Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

The unanswerable question

on September 4, 2014

There is a question that I suspect many of us get as diabetics.  I got it last night, and I cannot count the number of times I have been asked this by well-meaning, caring people.  What’s the question? “So, how is your diabetes doing?”

I have no idea how to answer that question.  My diabetes seems to be thriving?  My diabetes is still there and always will be?  My blood sugars have been all  over the map some days and perfectly controlled on a few?  The possibilities are practically endless.

But I know that I can’t give a smart-aleck answer to this well intentioned question.  The problem is that they don’t have time for a full answer, and the questioner doesn’t realize how complicated dealing with diabetes is.  Take today for instance. Here’s what my answer would include (and this is only the stuff I can remember!):

I started the day great, though overnight my CGM buzzed me a bunch of time thinking my blood glucose had bottomed out at below 55, when it was really 120.  Swimming went really well and I didn’t go low afterwards – a rare victory!  My blood glucose then tanked briefly while I was setting up for a meeting, but recovered on its own.  I went out to lunch with a friend and thought I dosed well, but after a brief stroll through Target, and while driving home, my blood glucose dropped pretty quickly.  I probably should have stopped and waited to drive the rest of the way home until my blood sugar came up, but all I could think about was the safety of home.  I made it. And thanked God (really!) that I did.  I ate a snack and  felt much better after about an hour when the hangover from the low subsided.  Then while I was cooking dinner, my infusion site (the place where my pump tubing connects with my body) got really, really tender and sore.  I have no idea why.  So that meant I needed to change that out and hope my bg didn’t soar upwards because of bad insulin delivery.  The rest of the afternoon went fine, and now after dinner, I am sitting at 201, waiting for the insulin to kick in and bring it back down to range. I’ll have to keep an eye on it to make sure all is well.

So you see, that’s the kind of answer I would REALLY like to give.  But that’s not likely what people want to hear, and I can actually envision their eyes glazing over, so I end up saying something inane like, “there are good days and bad days”, or “I’m doing fine, thanks”.  I need to figure out a good answer that really sums up how diabetes affects me.  I think one of the things that is hardest for me to realize is that people think I’m going to get better. I’m pretty sure I’m not.  My beta cells are not going to miraculously regenerate (barring an actual miracle, of course!).  But I don’t want to sound that hopeless.  So I’ll keep working on my answer. If any of you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them. Thanks in advance for your help!

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2 responses to “The unanswerable question

  1. Colleen says:

    I don’t think we’re “hopeless,” but – you’re right – people are kind enough to ask and so, like you, my response is normally something along the lines of, “It’s okay.”
    I like that people are interested enough to ask. I dislike that people ask.
    No help from me, right?

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