Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GD Diaries Part 6: Sometimes I'm ashamed

This post is part of a series on Gestational Diabetes. The posts were written in August - October, but are just now being published. While I was too upset and conflicted about this situation when I was first dealing with it, I want to share my experiences with other moms that may go through something similar. Check back for another installment every Tuesday! You can catch up here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

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I often wonder if other women with Gestational Diabetes feel as ashamed about it as I do. It's a crazy emotion to have, right? I didn't ask for this, I couldn't control it, and it happens to many women at some point in their childbearing years. What is there to be ashamed about?

When I ask myself that question, the answer I get is that I don't want people to label me as "a diabetic". I know that there are certain forms of diabetes that just happen with no other influencing factors, but there are other types that come with a certain stigma. I always assumed that people who develop diabetes are unhealthy. And while I openly admit to not being active enough (something I vow to change), I am so much healthier than the next person. I know what it means to eat clean. I am aware of what contains too much sugar and too much fat, and I limit those things in my life - whether I'm pregnant, or dieting, or it's just another day. I am not nutritionally clueless, or careless, and the way I indulge in things pales in comparison to the next guy. Or gal. So despite knowing that this is simply the way my body is responding to this pregnancy, I don't feel like I deserve to be called "a diabetic". Which is what all of the medical professionals love to call me these days, and I hate it every single time they say it. 

After my appointment with the specialist, I had to fill my prescriptions for lancets and testing strips for my glucometer. I was so embarrassed to pick them up and be seen as "Jenn, the diabetic" that I went through the pharmacy drive through so I'd only have to face that vacuum tube with the plastic jar and a tiny speaker. Luke asked me what kind of medicine I was getting, and I told him it was because Mommy can't have sugar anymore. 

Which reminds me. He's told a couple people that "Mommy can't eat sugar", and thankfully they think he's just being silly and they respond with something like, "oh really? I think Lukey can't eat sugar!" and then of course the conversation switches to all of the sugary things Luke adores, and it's over just like that. No one has asked questions or looked further into his meaning, thankfully.

See? Thankfully. I haven't told anyone, still. My husband and my mom are the only ones that know. When I'm excited to see consistently low blood sugar numbers, I want to shout it from the rooftops, and they're the only two people I have to tell. I sometimes wish I had more people to talk to about it, but I immediately change my mind when I think about them knowing everything. I will instantly become "Jenn, the diabetic" to them...and whenever they hear about GD in the future, they'll say "Oh, Jenn had that!" and it'll be said in a way that has an underlying theme of "but I didn't!". I don't want that role. I do want to share my experience for others going through the same thing, but not so directly, ya know? I don't want it in the heads of my loved ones, always thinking of me a certain way. 

Is it crazy that I feel ashamed about this? I told Matt that I was, and he told me I was crazy. But the beautiful thing about that man, is that he accepts any little piece of me, and turns it into something great - just because it's associated with me. I don't know what I did to deserve a love like that, but the point is that I can see his bias. I know that he loves me unconditionally, but not everyone else does. In fact, no one else does (aside from my parents...and usually my children, when I'm not disciplining them - ha). Okay, God does, too. But not everyone has God in their hearts, and they don't all see me the way He does. So I am self conscious. I'm nervous, and ashamed. It's the reason why, by the time you read this post, I will likely be getting over my GD already. Because to me, it's one thing to tell a story of something that has happened, but another to share the raw reality while it's happening. I guess I'm just not that brave. 

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