Diabetes fatigue is not just for diabetics

You know, it’s not just us diabetics who get tired of dealing with the disease. We can’t forget that our family members and perhaps others who are close to us have to deal with the realities of diabetes each and every day, too.

Maybe they don’t have to check their blood glucose, figure out how many carbs they just ate or give themselves an insulin shot, but, believe me, there’s not a day that goes by that they’re not aware that we have diabetes.

I try not to make a big deal of things. Most of the time, my immediate family doesn’t realize that I’ve tested my blood glucose or given myself a bolus (one of the advantages of a pump). It’s just part of what I do, and I try not to draw too much attention to it.

That doesn’t mean I hide my diabetes. On the contrary, I was always very honest with my kids, especially when they were young. I showed them how Mommy tests her blood glucose, how she gives herself shots and all of that. They’ve come to expect that these things are just part of who I am.

Funny thing, with my CGM, I can’t really hide what’s going on anyway, what with all the beeping and other alarms going off. Let’s just say my sister recognizes the sound of the “test your blood glucose” alarm by heart, and my husband has often commented how my “pump was going off all night” (always with a smile on his face, too).

But sometimes – especially in those lovely hypoglycemic moments – you just can’t do it alone. Sometimes you need a reminder (perhaps a friendly, “Do you need to check your blood sugar, Kim?”). Sometimes its as easy as getting out of your path to the refrigerator so you can get those carbs that will bring your blood glucose back up. Other times, you may need their help desperately, especially if you don’t (or can’t) recognize the onset of hypoglycemia.

Luckily, I am usually able to recognize when my blood glucose is getting too low (especially when I’m using my CGM), and so is my family. I have a few quirks that they have come to associate with low blood glucose: twirling my hair (such that it gets very messy, which is so not me), not being able to complete sentences (almost like I’m drunk) and the ever dreaded bitchiness.

So, if your family members sometimes get tired of dealing with it, give them a break. Try not to get mad at them – remember that they do so much for you all the time, every day, day in, day out. They deserve time off for good behavior.

Anyway, this is just my way of recognizing that there are many people involved in a diabetes support system. Let this blog post serve as a shout out to all of those people who support me – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!