When I was diagnosed with type one I was attending school at the lower site of my school because I was only in Year 8, when I got to Year 9 another type one diabetic girl had just come into Year 7, she was always in the room with me whilst we did injections. Suddenly I wasn't alone any more. Well, the only problem was that she was slightly rude and not easy to talk to at all; very dismissive.
Anyway the time rolled around and I moved up to the upper site because I went into Year 10. Now two years later, the diabetic girl has moved up to the upper site too. She's much nicer now.
I saw her in the corridor last week and she came up to me and said hello, and she said;
"Are you on a pump now?"
"Yes I am"
"No I'm not"
That was it. That was as far as the conversation got but my friend then turned to me and said, "That's a conversation only diabetics can have!" and it's true. Who else can randomly have a conversation in the middle of the corridor about an insulin pump? I know I can't have a conversation like that with my friends even if it's a short conversation.
I had a message on my phone a few days ago from my diabetic best friend, Paris. She lives in the USA and we have been talking since March. We clicked instantly and I have talked to her pretty much every day since. She is a twin like me, her twin doesn't have diabetes; just like my twin. I love Paris because even though we haven't met and have been talking for less than a year, I feel like I've known her for years.
The message read: "Your Par Par is tired of diabetes Ellie."
I felt sad, because I've always seen her stay so positive about type 1 but she's been having a rough time lately and I guess- sometimes it just gets too much. This is the rest of the conversation:
"Me too Paris"
":'( :'( :'( :'("
"What's been happening with it?"
"My blood sugars are soo BAD! 400* all the time. My energy is gone too, so tired and those needles are so painful. I don't even have energy to eat so I just eat candy to keep my blood sugar up the last three days"
"Aww:( Yeah I feel like that a lot."
"Yeah! I went to wash my hair and in the middle of it I just shut down and I lay there for a while. My mum keeps saying to have vitamins but it's not working"
"Aww, some days I feel like giving up too. I cry sometimes and I feel angry because it's hard and everyone around me doesn't understand"
"I know!! My mum is so mean about it and it makes it worse. Everyone thinks they know what they're talking about. I cry every single day. I feel like I'm going to give up"
"My mummy isn't mean to me about it- but she said the other day 'It's not difficult Els, just do it!' but I really can't sometimes"
"Exactly! Especially since we're teenagers and diabetes is a huge responsibility. My mom tries to help me by searching for ways to keep my blood sugar balanced but if I tell her something is wrong she just says 'oh' no words of support or wisdom"
"My mummy gives me words of wisdom and tries to help me but :( I feel like nothing is helping me now. I'm so totally stuck"
"Meeee Tooooo!!! I need a vacation or something needs to change :'( :'("
"We need a cure"
"Yeahh:( Sometimes when I think this is a life-long thing I freak out. We need a cureeee!
"Yeah:( Even as soon as I leave the house I can never relax because I'm thinking about diabetes 24/7. It's so annoying!"
"Yeah and people say it isn't your life and it's just 'a bit on the side' but it is my life. It's what could take my life and looking after it is what's going to allow me to live my life"
"Exactly. I hate when my doctor says that. I feel like it's completely my life sometimes."
*Paris said 400 because in the USA blood sugar is measured in mg/dl.
I don't know about you...but I know this isn't a conversation two teenage girls should be having.
But the amazing thing about this conversation is how much we understand each other. It's so easy to talk to Paris because she knows exactly how I feel and I know how she feels. That's what I love about talking to other diabetics.
But my point for this blog post is that it's an amazing feeling when you talk to someone and everything they say you just think "Exactly!" It's a weight lifted off my shoulders to know that I'm talking about diabetes to someone who truly understands what we go through every day. That also goes for the people on the #DOC and for the times when my family understand- even if it's just a little. A little goes a long way.