Over the past few weeks, thanks to reconnects on Facebook and meeting a few dbloggers face to face, I’ve been asked about my late sister Debbie -in detail. People wanted to know why diabetes did such a number on her. Why it took her life.
I think there are many reasons, not all having to do with The Big D. Debbie’s health was fragile to begin with, diabetes or not.
When she was diagnosed, (in the late 60’s) the diabetes diet was strict and archaic in terms of diabetes today. There was no such thing as Blood Sugar testing at home; urine testing tablets and tape were the only choices.
HA1C’s didn’t exist; neither did support systems, in real time or on the web.
Insulin pumps were a pipe dream and insulin was obtained through cows and piggies.
Needles had to be boiled and sharpened, and were never pleasant.
Diabetes treatment in the last 10 to 20 years is historic to say the least.
The freedom we have to day is so crazy compared to how it used to be.
I mean my sister couldn’t eat anything with sugar, and boy did she overcompensate when she did. She snuck food at all hours. Food and alcohol became her addictions and that addictive behavior followed her into adulthood.
Her alcoholism is another posting in itself. Let’s just say alcoholism can do a number on one’s kidneys, and when she finally quit, it was to late.
But what really worked against her (at least in my eyes,) is the fact that Debbie wanted so desperately to fit everyone else’s ideal of normal.
If I could change one thing for my sister Debbie, (besides never having been diagnosed with Diabetes) it would be to change what her ideal of normal was, especially when she was a teenager and in college, when most of her damage was done.
I guess what I’m trying to say to those in dblogville is screw everyone’s version of normal, diabetic or not. What’s normal for a diabetic is not considered normal for the rest of the population. It is what it is…. And what it is, is DIFFERENT.
Different is ok.
Different works for me.
My blood sugar and A1C goals are different than yours, and I’m fine with that.
I’m fine with checking my blood sugar, no matter where I am or who is with me.
She tried to be so damn “normal." Normal was eating and drinking everything she wanted, going into DKA, and doing drugs, so that she could fit in with experimental teenage years that occurred in the 70’s. She over compensated when it came to “being normal” and the damage was major.
WHY BE NORMAL? Some people will sit in freezing stadium (shirtless and with faces painted) on a Sunday afternoon to be part of THE PACK. I THINK THAT’S INSANE. To them, it’s TOTALLY normal.
Some people stay with someone because they are afraid to be alone. That’s not only not normal, it’s really quite sad.
Some people go the Vegan route, no animal products ingested at all. I think that’s difficult and limiting to say the least. They think it’s normal.
Some folks love the Hannah Montana. I just don’t get it.
To them – NORMAL.
Everyone has a different ideal of normal. Instead of relying on some else’s ideal of the word, how about embracing what the world represents to each of us individually.
While there is a format to diabetes, it needs to be fined tuned for the individual.
Diabetes is a different creature every day.
We’ve all said that, and we all need to practice that.
Now, we all need to give ourselves a break and say," I'm really doing the best I can and some days are better than others. Shit happens, with our life and our diabetes."
We need to be proud of ourselves for all our hard work regarding diabetes, even when our numbers aren't where we'd like them to be.
We never get a vacation from D, and we deal with it everyday. Some days, are just better than others.
I wish Debbie had focused on what was normal for her, instead of trying to live everyone else’s view of the word. I wish she could have met all my nephews and nieces, watched with pride as our niece perform on Broadway, be blown away at our nephews “great brain” as he works towards completing his Doctorate at Berkley, and I wish she could have met out oldest nephew's son.
I wish she had the confidence to be and love herself, and I wish she didn’t have to suffer.
I wonder what my life would have been like, had her view of what was normal had been different.
I don’t know why I’m really writing all this. Maybe it’s because a few friends from grade school recently told me they had no ideal that Debbie had been so sick, because I had kept it to myself.
Maybe it’s because I’m SO HORMONAL and I’m craving salt and chocolate & can actually see my 5 lb water weight gain happening right before my eyes.
Maybe it’s because I want people in dBlogville to know that while their D reality is different than the “norm,” it’s so much better than what it had been in the past.
Maybe I need to remind myself of how far we've come, and how far we still have to go.
Maybe I just needed to remind myself of Debbie.