I sat behind the closed door of my office during a rarely taken lunch break. I had turned my phone on speaker in order to type while on hold, cringing at the choice of hold “entertainment.” Through the hold programming, I learned about absorbent dressing, mini-catheters and other medical equipment that makes you squirm to think about it. I was calling to find out when my pending order for my CGM sensors would ship out, but I got an education on wound care and ostomy products while I waited and hoped that phone volume wasn’t too loud that my coworkers were being educated as well. Sound carries strangely in our office.
Sometimes the things that I need to do in order to manage my health are uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than giving myself shots.
Sometimes the things that I need to buy in order to manage my health, make me look young for my condition. Like nutrition shakes that feature elderly people on their ads.
Sometimes the things that I need to carry with me in order to manage my health make me look like a drug addict… who doesn’t carry needles in their purse?
Sometimes the facilities that help me manage my health further the stereotype. My diabetes center shares a building and a lab with a geriatric medical office.
Not matter how awkward it is, I need to plug through it. Discomfort, appearances and stereotypes shouldn’t deter me from doing what I need to do.
Neither should insurance paperwork or long periods of time on hold… but sometimes they do.
I have to say that I envy people who don’t give their health benefits a second thought. Who don’t research all 12 of their doctors, but just stick with the one or two that they’ve always used. I envy the people who can say they “feel like a pincushion” after donating blood or getting a shot. I really envy the people who can eat without math or not pass out at a blood draw.
Despite all of the draw backs, I’m thankful for my life, and health, with diabetes. If I didn’t live with type 1 diabetes, I would have died from it… so being on this side of the dirt is not something to take lightly.