I wrote a post a while back called Which Diabetes is Worse? I had a thoughtful response from a type 2 diabetic, Christine, who felt strongly about how both type 1 and type 2 diabetics have it rough. I don’t know what it’s like to have type 2 diabetes so I asked her to write from her perspective. I really appreciate Christine doing this because it’s always important to be reminded how all of us are dealing with challenges unique to our own journey in life. Here’s what it’s like for this type 2:
Christine and her family
A while ago, Sysy invited me to do a guess post on the “The Day in the Life of a Type 2 Diabetic.” I don’t know what it is like to be T1, so I can’t really say what is different, except for maybe dreams and goals. From everything I have heard, when you are a Type 1, you became such at a pretty young age, Pre-teen even. I could be wrong, but this is before a person has full expectations of their life and what it would be like. When I was a teen-ager, I may have known what I wanted to be, but I was still planning and letting my life unfold.
I became diabetic at 25. I already had a life and thought I knew how it was going to be. I was living that life. I was married and had a toddler. I was finishing my degree and knew where I was going. I had a solid plan and saw no turns in the road. I wanted 6 children. I was going to be an active stay-at-home mom, who did all kinds of fun projects. I was a contributing member of society and actively participated at my church. I was a “yes” girl. I thought I could do anything if I put my mind to it. As a person I had fully developed my habits and tendencies. I was a creative person who didn’t plan well and lived in the moment. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, to.
So, when my life changed at diagnosis, I had to do more then develop new habits and routines, I had to change who I was, who I had become over those special years. It wasn’t even until today in fact that I realized, that I had to rewrite an entirely new life for my self. All my dreams and goals, had to be revised. Everything I expected and planned for had to change.
It is hard to change who you are when you are already done with the preparatory years. It’s scary. Who am I now? What can I do? How will my life be? Some answers are clean cut. The dream of 6 children is not going to work out. But can I still be that mother I worked so hard to become? Some days I am so tired, it feels impossible. I am 29 now and I am still trying to figure myself out, with this new life. I have to change me, I have to become consistent in my routine. This feels boring and against my nature. I feel like I am still on the turn in the road, unable to see the road ahead of me, hoping the road continues. It is exhausting and I feel deflated and defeated a lot of the time.
That is what it is like to be Type 2, at-least when you are a young T2. I feel physically and emotionally tired and anxious all the time and I can remember what it is like to be healthy, which almost seems like a curse instead of a blessing. In some ways it’s like being a teen-ager with an adult life, because I have to find myself all over again. On the other hand, I did have that time where I got to live my life without this weight over me and that is a blessing. I had a typically teenage experience and didn’t receive my trials until I was older. So, that I can be thankful for.
What is the same? I don’t think anything is the same for anyone? We all have struggles. One might be great at maintaining their blood sugars where another is not. While one might be afraid of needles and the other had no problem with it. Some might be good at keeping a routine and some might be good at keeping an optimistic point of view. We all have out own personal trials with this disease. No one has it worse or better, it is just different for each of us. It may feel lonely and isolating at times, because people don’t see “the sweetness within,” and how it can affect a person, but we T1 or T2 diabetics, we know and we can support each other.
Thanks for opening up with us Christine! Comments and discussion encouraged everyone!