D-Blog Week- topic 5 – What they should know

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

This may just be the easiest topic of the week. Here goes.

What they should know (those who are more pancreatically blessed than I) is that they are lucky.

What they should know is that they take for granted the fact they can go to bed, without thinking. They can wake up in the morning, without thinking. They can eat, without thinking. They can go for a swim, without thinking. They can go on a trip, without thinking. They can go for a walk, without thinking. They can party, without thinking. They can live, without all the extra thinking, planning, worrying, guessing, deciding and generally “being on top of it all” that those of us with diabetes have to do.

Do you know how tiring all this thinking gets!

Life with diabetes is all about thinking. Planning. Deciding. Balancing. Managing. Dealing with crap. Finding each and every moment of your life can be dominated by your blood glucose if you don’t watch out. Finding that sometimes, you just don’t care anymore. Just can’t do it anymore. Just can not work out how you will manage to do it for the rest of your life.

But you do.

Because as any person with diabetes will tell you, if you don’t live with diabetes, we are tough.

We are smart. In fact I would say we are brilliant.

We know our body better than anyone. We work hard. We try. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we don’t. We have to consider so many things that you don’t and usually we do it quietly, without fuss, so you would not even know.

We are different to you. But really we are all the same. Just people doing the best we can with the hand we are dealt. It just happens to be the D-card.

There are many hands you can be dealt that are hard. Like cancer, motor neurone disease   ( I have experienced losing loved ones to both of these), poverty, mental illness and violent families. Many things can make your life a living hell, make life much harder than that of others.

Diabetes is just one thing. We are not saying it is the hardest. We are not saying we hate our lives. In fact diabetes can make life joyful. And people with diabetes certainly make joyful lives, as do other human beings when faced with hardship.

But sometimes, it is good to be able to tell you what it is really like because usually, diabetes is something you just get on with doing.

Thanks for listening.



  1. Drew on May 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    WOW. Awesome post, loved it.

    • Helen Edwards on May 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Drew thanks! Glad you liked it 🙂

  2. Helene Wild on May 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    you are amazing 🙂 a lifelong admirer

    • Helen Edwards on May 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      gee that is a big compliment! thank you Helene 🙂

  3. Pearlsa N. B. (@adjoa) on May 19, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Great post Helen. Love it!


  4. Sophie Harrison (@Sophiah_7) on May 19, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I couldn’t agree more – fantastic post. I think that diabetes has only made me stronger, so in som ways it helps me to view it as a positive thing – I’ve learnt to take nothing for granted etc… and I agree it is good to let people know what it’s like once in a while, as it is by no means easy! And it does make you stop and think again about the trivial things in life too.

    Great post 🙂


    • Helen Edwards on May 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

      Thanks Sophs. It can be hard to stay positive sometimes can’t it! But that is ok too. thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. deminkspot on May 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I thought this post was so true. Fantastic. It discourages me when docs or friends complain about my oversights, as if I might be lying when I say I can have some sugar -whatever- I work so hard to think it all through, to stay on top of it – hey you nailed it. Thanks.

    • Helen Edwards on May 20, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for sharing. There are so many myths out there. Makes it very hard sometimes 🙂

  6. fingerpricker on May 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Reblogged this on fingerpricker.

    • Helen Edwards on May 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      thanks for the reblog 🙂