I am excited to start my first series here on BloodSugar, Sweat & Tears!
On Talk About it Tuesdays, I am going to bring a T1D-relevant topic to the blog that isn’t generally discussed with your doctor or health care professional. These will be subjects ranging from alcohol to depression. The first topic is, quite simply, the idea of talking about your diabetes. Leave suggestions for future Tuesdays in the comments below!
Although I have known for a long time that I am an introvert, I recently learned that I am also a verbal processor, aka I need to talk about my feelings! My parents know this best of all, but teachers, friends, and many others in my life have often commented that I “wear my heart on my sleeve.”
Surprisingly enough, however, diabetes is one topic that I really did not talk about much until the last couple of years. As I began to accept diabetes into my life on a deeper level than just a condition I need to treat with insulin and finger pricks, I began to notice not only how it effects my overall existence, but also how it has shaped my character. Opening up about the frustrations of diabetes, instead of just keeping them buried under my thick, needle-poked skin has been therapeutic for me. My parents have always had VIP access to my emotions (whether they like it or not), but beginning to let my friends in on some of the details of my diabetes care has been new and while at times has made me feel vulnerable, has overall been a release. Most of my friends have always known that I am a diabetic, but what that meant to them, I am not quite sure… because we never talked about it. I would keep my diabetes management to myself and just go along with everyone else- approaching food and activities in 90% of the same manner as my friends. Now that I am telling them the truth about how I am feeling and being honest about my needs in certain situations, I am feeling so much more at ease because I am not trying to keep up a certain image.
So, for the first Talk About it Tuesday, I want to encourage you to chat with someone close to you about your diabetes. It can be hard to explain the intricacies of it all, but what I have learned is that people who really care about you genuinely want to understand. Maybe just explain how certain foods effect your blood sugar or how you prepare for exercise. It can be something small, but open the door to this conversation. You won’t regret it.