After an endless week of learning about diabetes and how to keep my blood sugars in control, I was finally allowed to have a full day with my family to try out my new lifestyle. It was a Friday and my mom asked me if I wanted to go to school. My answer was no, I didn’t want to go back because I felt as though I had been out forever and mostly, because I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to be different than everyone else in the class, I was terrified of everyone treating me differently. I was scared of no longer being normal.
This is a normal feeling. I think that everyone goes through moments with diabetes where they have never felt more embarrassment in their life. But, as the days go on and slowly you realize that you are never going to be “normal” and that the more that you try and act “normal” the harder the more miserable you will be.
So, for the diabetics reading this I can tell you an embarrassing story of mine. I was walking into the hospital for the last time I would never have to give myself an insulin shot when I ate food. My mom was obviously upset during this time, and I was a confused 9 year old. I asked my mother why we were walking into the hospital in which she replied, “You’re going to be like Nick Jonas.”
I then said “I’m going to have rabies?” I paused cause I was confused and then with ease added “Oh I’m going to have diabetes” with as much casualty as I could possibly muster.
When that time for the insulin pump came around, I wanted to hide it. You can hide diabetes when you are giving yourself shots and using insulin pens, but you can’t when you have a pager looking thing attached to your hip 24/7. I would try to hide it as much as I could. I wouldn’t clip my pump to the outside of my jeans, and I would clip it on the inside of my jeans so it was less visible. My shirts became longer because I wanted to avoid people seeing my pancreas.
Eventually I began clipping my pump on the outside, I began to wear it on my sleeve (metaphorically). I began to embrace my differences, I use my diabetes to my advantage. I began to turn my “disease” into a strength and using my differences as a strength. It is hard and it is long but eventually you will learn to embrace what makes you, you.