Best Diabetes Tearjerkers, The Most Moving Blog Posts of 2010

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Everyone living with diabetes knows that the ups and downs and complications of this illness can make a mess of you physically.  But the emotional side of diabetes can be just as draining as high or low blood sugar.  And perhaps the most draining of all is when you’re trying your hardest to take care of yourself, doing everything right, and things still go wrong.

This year the bloggers on ASweetLife shared incredible stories – from the in’s and out’s of daily life, to travel, to science, and so much more.  From some posts we gained knowledge, others made us laugh.  But the posts that moved us the most, the ones we identified with, the ones everyone with diabetes can relate to were the posts which captured the frustrations and fears of diabetes. To wrap up the year we’ve chosen to highlight the posts that touched us, moved us, and even brought tears to our eyes.  So here you have excerpts from some of our very best.  Please click on the link to read the full post.  We wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year!

Catherine Price: Protons And My Pancreas

“When I pricked my finger, the result came back at 447. No, that’s not a typo. That is four hundred and forty seven mg/dl and is, quite literally, higher than it was when I was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago. Freaking out, I took a huge correction bolus, waited a few minutes, and checked again. 475…
…I’ve been frustrated by my blood sugar pretty much continuously on this trip, and this was a tipping point, one of those moments where all the tiny details of diabetes come crashing down on you all at once — the self-control and the attention to detail and the thought required for every single bite of food. As I stood there, alternately crying and talking to myself, I could only really say one thing, a phrase I return to every time the emotions of diabetes get the best of me: “I am so tired of this. I am so, so tired.” And then, something new: “I am so angry about having diabetes.” It was a funny and surprising thing to hear myself say, because the vast majority of the time I’m really *not* angry about it. It just seems so pointless — who would I be angry at? Whose fault is it? No one’s. What can I do about it?”

Michael Aviad: Diabetes or Just a Thirsty Child?

“I noticed that twice during practice Guy ran over to the side to drink some water. The practice is only 45 minutes long and the kids are not supposed to take drinking breaks during that time. Most people probably wouldn’t think twice about it, but I couldn’t help but think “is it diabetes?”.  I tried to calm myself thinking that maybe he hadn’t had enough to drink after soccer practice (which is an hour before his judo practice). But I couldn’t shake it, and for the rest of the day I kept an eye on his drinking and eating (and urinating). There actually wasn’t anything out of the usual, but that feeling you get when you think something may be wrong with your child is very hard to get over.”

Amy Stockwell Mercer: A Diabetic Christmas, 1987

“On December 24, 1987 I had been living with diabetes for two years. My younger sister Erin and I were diagnosed within six months of each other.  I didn’t see our shared disease as an opportunity for support, or view her as someone to empathize with over the challenges of diabetes because I was 16 and she was 12, and as far as I was concerned, we were worlds apart. So that Christmas, we went to the local church for the service, dimmed the lights, and lit our candles. Erin was next to me and as we sang, she began to sway side to side, bumping into me. Irritated, I shoved her with my free hand, and she swayed up and back instead of side to side. As she titled forward, her candle tipped and wax spilled onto the fur coat of a woman standing in the pew in front of us. Finally, the lights went on and as we gathered our coats to walk outside into the cold, and Mom noticed that Erin was stumbling.”

Elizabeth Snouffer: Leaving my Summer’s Circadian Clock Behind

“One early morning, around 3 am, after a large dinner party, and a house full of guests and children, my husband found me sitting in a darkened hallway downstairs.  He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was trying to climb out of the window — I think I meant the figurative window of hypoglycemia.  “It’s right there.  Couldn’t he see it in front of me?”  He pulled me up from my underarms and carried me upstairs.  Of course, there was no window.  I was so low I was hallucinating with a blood sugar hovering around 20 mg/dl.  We fixed it with good old American Welch’s grape juice and sat in the living room drinking the purple stuff listening to the ocean while the rest of the house slept soundly.  There have been very few moments when I can see fear in my husband’s eyes for me – but this night I could see his anxiety.  “Are you going to be OK?”  he asked the next day, many times.”

Jessica Apple: The Imperfect Miracle of Insulin

“I’d been right to panic.  It was close to midnight, and instead of injecting himself with Lantus (nighttime insulin), Mike had picked up the wrong pen and injected himself with Apidra, fast-acting insulin.  He’d taken twenty units, his Lantus dose.  It was enough to cover at least 200 grams of carbohydrate.

“You have to go to the E.R.,” I said.

“What for?” Mike answered.

Not really sure what the protocol would be in such a situation, I guessed.  “A glucose drip!”

“No,” Mike said.  “I’ll just stay up and eat.”  He wasn’t hungry at all, but there was no other choice.  We both stayed up that night.  All night.  We set a few alarms in case we fell asleep.  We had a plate of fruit on the table, a bottle of test strips, a couple of glucometers, and I was looking for the glucagon kit, just in case.  I was sure we had one.  But we didn’t…

…To anyone who doesn’t know first-hand what it’s like to be insulin dependent, this might not sound like such a big deal.  Just eat something, right?  The biggest problem with insulin is that  it’s one of the most dangerous drugs around.   There aren’t very many drugs in patients’ hands  (are there any others?) that are self-dosed, and that if you take a little too much of, can lead you to have a seizure, fall unconscious, or even die.  Insulin therapy is crude.  Even in the most responsible hands, mistakes happen.  Mike’s case was nothing more than human error…”

Pregnant graffiti (photo by Petteri Sulonen)

Karmel Allison: My thoughts on a type 1 pregnancy

she wrote her
poem on his wrists
love transcribed in code
a double-backed
polynucleotide beast
sealing the air
between his lungs
and his wrists
on his wrists she wrote
her love son
son I a Silverstein
tree give you all
all that I have
that I know that
I am son son
but son not that
not that son I didn’t intend
my change is my
own she said
the link in my lifeline
crushed to powder
infertile and unexpressed
you son you are not
immune to my failing
take that link elsewhere
find your father
my solitary battle I
unbequeath this love
I give this war
I keep son
it is sadness take
that apple from
you father
please she wrote
please she said
on his wrists through
his veins sealed
in code between the
folds of infant skin.

Comments (2)

  1. Diabetic Diet Information at

    Great post and great reads. Bookmarked for whenever I need a reality check! The real power of blogging is seen when emotion comes through like in these blog posts.

  2. Mark at

    Awesome collection you have here, great reading.

    Thanks for putting them all in one place.

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