I’m absolutely honored to be part of a blogging project with some amazing DOC bloggers this month. This project aims not only to raise diabetes awareness, but also to raise money for The Joslin High Hopes Fund. You can make a donation by clicking here.
This Week's Topic: The Beginning - Share a story from when you (or the person you blog for/about) were first diagnosed
Being diagnosed as an adult, I have lived longer without diabetes than with it. Most of my memories are from a time when diabetes was just something I had heard about in passing (from this guy).
I remember when the only thing that made me think twice about what I ate was bikini season.
I remember going to the gym whenever I wanted and staying as long as I wanted without having to check and recheck my blood sugar and bring a small convenience store worth of snacks and glucose tabs “just in case.”
I remember the fear setting in when I realized something was wrong and we had to get to the bottom of it.
I remember when the “thing” that had been making me feel so awful for so long was finally given a name and the internal struggle that happened in those moments at the doctor’s office.
I remember lots of things from before my diagnosis that have been forever change, but the one thing that stands out above all else after I was diagnosed comes down to one word.
For at least a month, only my immediate family knew. I tried to tell some friends, but thanks to the perpetuation of diabetes myths, they told me I should just lose weight and I’d feel better. They examined and commented on everything they saw me eat or drink. They unabashedly questioned my decisions about my own health and frequently made it a point of conversation. I found myself being judged by the very people whose support I desperately wanted and needed.
So I stopped telling people. I kept it to myself and by doing that, my diabetes became something I had to hide. I’d check my blood sugar and do my injections hidden away in public restrooms.
I’d even do that in my own home if we had visitors.
Diabetes became my little secret.
While I had (and still have) the unwavering support of my parents, I needed more. I needed peers. I needed to know that diabetes was nothing to be ashamed of.
Then I found the D-OC. And I learned. I learned that just because other people had a problem with my diabetes didn’t mean that I had to have one, too.