In an attempt to find some bloggy inspiration I started looking back through some old posts. I found one from three years ago called Judgements, and I knew it was the perfect post to revisit . . .
"Yesterday was a pretty big day. We closed on a refinance of our mortgage, locking in the current low interest rates and knocking five years off our payments. Then we went off to our weekly ballroom lesson. But we felt like celebrating. Since we've been working so hard on our exercise and diet plan, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a great Italian place just down the road from the dance studio. And we decided we would order whatever we wanted. In my case, I knew it would be Gnocchi alla Vodka Sauce.
I was testing my blood when the waitress came for our drink order. I was bolusing when she came for our dinner order. And I felt like I had to hide my meter and my pump. I felt like if she knew I was diabetic, she would judge me when she set the huge bowl of gnocchi in front of me. Or when she saw me accept the slice of bread Pete passed from the bread basket. It didn't matter that my extended bolus kept my blood sugar from going no higher than 157 after eating and put my 2-hour post-meal finger-stick at 91. Or that a slightly higher overnight temp basal and a 2am correction of a 145 blood sugar gave me a fasting of 125 this morning. I felt like she would judge me. She would be under the impression that a Type 1 diabetic can't eat a pasta meal. She would become the dreaded diabetes police.
I'm proud that I can indulge once in a while and still keep my numbers fairly in line. But I'm disappointed that my guilty conscience sees people judging me, whether they actually are or not."
Quite honestly, this post really surprised me. I certainly don’t feel like I have to hide my meter or my pump anymore. In fact, I’m thrilled to tell anyone who will listen all about how I can use exercise and my pump features to manage a carb filled meal on a special occasion. It was easy for me to forget all of those years when I hid diabetes because I worried about what others thought - and because deep down inside I was always judging myself and feeling like I was failing. All of that has gradually changed over the past three years as I’ve become a more informed patient who has tons of support from others who also live with diabetes. Yes, sometimes I still do judge myself and feel like I’ve failed, but I know that my health is my business and I don’t worry about what some random stranger may think of me.
Sometimes when things seem to be plodding along at an even pace, it’s easy to forget just how far we have come. It can be surprising to look back and realize how much your outlook has changed. Tonight I’m attending my niece’s wedding and I will eat some wedding cake and have a drink (or two) and I won’t worry one bit about what others might be thinking. And that is pretty cool!!
Do you ever take a look back at your life with diabetes and find yourself surprised at how things have changed? What has helped you make those changes?