The 5 Hardest Things About Living With Diabetes
Patient Perspective Michelle Auerbach, also known as The Pincushion Princess, discusses daily challenges of living with diabetes.
s a diabetes patient, I personally test my blood sugar around 6–10 times a day. This is a necessary evil to make sure my blood sugar isn’t going too low, or too high. It’s one of the many things I do to manage my diabetes in a day. Life with diabetes can be hard and stressful, but we are strong, resilient, and greater than the highs and lows!
➊ It Hurts
When you’re testing your blood sugar, depending on how deep the lancet goes, testing can be painful! Every patient tests a different number of times per day, some more than 10. Frequent testing often equals bruised and sore fingertips. No one wants that. Some diabetics wear an insulin pump, and some do injections of insulin. With a minimum of six injections a day, curse words often escape my mouth when I hit a nerve or a bad spot.
➋ We're human pincushions
Our poor fingertips never get a break. They become calloused and all marked up, and discoloured. Testing too much on one finger can even cause circulation problems and nerve damage. With only 10 fingers, and not much space, it can often feel like there’s no place left to lance! When you inject too much in one place, lumps develop and the insulin will no longer work as efficiently in that spot.
➌ The stigma
There is so much awareness to be raised about diabetes. There’s a common misconception that diabetes is all about eating too many cupcakes and treats. In reality it's a disease that can affect anybody, even the most fit people in the world — without warning.
➍ The work
It involves constant diligence and planning to stay alive. Giving yourself too little insulin can be deadly, and so can giving yourself too much insulin. There is always that worry of going high or going low, and it can't be ignored. It's a full-time job!
➎ The highs and lows
Life with diabetes can be a roller coaster. So many things can affect your blood sugar — stress, food, the amount of insulin administered, and exercise. We try our best to keep our levels stable, but despite our best efforts we still have to deal with high and low blood sugars, and with the symptoms that come with both.
Day to day lives for diabetes patients are never easy. From finger pricks, injections, frantically drinking juice to treat lows or adjusting insulin dosages for highs, our disease management is unpleasant. But, in the end we are stronger than our disease.
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