Its been nearly 5 years since I’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and its amazing to think that all the things you have to do to manage the disease properly have become no stranger than brushing your teeth in the morning.
Injecting Insulin? No problem, drawing blood to test glucose levels in my blood? Piece of cake. Its feels strange to think that there was a time when I didn’t need to do any of that, the only thing you had to do was decided what you wanted to eat and then eat it! The crazy thing is I can barely remember what that felt like, the condition has completely taken over and requires so much management that its hard to think that things used to be different.
During these 5 years I’ve very rarely been asked how it feels to have diabetes, granted that might be due to social graces but its something I’ve caught myself thinking about lately, how would I describe how it feels, how does it feel to have a hypo or hyper glycaemic attack to some who doesn’t have the disease.
To begin with (if your blood sugar control is sketchy at least) is the ever-present threat of Hypo-glycaemic attacks which is basically very low blood sugar and Hyper-Glycaemic attacks which is very high blood sugar (referred to as “Hypos” and “Hypers” here on out). I used to get a ton of Hypos a few years ago, It is something that you feel come on and if left unattended it saps your strength and leaves you a quivering mess on the floor…. Slight exaggeration but you get the idea. The overriding feeling you get is that you don’t want to do anything but lay spread eagled on your bed and just sleep, anything to conserve what little energy that remains in your limbs. Then you get the raging sweats, it absolutely pours off you, if you ever get to that stage then dive for something sugary at the double.
It feels so awful that when you get something sugary down you its hard to stop because you want to make yourself feel better as fast as possible. This is turn contributes to the boomerang effect where you were once suffering a hypo, all of a sudden you start suffering from a Hyper.
Hypers are another nasty little thing all together, again it messes up your energy levels faster than….. Something fast, everything feels heavy, not that you lose strength but your body feels tighter, not in the normal places like after exercise but in your chest, breathing feels shallower (if that’s a word) the severity can vary but the common symptom for me no matter what is the hazy feeling of sluggishness it brings on and the irritability that comes along for the ride also. Then of course when you start feeling better you feel bad for being irritable to people around you, even though there are mitigating factors.
If you know someone who is diabetic and they say they are having a hypo or hyper, if they are unwell, be understanding as it is a horrible thing to have to deal with, and if they are being particularly short or irritable it is more than possible that they are suffering from high blood sugar.
Oh and lastly how do you get used to injecting yourself all the time?
Its easy when the needles are incredibly small and very fine, if they were any bigger id be bricking it every time I had to get the needle out, so I am very thankful for small mercies!
Thanks for reading!