Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see. What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet? Or from your family and friends? Why is it important to keep it to yourself? (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone. There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects. Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)
This is a hard one for me. I had 2 aunts on my dad’s side of the family that had type 1 diabetes. They both died very young from the diabetes – one at 53, and the other in her 40s. Losing those 2 people, the only 2 other people in my family with diabetes was SO hard. Honestly, I basically freaked out!! I am much better than I was in the heat of the moment years ago, but I do still have my days where I get very stressed, anxious, and downright scared about what their deaths might mean for my future.
People will respond with platitudes like “Oh, but the technology is SO much better now”. “They know so much more now than they did when Chris and Judy were diagnosed.” and “But you take care of yourself!”
I know the technology is better. I know that there is so much more knowledge about diabetes than when Chris and Judy were diagnosed. I know that I take care of myself. I also know though that genetics play a role in what our futures hold. I also know that the only thing for 100% certain that causes complications from diabetes… is having diabetes.
Why do I keep this private? Why do I choose to not talk about this more with my family, the DOC, friends, my medical team? I’m just plain sick of the “don’t worry” kinds of responses I get. I don’t want to scare other people in the DOC. When I bring up Judy and Chris with some of my family, they give me this look… this look like a ‘poor you’ kind of look, like I’m worried about you, I pity you, etc. I don’t want people worrying about me. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer. I don’t want to feel the way I do – scared, worried, nervous, stressed about my future.
Honestly, I have had moments where I wonder if it is selfish of me to want to get married and have kids – if my future ends up like Chris and Judy’s did, and ends young and abruptly, is it really fair that I put others through that?
So there’s the dark and twisty skeleton in my diabetes closet. There’s the very private side of me that I don’t let anyone see, ever. It feels good to get it out, and it feels so much safer to get it all out there to an inanimate object rather than a person. At work and in my comfort zone, I’m a very open person, but this is a part of me that I don’t like to make public.