This post originally appeared on my blog at ASweetLife.org on December 6, 2013. Even though that was nearly five years ago, my feelings on this haven’t changed – I strongly prefer to keep my blood sugars to myself.
Sometimes, I find myself getting angry and annoyed when others look at my blood sugar.
“256? Is that good or bad?”
“Oh man, you’re 61? You need to take some insulin right now!”
By making these seemingly innocent comments, people manage to simultaneously violate my privacy as well as sound ignorant.
I don’t have these feelings because I am ashamed of my diabetes. I don’t know what life is like without it, so I’ve had many years to come to terms with the impact it has on me on a daily basis.
Rather, I think it’s more of a defense mechanism. When I see my friends or family craning their necks to look at the number on my meter, I tend to prevent them from seeing by cradling my hands around the meter or lifting it up so I am the only one who can read it. That way, I can react to my blood sugar on my own terms without having to worry about how someone else feels about it. I appreciate that I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care about my health, but just because my loved ones are aware of my diabetes doesn’t make them experts. In some instances, my friends have been so concerned about a slightly hypoglycemic blood sugar that they kept a closer monitor on my sugars than I did for the next couple hours. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful for their support, but my goodness, it’s tiring to have to deal with multiple reactions to my own blood sugars. I’m the one who has to deal with them, and that’s enough for me to handle at any given time.
On that note, I think that my defensive nature applies to myself, not just others. I am protective of myself because I like to test my blood sugar and analyze my feelings and what actions I should take once I know the number. When I can focus on this on my own, I have a greater understanding of how my body reacts in certain situations and what kinds of preventive or corrective measures I need to take in the future.
I guess what I’m wondering here is whether or not any other people with diabetes also feel this compulsion to keep their numbers private. Am I being too sensitive? Is it natural for me to want to tell others that my blood sugars are none of their business?