Last week wasn't the best. Unfortunately new-found knowledge managed to put a downer on the majority of my days. I'm now ready to blog about it and perhaps vent my frustrations about the current circumstance regarding my diabetes. Apologies in advance, just in case.
I try to maintain a positive mind-set about my diabetes. I acknowledge that there are far worse diseases to have and much more unfortunate situations to be in. I also respect that diabetes, when well managed, doesn't have to compromise your general health or lifestyle. That's why it just about broke my heart when I received a letter to inform me that I have developed background retinopathy.
Being told this at the age of 19 isn't what I wanted to hear, to say the least. I felt upset of course...so upset that I bawled my eyes out for about an hour. Most of all I felt angry. Angry that I'm 19 and I have background retinopathy, angry that I feel like I've tried so hard for 15 years to control my diabetes well, but more than anything else I was angry with myself for, what felt like, obviously not doing enough.
I find that there's a lot of guilt involved in diabetes. I recently read a fantastic post from Meagan Esler at Diabetes Health that confirmed this to me. I end up feeling guilty if my bg's are too high or too low or if my HbA1c isn't the percentage it should be and I feel guilty that my loved ones are affected by it almost as much as I am. If I let it, the guilt surrounding my retinopathy could probably consume me. I feel awful that I've allowed those ketones to even exist, let alone harm me.
So I spent a week beating myself up about this, but there has to come a time when you stop torturing yourself and give yourself a break. I deal with the rollercoaster ride that is diabetes management every single day of my life. Alright, so in the past 15 years there will have been days when I haven't carb counted correctly or I've accidentally given an insulin shot later than I should have done or I've eaten a chocolate bar or two. Perhaps these mishaps are the causes of my background retinopathy - I'll never know for sure.
I refuse to live my life continually making myself feel bad. Of course, I am making changes; I'm now trying harder than ever and making even more effort to ensure that my blood sugar levels are balanced. I just think it's about time that we diabetics cut ourselves a bit of slack. Why is it that so many of us end up, probably subconsciously, thinking that having diabetes deprives us of something that makes us all human? No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and everybody is allowed to...yes diabetics, even you!