I have had insulin dependent diabetes for seventeen years now and through all the denial processes I have gone through, I would say the main theme caught in my psyche is the desire to be normal.
Because of this desire I spent the first ten years after diagnosis being a real sugar-junky. I made it my mission to rebel against everything I was instructed to do. I thought it would prove something. I didn’t know what it would prove or to whom, but from the age of 15 to 25 I tried living in denial of my diagnosis.
After getting married and having a daughter however, I realised there was more to life than just me. I could no longer afford the luxury of denial. Falling pregnant really changed my treatment forever. My control was so tight over those nine months that even the doctor said his HB1C wasn’t as good as mine – and he didn’t have diabetes. Yes, I was the model patient for the first time in my life. I thought this would bring me freedom. I thought I would finally lead a normal life, even with diabetes.
Four years after the birth of my daughter however, I have recently discovered another form of denial. I must confess it took me quite by surprise at first, because it was wrapped in the very acceptance I had formed. Instead of denying I had diabetes as done so in the past, I was in denial that my treatment would ever be short of perfect. I was aiming to obtain those perfect BSL’s on a daily basis, while also growing older and having more responsibilities to juggle.
Naturally I was startled when my specialist first informed me I had lost the ability to detect a hypo. How and when did that happen?
I didn’t know it was even possible for a diabetic to lose that ability – not until I did.
So I ask you all from one diabetic to another; “are you feeling normal yet?”
My illusions have certainly been enlightened that one should not aim to be “normal” in any regard, but rather be willing to adapt at a moments notice, to change.
I can only say of myself as I stated in the very beginning, I desire only to feel normal. Perhaps the illusion all people stem from is that being normal does not allow for difference or change. Maybe half the battle is desiring only the here and now…finding acceptance in what is, rather than what was supposed to be?