Diabetes has many risks to your health. The real danger comes from not tuning into them on a daily basis. It is all too easy to go through the motions of taking care of yourself. You do your jabs when you’ve eaten, your blood tests most of the time and go to appointments and check ups when you get a letter through the post.
Time flies by. Before you know it you’ve had diabetes for over 10 years and you’re still not fully engaging with the condition.
Apathy now leads to issues in the not so distant future.
With everyday life filling up any time we consider our own, all too often diabetes slips down the list of priorities and sometimes off it completely.
Late last year I had a cycling accident and the subsequent injuries pushed diabetes almost completely off my agenda. I was so focussed on my shoulder rehabilitation that my excuse for a pancreas was shunted out of everyday consciousness.
This flippancy is compounded because as a young person growing up with the condition you don’t feel the immediate difference if you give yourself 4 or 6 units of insulin, or have the occasional Kit Kat after dinner. The problem is that these day-to-day miniscule differences can accumulate to be the margins between a healthy life in 30 years or retinopathy.
If you need a wheelchair the impact on your daily life is clear to yourself and also those around you. Every time I contemplate whinging about my pancreas packing up I think of those much less fortunate than myself and my complaints quickly evaporate.
It’s a blessing and a curse that diabetes has no effect on your physical appearance. People don’t treat you any differently and you can sail through life without raising any eyebrows. However, this, and no immediate tangible impacts of poor control, also contributes to a level of apathy that can amass to complications later on in life.
Now this all sounds very dreary, and that’s most likely because it is. Such is a chronic condition. However my hope is that for myself by writing this, and for the 3 of you by reading this (hi Mum), we will start to turn our focus from the hustle and bustle of everyday life towards diabetes and the condition that warrants our full attention.