Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 - Day 3 - What Brings Me Down

This week is Diabetes Blog Week.

Each day diabetes bloggers around the world will be writing a blog post on the same topic. You will be able to see who is taking part and what the daily topic is at Bitter Sweet Diabetes.

This is the first year that I have taken part and I've found it extremely challenging. They certainly aren't topics that I would normally choose to tackle, but sometimes it's good to be outside of your comfort zone!

Todays topic:What Brings Me Down

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

My response:

The dreaded buffet!
Many of my blog posts to date have covered some of the things that "get me down".

I've touched on the lack of spontaneity around food.

A recent example of this was when I attended a Christening and the obligatory buffet food that was served after the service.

Whilst everyone else went up to the table to fill their plate, I was sat trying to work out what my meal was going to be, how many carbohydrates it would equate to and what were the chances I'd go back for more.

By the time I had worked out the calculation and injected the appropriate dose of insulin, most people had already sat down and were engrossed in conversation... just as I left to fill my own plate. It can feel quite isolating (as well as stressful) when you are in social situations and have to work out carbohydrates for food you wouldn't normally eat.

Applications such as Carbs & Cals and MyFitnessPal help but it still takes time and energy. A growing number of coffee shops, fast food chains, restaurants and bars are now providing carbohydrate information too and I have tried to document them to help myself (and maybe others too) when out eating: Who helps you carb count when eating out?

The other main area that I find difficult is the lack of control, or perceived lack of control.
The repeated highs or lows, the hungry "hypo monster" and those "If I'm injecting, I may as well make it worthwhile" moments.

I won't dwell too much on these today as I'm sure you have all had these moments. They can all chip away at your positivity.

When you have to sit and wait in the passenger seat of your car for 45 minutes whilst you become road legal (just so you can drive the 20 minute journey home after work) it can be difficult to see the positives in the experience... BUT the #doc is great therapy... they are there when you are low (in both senses of the word), they are there when you are high and most importantly they understand what you are going through... then it's not so bad and you see all the amazing people you have come into contact with because of your diagnosis.