Diabetes is the invisible elephant in my room on a regular basis. As a type 1 diabetic, I think about it frequently even if my friends, family, doctors, and the people I encounter daily don’t see it. While diabetes truly is an invisible illness, my blood sugars affect everything I do or even think about doing. My diabetes elephant is there all the time. That elephant does not take days off or breaks. So when such an important medical issue goes unnoticed by a doctor after a lengthy visit, I see a red flag.
There's a lot of focus on weight loss as of late; not only in the diabetic community, but in the world in general. New ads for gyms and products claiming fast weight loss come out daily, women feel pressured to lose pregnancy weight within minutes from birthing their children, thin models are being airbrushed until they are nearly unrecognizable and diets are being undertaken without people understanding how/why/if it's really going to be effective. Some of my own friends are chronically doing near-starvation diets to shed weight. People seem to be focused on getting the fat off, but unless long term habits are improved, it's not going to stay off. It's great to fight the obesity epidemic, but we can't allow ourselves to go to the other extreme. Carrying excess weight isn't a good thing, but I think we're losing focus on the importance of health versus aesthetics.
Many people go through times when hopelessness takes them hostage. Drudgery and hardship engulf them on a daily basis. Suicidal thoughts start creeping in. The only relief they can imagine is ending their life, quickly. They feel they can no longer bear their imprisonment. Then their mind drifts to family and friends, and to the pain their suicide may cause. The question becomes, should they continue to live in pain and hopelessness? Or do they commit suicide and create unbearable pain for their loved ones?
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As diabetics, it's easy for all of us to get caught up in the day-to-day management of our disease. After all, the regular monitoring of blood sugar, the injection or pumping of insulin, and the management of diet takes serious time and effort. So no wonder why you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to taking regular tests.
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