hate how Diabetes has affected every relationship I have. It gave my parents many sleepless nights because they had to attend to their sickly child. It affected how my siblings related to me and how they viewed how our parents cared for them. It has affected many great friends with hours of worry and confusion. It’s currently affecting my romantic relationship, which may be the most important relationship I have in my life.”

I love this chick with all my heart. I’d take a bullet for her (honestly) and it breaks my heart that she gets shot (with insulin) every day. But I’m going to listen to her gripes. I’m not going feel sorry for her anymore. We ALL are a product of our life’s journey and if she didn’t have Diabetes, she wouldn’t be the Alexis I know and love today.

I’m thrilled and honored that she asked me to publish this essay for her. She’s my BFF, forever and I would do anything for her. I can’t wait to have her standing next to me when Wil and I promise to love each other forever and always.

I ALSO can’t wait to see where she’s going to hide her insulin pump in such a sexy bridesmaid’s dress. Get it, boo…HEYYY!

Please share this blog post with any and all people you know who are affected by Diabetes. If you have any questions about Diabetes (either type), feel free to contact Miss Alexis. She's a registered dietitian (like me) and will be able to give you nutritional advice from both the perspective of a clinician and a patient.

Alexis Turner, RD, LDN : aturnerrd[at]gmail[dot]com 

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