Hiding from the Truth: The Story of My Struggle to Accept Diabetes, Part II

This article was written exclusively for BattleDiabetes.com by Gershelda Harman. She discusses her shocking diabetes diagnosis as a teenager, her continued struggle with her condition in her adult years and what she finally found to be helpful.

Read Part I here

When I turned 37 years old, diabetes again made reappearance. That's when I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy, is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes, which can eventually lead to blindness.

Unnecessary Risks

I had watched my mother go through this, but I thought it would never happen to me. It was happening to me. And I was scared. Since then, I have under gone many laser surgeries to stop the bleeding and my eye sight has suffered.

Through all these years it was hard for me to accept that I was a diabetic and that it was not going away. However, I accepted it and learned that I could control it things became easier for me. For years, I let it control me.

A Hard Lesson Learned

I was mad, depressed, and angry that I could not eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I hated having to check my blood sugar. Even more, I hated having to give myself 2-3 shots a day, sometimes more. But, I still wasn't serious about it.

When my Mother passed away in 2008, because of complications from her diabetes, I really got serious about my own diabetes. Since then, I have had my A1c come down from a 10 to 7.1. I have learned I can eat pretty much anything I want. I have learned to cook with seasonings, herbs, and sugar substitutes in place of the “real thing.”

Learning to Accept Diabetes

It has been hard, however, it is one disease you can control. I now check my blood sugars 6-8 times a day, medicate accordingly, and I exercise daily. It is normal to be angry when you are diagnosed with diabetes. It is normal to say, "NOT me!" You can let it control you, define who you are, or you can take the lead and be so much more.

I am now 45 years old and I understand that diabetes is not a death sentence, not unless you let it be. For over 20 years, I let it define who I was, but I know now that I am not just a person with diabetes. I am a wife, mom, grandmother, sister, a daughter and a friend with a big heart. There is so much more to me than my diabetes. I have my love for the beach, the mountains, crafting, and my family. I am more than diabetes, I am me.

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