Christopher Snider created My Diabetes Secret, a blog where people can submit their “secrets” anonymously. Here, he discusses how the site provides those with diabetes a safe haven for expressing their emotions.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002, blogger Christopher Snider knows the emotional burden of living with diabetes: “Everything you think and do becomes a variable that can impact your blood sugar levels,” says Snider. And it can get frustrating when your blood sugar spikes even though you think you’re doing everything “right.”
Says Snider: “Diabetes can be isolating, so any chance I get to remind people that there’s a community out there who can support you through the hard times, I will take.”
Here, two recent secrets, along with the expert insight of certified diabetes educators who put them into perspective.
Secret: “Some days, I can’t face the daily struggle of diabetes. Every high blood sugar reading leaves me feeling like an utter failure.”
Feel better: “Blood sugar can vary for many reasons,” says Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services. “Some of those reasons—the type of diabetes, how long you’ve had it, your age—may be beyond your control. And there will be days you might get a random high blood sugar due to an illness or even an unknown reason.
The important thing is not to focus on what you did wrong, but focus on what you can do to make things better—pick something you can balance or manage, like committing yourself to a 10- or 15-minute walk around the block. Concentrate on small, reasonable and achievable behavior changes. And be realistic—you are human, not a computer. Do what you can with your behaviors and know you did your best. That’s all one can ask for.”
Secret: “I’m on multiple daily injections and feel judged by others with diabetes for not ‘trying hard enough.’ ”
Feel better: “Living with any chronic illness is difficult, and this is particularly true when it comes to living with diabetes,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes. “The fact that you’re on multiple daily injections indicates that you have accepted the hard work of monitoring and treating your diabetes.
Also: Remember that no two people with diabetes are the same. There are many variables, such as age, weight, food and activity, that determine how much insulin a person needs to manage diabetes. Being on multiple daily injections has nothing to do with how hard you’re trying.”