I don’t usually use the blog as a one-person pity party, but this week I want to whinge about tiredness…
If there were one thing I could miraculously make disappear about life with diabetes, it would be the tiredness. Don’t get me wrong – with careful care of your medications, diet and exercise, you can minimise this aspect of the illness, but heck. Many’s the afternoon I spend fighting the urge that makes want to crawl under the covers.
And that makes me resentful from time to time.
Tricks for Small Children
I can live with the endless blood tests and injections. Hey, they’re not so bad. Last week, I managed to entertain my cousin’s young children with my lancet. They were wide-eyed when I let them push the button, and they saw they’d made me bleed. I’ve never yet met a small child who didn’t love this. Once they’ve figured it out, though, they’ll want to try it out on you endlessly. You have been warned.
The injections are rarely painful, and you get used to doing them discreetly in public, while no-one bats an eyelid.
The organisation needed for diabetes (have I got all my equipment, do I need to order and pick up repeat, when are my hospital appointments, is my medication matching my insulin intake, etc.) can be seen as a transferable skill. I often feel I should add it to my CV: Emma Baird, Type 1 Diabetic, Organiser Extraordinaire.
The hospital appointments give you an afternoon or morning off and, with any luck, the waiting room will be full of trashy magazines to read.
And – it’s an ego thing – but I quite like being different from the general population. We all like to think of ourselves as unique little snowflakes after all…
The Pull of the Afternoon Nap
But the tiredness. Of late, I have been tired. Tired in the mornings, tired in the afternoons. Getting up in the morning and promising myself an early night, or an extended afternoon nap. Sometimes, it’s because my blood sugar levels aren’t right, at times it’s just because.
People with diabetes need enormous amounts of willpower, as the tiredness can be all-consuming. When you’re tired, everything is an effort – from getting up in the morning, to doing work* that brings the money in, forcing yourself to go for a walk because you’ll feel better afterwards, and making the right choices about what to eat. Luxuries like meeting up with friends sometimes fall by the wayside because the effort it entails feels as if it will be too much.
Tiredness makes you prone to negativity too. Don’t ever open your social media accounts when you’re exhausted. Envy, discontent, paranoia, dissatisfaction – all will surface too readily.
So, yes. I’ll keep diabetes. I made my peace with it a long time ago, but if you can find a permanent, works-all-day way of ridding me of the bone-crushing weariness, I’ll take that, thank you very much.
*I don’t agree with her politics, but I admire Theresa May hugely for managing to pull off diabetes, run the country AND manage the Brexit negotiations at the same time. (Though, many might argue that she doesn’t…)