Saturday, 6 November 2010

'How do you do it?'

I was recently asked by a girl newly diagnosed with type 1 - 'how do you stay so positive with your diabetes?'

The answer: I think I would go blind mad if I didn't. I force myself to remain positive with it - or rather, I force myself not to be negative. We live with this horrible, stupid condition that I hate with every cell of my being and I wish I could get rid of (not just for me, but for everyone living with it).

I've heard Joe Solowiejczyk speak a couple of times now, and I love his attitude of 'it's okay to hate it' - the thing with living with a chronic condition, especially an invisible one such as type one diabetes, is that quite often people think that just because you've had it for a while, you're okay with it, you're getting on okay, it's not affecting you. Problem is - that just isn't true in most cases! Yep, we're 'used' to living with it - but that does not mean, in the words of Joe Solowiejczyk, that I wake up every day thinking 'whoopee! I get to wake up, check my blood glucose, carb count that meal, then wait 2 hours and test again! And then...I do it all over again at lunch!' - it just isn't happening like that.

I think I have an attitude of just getting on with it, and taking each day as it comes. I find a lot of people, and it's easily seen in children, also have this attitude. Living with a condition as unpredictable as type 1 means you have to adapt quickly to whatever your body is throwing at you.

Overall I am quite a positive person in general. I try to find the good in all situations (which winds some people up no end!) - so if I'm going to live with this stupid condition, I'm going to see all the positives I can. I love the diabetes community, and being 'part' of something.

For me, it would be very easy to constantly feel very depressed because of this stupid thing. And I do have my down days - I'm known to throw tubing across the room when that cannula has failed *again*. I have days when I just want to sit down and cry because of the sheer effort of living with a condition that is such hard work, and often doesn't yield great results, no matter how hard you try. I think that's the biggest thing for me - knowing that I will always be fighting this battle, a battle that can only lead by me (but I do have an amazing army of people behind me). Sometimes the weight of that is a lot to carry around.

Everyone has different ways of coping with things, and for me I am always trying to find a balance.