Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Celebrating successes is easy, and just plain feels good.  Poking fun at the quirks and inconveniences of living with diabetes is something I enjoy doing.  These two manners of blogging are both comfortable and familiar for me.

But they don't paint the whole picture of what "living with diabetes" is.

Because if you're one of the chosen few who carry this burden, you know that sometimes those good days and happy numbers are few and sporadically placed - and that means you know what Real Diabetes looks like.

Real Diabetes is the combination of poor choices, untimely boluses, and that mischievous leprechaun in my pancreas that kept me above 200 the majority of Tuesday.

Real Diabetes is the guilt and self-scolding that follows.

It's discovering a failed insulin pump site shortly after finishing your restaurant meal, which you weren't sure about the carb count to start with.  It's wondering how much of that insulin actually absorbed, how much leaked out, and if you can get home before the ketones start spilling.

It's being stuck in a subway terminal with a blood sugar of 54 mg/dL and discovering you've run out of glucose tabs.

Real Diabetes is interrupted REM sleep; it's carrying a bigger purse than most; it's sometimes looking at food as medicine.

It's weird lumps under your clothing, made of plastic, metal, and science.  It's blood smears on important documents and favorite shirts.  It's hypoglycemia at the most inconvenient moments - while working out, while at work, while trying to sleep, while attempting intimacy.

Real Diabetes is the weight and relief inherent in doctor-spoken phrases like "nothing has changed",  "looks great", and "everything's normal", and the sadness, defeat, and frustration of hearing anything but that.

It's looking at every out-of-range number as one step closer to complications - except no one knows how long and winding their road is, or if there's even really anything at the end of it for certain.

It's wondering how life would be different if you weren't spending that large chunk of income on simply being alive.

Real Diabetes is sometimes feeling lost, frustrated, angry, or complacent.  It's just that - real.  It isn't always full of 104s and skilled insulin dosing.

The fact that I blog about and advocate for diabetes doesn't make me an expert; nor does how long I've lived with it.  I'm not a shining example of what to do, or how to succeed at managing it.  What I am is a person with diabetes sharing my story, and trying hard, and putting out there as many sides of this as I can - the good, the bad, the annoying, and the difficult.

We do the best we can with it, because that's all anyone can do.  Because it's not about how many times you get knocked down - it's about how many times you get back up to keep fighting.


  1. Great post.

    "except no one knows how long and winding their road is, or if there's even really anything at the end of it for certain." - so true!

  2. This was a wonderful post, Kim. I have a picture of an out-of-range day on my header just to show the same point. It's not a single line at the 100 mark. There's a lot that goes into management, and it can go wrong even when you do everything right. Hugs!

  3. Really great post Kim. So nice to read something and feel the person knows *exactly* how it feels. Thank you!

  4. Kim-

    I had that kind of day yesterday too! Jim looks a lot like my CGM. Sigh. Here's to today being better!

  5. Wow. I **SO** needed to find this post today. Sometimes I look at my daughter's Dex and feel as though I'm failing her. I wonder if adults who actually live day in and and day out with this beast have 24 graphs like the one we had yesterday...or...if it's because I'm on the "outside" - limited by my human tendencies, and unable to feel what she's feeling - that we end up with such a ridiculous graph.

    Knowing that adults like you deal with the same stuff is, somehow, reassuring to me. I know that probably sounds crazy...but...I guess it's just good to know that we're not alone.

    Blame Diabetes.

    It's not my fault.

  6. Well put! I actually felt a bit emotional reading this - it's so comforting but also so hard to know that others feel the same way. I applaud your honesty!

  7. Excellent post, Kim! I, too, am struggling with several days hanging out around my high threshold. I felt guilty for being thankful for a night sleeping around 70 mg/dL thinking, "Well, that should help my average." That is NOT how I should be thinking!

    I have a feeling I have a less than stellar site combined with old insulin, but I'm too cheap and lazy to change it out. My next endo appointment is in February, and I am pretty sure I'm not going to be lower (or even at) my 6.3 from last time. But I know shouldn't be discouraged.

    It's in these "real" times I am so glad to have the DOC, because all the doctors and Google will tell me I'm doomed. But there's hope, ALWAYS hope, with others who have been there.

  8. Kim, you are a beautiful diabetic. The day in and day out struggle is complex and frustrating. We aren't perfect, but we all strive to be.

    We all have our days. I'm sorry this is yours. <3 Much, much love for you. <3 <3 <3

  9. This post is just perfect!! I can't think of a single thing more to add . . . except Thank You.

  10. Love a blog post that I can relate to just about everything in it...except that whole carrying a bigger purse thing. I use a backpack. LOL!

    Thanks Kim for such an awesome blog post. I'm sending it around to all my D and non-D friends for them to read. Great insight into our little world.

  11. Well written, Kim. Thanks for sharing the "real" parts of living with Diabetes.

  12. I got teary as I read this. You are amazing--this captures so much of what it feels like, and I'm feeling it 150% this morning. I'm going to post this on my FB for friends and family to read, and forward it to others as well. I had the flattest Dex line ever yesterday--too bad it was *stuck* at 180, for about 12 hours! Grrr! (I know, it could have been 8 other kinds of annoyingly wrong as well. But I was trying so hard to get it down.) Thank you for speaking our truth.

  13. Great post and well said, Kim
    it is always comforting to know that I am not alone in this fight that is ducking fiabetes.

  14. God, I love this. I don't have words for how much I love this.

  15. YES. The purse. I so hate that about diabetes.

    I'm really bad about glucose tabs. Very bad.

  16. I've been reading your blog for a little while now, and love it. This is one of my favorite posts - very relatable and so true.

  17. Kim, I would say, "you are a 'shining example'!" Great post and spot on!

  18. Loved this post. "It's wondering how life would be different if you weren't spending that large chunk of income on simply being alive." - This really got to me. I'm a newlywed with little income as it is. So far, the worst part of this disease is that it's taken me from thinking, "oh, things will work out financially" to "if I buy groceries, does that mean I can't buy insulin?"

  19. Love this! I don't know you, and found your great blog by coincidence, but I am so happy I did.

    Finally someone who dares to show and tell how it really is. *standing ovation*

    Keep up the good work! Hugs from Switzerland.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.