(Anyone Perfect Must Be Lying)…Combating Disease Denial as an Adult

The thing about living with a disease that requires your attention every moment of every day is that it gets annoying. 

The thing about participating in a community online that focuses on said disease is that sometimes you just don’t want to think about the fact that you have that disease. 

I am not blaming the DOC on the denial I’m currently experiencing. Nor am I blaming my involvement in the DOC. However, when you attempt to make diabetes the forefront of your life, it tends to drive you insane. 

I know I don’t have to explain this to anyone reading this. It’s just that it’s gotten out of hand. Yesterday, I certainly did not feel like getting out of bed all day. I have nothing to blame this on, except maybe sleeping on my parent’s couch last night, and the fact that my blood sugar remained steadily in the 280’s all day. 

Now I’m not positive about that level, but the two times I tested it, that’s what it was. I still think I’d be more apt to remain under control if insurance would fully cover damn continuous glucose monitoring sensors, but since they do not and I cannot afford them then they will just have to have fun covering my complications down the line. 

But you can’t blame everything on insurance, or lack thereof, or lack of funding, some of it is just darn lack of self motivation. And you can’t blame yourself for that either. Today I was walking in my kitchen, eating beanie weenies (don’t ask me why) and I thought, “Oh yeah, diabetes.” As if it had totally slipped my mind. As if I hadn’t had a chronic illness for 13 years. 

Why, after 13 years, after I finally got past the teen-and-college denial years, am I still dealing with this? I guess it’s just a general thing. We want to think of ourselves as “normal.” And for the most part, I am normal. I am a recent college grad working a sales job because it’s all I could find and struggling to make ends meet. I am a typical single 25 year old wondering if my prince will ever come. In these ways, and several more, I am typical. I am average. I am “normal.” 

Diabetes doesn’t fit into the “normal” life I tell myself I live in order to keep reality in check. “Don’t worry that you had to pay a 20 dollar late rent fee, most people your age have to do that from time to time.” “Don’t worry that you had to stay up all night after you drank three beers at the bar, most people your age have to make sure they’re sober before they sleep so their blood sugars don’t tank.” Wait, no. That’s not normal at all. I want to be able to pass out after a night out and wake up with an alcohol hangover, not a low blood sugar hangover. 

But honestly, I digress. I want to be encouraging. I want everyone who reads my blog (the few of you that are left after my hiatus) to be motivated, to have the “you can do this” attitude. 

I won’t lie, I am making changes. I am inviting people into my life who I hope and pray will keep me accountable and motivated. But I don’t know. This isn’t about looking better. This isn’t even about health down the road. If I am one thing, it is a live in the moment and don’t worry about tomorrow kind of person (which can be a blessing and a curse, because that also means impulsive). Part of how I feel is diabetes, and part is body fat ratio. But to be honest, I only care about one thing. 

It’s that… I’m 25. I don’t want to feel too old to walk up my apartment stairs anymore. 

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6 thoughts on “(Anyone Perfect Must Be Lying)…Combating Disease Denial as an Adult

  1. Mike Hoskins

    A great post, Sarah Jane. Adult D denial is something we all experience, and it’s especially tough when we are so “out there” and open in wearing D on our sleeves through blogging, twitter, etc. I’ve struggled with this motivation and accountability myself, and have not felt lime being all YCDT in my blogging. It is always a work in progress. Thanks for writing this. Let me know if you need anything.

    Reply
  2. Christina

    I don’t know you – I think this is my first time visiting your blog and I think I will likely come again. you write well – it flows nicely. I felt like you were sitting across from me over a latte sharing your frustrations. I like that kind of writing. I don’t have D – my kids do – well 2 of my kids do the other we watch, wait, pray, hope he will never get it. As a parent of cwd I have to hope that my kids will not become discouraged or complacent but the reality is that they likely will at some point and that is when I hope they find someone who will say “you’re doing good, it’s a hard thing to deal with all the frippen time, can I help with anything, do you want a workout buddy, you are doing good, etc etc” I know it won’t be a pity party they will want – and I wouldn’t want anyone to throw them a pity party but encouragement is helpful I think. For now please know that because a friend of yours shared your blog post a perfect stranger is thinking of you and sending you happy healthy thoughts. Wishing that even for a day I could take the D away so you could rest.

    Reply
  3. Trevor Devries

    Disease Denial. I can’t say that I’m as familiar as I’d like to be with this term, but I will say that I don’t suffer from this. That said, I also don’t look at diabetes as a disease.

    One thing I realized long ago in dealing with diabetes is that it’s something about me that I need to accept. The likelihood of a ‘cure’ in our lifetimes is slim, and not without it’s difficulties. I would rather focus on the now, the challenge of living with diabetes and learning to work with my body to give it what it needs.

    Diabetics are blessed in that they have control over their disease. If we lose that awareness and resign ourselves to letting others manage our symptoms and bodies, we lose control, and then we find ourselves denying the fact that we have a disease at all. While a CGM would be helpful to manage your blood sugars, finding methods within your means is an essential part of managing your body.

    If I find myself in a bad state, diabetes-wise, I take steps to rectify it as soon as I realize the cause. If I’m stuck in bed with sugars too high and have difficulty motivating myself to do anything, I realize that if I take steps to fix my blood sugars, the motivation to do things will return as well. It’s all within the power you have to make a few changes and get your body back into equilibrium. While I use multidose needles and you use the pump, the theory is the same.

    Find your center of control. Wrest the control of your life from diabetes and make it your own. Sure, things may not always go the way you intend, but you can react and correct the situation when necessary.

    Reply
    1. sajabla Post author

      I’m not sure you fully understand what I am going through. Although I appreciate all the advice, it isn’t something that helps me a lot. Not only am I dealing with type 1 diabetes, but clinical depression. And when you have clinical depression that isn’t well controlled (and for me, I am switching insurance right now and needing to increase my dosage, but have no physician to prescribe or approve it) you tend to not want to do anything – including basic diabetes care – and it’s more than just a not want. It’s a not-able-to, nine times out of ten. And then that makes your diabetes control worse, which worsens the depression, and it becomes a sick cycle.

      I’m not saying I’m hopeless or that I can’t do it. It’s just frustrating to be a mature adult and still be dealing with these things that I thought had gone away.

      Reply
      1. jo

        I’m glad Trevor is in a good place and motivated and finding success — that is awesome and I wish him all the best. But I have to admit that I’m not even sure he’s talking about the same disease that I struggle with. Sarah, I hope you will find some relief soon. Diabetes is so demanding and I can’t imagine struggling with depression on top of it. I do struggle with an anxiety disorder and it certainly doesn’t make anything easier. Wishing you all the best.

  4. g2-55680831163e76fec0743a15184137d2

    You sound like you’re in a hard place right now. I’ve been there, too, and know that circumstances change. Sometimes they even change for the good although you may not see that now. Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll make it up those stairs even if you feel worn out when you reach the top.

    Reply

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