a shot of perspective

{haha. “a shot..” get it? because I’m on shots? no? humor is not my thang, unless I’m not trying to be funny. then, I’m told, I’m hilarious. irony!}

I want to address a topic/situation that I have encountered a few times in the past 9 months since my diagnosis that I never had thought about or really dealt with {on this level} before.

{Here’s some context about the reasoning for this post: I had two completely opposite encounters yesterday that made me feel confused. One in which someone told me that they love reading my blog because it has taught them so much, and one in which I heard {someone who I thought was} a friend talking about how I am an “attention whore” and all I do is seek attention about my Type 1 diabetes when it’s really not a “bad disease.” I am so encouraged by those positive comments! However, my initial response to hearing these hateful comments was anger and hurt; shortly after, I made a realization.

Yes. You’re correct. I am attention-seeking with my Type 1 diabetes. Just not in the {negative} way that you think I am…

Hear me out.

For some reason {unbeknownst to me}, folks who have chronic conditions {mental, physical, etc} are sometimes labeled as “attention seekers” if they talk about their disease. I think I kind of understand where this thought comes from.

When you see someone frequently talking about something serious and negative, it could perhaps be interpreted that the person in question is seeking sympathy or some kind of interaction about it from other people. Maybe the main intention of some people is to attract {negative/flashy} attention & evoke sympathetic responses from others.

However, to label a chronic disease sufferer as an “attention seeker” in a negative way while also dismissing their feelings is quite unfair, in my opinion. No matter what their intentions are, it is bold for someone to speak about a disease that afflicts and impairs them daily. The act of them speaking about it should be seen as bold and brave no matter the intentions.

Just dismissing them as “looking for attention” is to invalidate their feelings and the seriousness of their condition.

I will point out, though, that there are some people in this world that overdramatize {and sometimes even completely lie about} their disease. I’m not sure why some people do this; regardless, I think this is still a cry for help in a different way, but that’s an entirely different issue.

I’m not trying to victimize those of us who do have chronic illnesses.

I know that everyone struggles with many different hardships and I mean not to dismiss others’ hardships that are not health related. However, health related stress is just very different because it is something that impacts every single facet of one’s entire life. {there are other hardships that do this as well.}

It would just be nice to have my feelings validated instead of dismissed.

To you, it may seem attention-seeking for me to ask for prayers regarding my disease, when in reality, I need prayers in order to keep from slipping in to a coma some days.

I seek attention to the issue of my T1D because:

1) I want to raise awareness in order to find a cure.
Why would you donate your money to a cause that you know nothing about? You wouldn’t. It is my goal to contribute towards raising awareness to motivate those around me to feel passionately about cure research.

2) I want to educate those who are ignorant of the seriousness of this disease.
I was super ignorant about it prior to my diagnosis. I’ve been there; I understand that it’s frustrating to learn about something that doesn’t directly impact your daily life. But if I’m important to you, you’ll learn about it in order to help me when I need it. Because I will.

3) I need encouragement/support/prayers sometimes to make it through the day.
Literally. I can go from totally stable & fine to almost comatose within an hour for no reason. That’s scary, and out of my control sometimes. Having people there to help me {or at least people who care!} makes a difference.

You do not have the authority or credibility to say that my disease “isn’t that bad.” You don’t have it. You haven’t really tried to understand it. You don’t know what this feels like, as I don’t know how your afflictions feel. What’s the point in judging something that you have no idea about? It’s quite foolish.

Even the strongest people need to rely on others sometimes. And everyone deserves to have their feelings heard. Even those with chronic diseases, even if it annoys you.

me.
you.
everyone.

Care and understanding go such a long way, especially in today’s culture of negativity and hate.

I promise to be understanding of your feelings {you who is reading this}, regardless of whether or not I completely understand them.

I know not everyone is going to want to understand or care or listen. And I’ve accepted that.

But that doesn’t stop me from fighting for a cure, for me and for the millions out there suffering from Type 1 and all other chronic, incurable diseases.

We all have different journeys, different stories, different hardships. We need to accept the fact that we are different from one another as well as exhibit empathy and support for one another, regardless of whether or not we understand the burdens our friends & peers carry, in order to have healthy relationships with each other.

Oh and also? If I really bother you that much, KEEP SCROLLING. You don’t have to read about it if you don’t care. Problem solved.

2:21am

It’s 2:21am on a Wednesday & here I lie.

Frightened, sick, troubled.
Yet strangely content and I am wondering how I can feel such opposing feelings at the same time.

Perhaps I am just getting used to this.

I am early DKA as I type this (diabetic ketoacidosis, a.k.a. diabetic coma.) I am unable to sleep until I experience stability and reach a safe BG level in order to make it through the night. I am sick as a result of this high & dangerous BG.

I am anxious, thinking how within a couple hours I will likely experience a bad low that will result in more sickness and fogginess. Sleep tonight is entirely out of the question, which is unfortunate because sleep I need so desperately.

I am saddened because I will likely have to miss work and maybe class tomorrow, which makes me feel like a failure.

I am embarrassed from a low earlier at rehearsal that caused me to spill water all over the crotch of my pants due to extreme tremors from the low.

This just has not been a good day with my disease.

All of this because of the diabeetus. HAHA. It’s so funny, right? A disease that kills. A disease that keeps me up all night frequently; that impedes the flow of my life, my marriage, my school and work performances, my personality. A disease that I did nothing to deserve. A disease that has a mind of its own no matter what I do. A disease that has no cure.

I will never understand why our culture is so fine with making diabetes jokes, yet if the joke in question was cancer related instead of diabetes related, there would be an uproar. But nah. It’s just diabetes so it’s hilarious. Right? Because mainly old and fat people eat too much shit and then create a disease due to their laziness. (Isn’t that a problem in itself that should be addressed?)

The truth of the matter is that this disease can strike anyone, especially those who are genetically predisposed to Type 1, like me. The truth is that this disease is ruthless. Diabetes does not care that I have a million responsibilities a day and I can hardly keep my head above water. It doesn’t care about me.

I mean not to complain; only to inform, educate, and show you my perspective.

I encourage you to refrain from laughing at the next diabetes joke you hear. Just try it. Remember my feelings and vulnerability in this post. How I am fighting for my life at this very moment, resisting going to the ER in hopes of stabilizing myself. Remember those who T1D has taken from this world. And then see if you’re able to laugh at those (inaccurate and highly offensive) jokes.

I am doing anything but laughing tonight.