Today’s topic deals with what helps us get through difficult diabetes days. We all go through our slumps, but what lifts us out of them?
I recover my positivity and focus when I adapt my mother’s attitude. Recently, she told me about one of her personal mantras regarding how to be prepared for every situation. She makes sure that she has anything she could possibly need with her at all times, and reminds herself that these tools will help her stay on track. I constantly remind myself of this, and it definitely comes in handy in situations like the one I was in last night.
It was my second shift back at the movie theater for the summer. Thursday nights aren’t usually busy when school is still in session, so it was a slow shift that was made more complex when I found out I had to train a new girl in box office. I didn’t mind training her, because I like teaching people new skills at work. But when I started to feel a little shaky partway through our training, I began to feel sort of panicky. I didn’t want to whip out all of my diabetes supplies and freak out the girl, but I also knew it was important to get a reading on my blood sugar. I paused for a moment, and told myself to relax. I knew that I was armed with glucose tablets and snacks, as well as my test kit with plenty of strips and a fully charged battery. If my blood sugar was low, I was equipped with the materials I needed to address the situation.
As I went to get my supplies, I quickly explained to the girl that I have diabetes. “I just didn’t want to scare you, you know, when I draw blood to test my blood sugar,” I said nervously. (Isn’t it funny that even though I’ve had diabetes for 16+ years, I still feel awkward about having that initial diabetes conversation with someone I’m meeting for the first time?) I avoided eye contact with her and got busy with testing just so I wouldn’t see if she made a weird face or something. After a couple seconds, she said, “Oh, my dad has diabetes, too. I’m used to this kind of thing.”
I felt a small wave of relief – of course, I felt badly about her father having diabetes, but it was a small comfort that she understood the situation. We chatted for a moment about diabetes, then moved on to other topics. The brief moment of concern and tension dissolved into the air, especially after my meter told me I was 76. I wound up taking two glucose tabs just to prevent a plummeting blood sugar, and all was well.
So maybe last night is an example of not only one of my mom’s mantras, but one of mine: be open and honest with yourself (and others!) at all times as far as diabetes is concerned. This policy guarantees that my health and my feelings are taken care of in addition to me feeling more positive about sharing my diabetes with those around me. Diabetes may try its hardest to bring me down, but I’m confident in my ability to remind myself to stay optimistic and continue to fight back against it.