By: A Sweet Life
This article is very long, but I really encourage you all to read it. It is so to the point of how we have to go through the process emotionally of grieving the diagnosis of our diabetes. To be honest, even after 5 years, I feel like I am still in the Bargaining part of it all. The author shares her personal story in hopes that you can find your way through the grieving process.
Michelle Sorensen | December 18, 2012
I don’t remember the first time I had to inject myself with a needle. I don’t remember being taught how to test my blood sugar. But I have many memories of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In retrospect, the day of my diagnosis was the beginning of a long process of grieving my diabetes. At the time, however, I had no idea that being diagnosed with a chronic illness would involve a grieving process.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously outlined the stages of grief in her 1969 book called On Death and Dying. She described five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) that describe a process by which people deal with grief and tragedy. Many people think of the stages of grief as just relating to loss of a loved one. These stages, however, apply to many types of loss, including divorce, job loss, dealing with terminal illness, or the diagnosis of a life-changing and life-threatening disease like diabetes. The stages are not in a consistent order and people may go back and forth between different stages. Also, not everyone experiences all the stages. The way each person experiences grief is unique.
On the day I was diagnosed in 1999, I took the subway to the Toronto General Emergency Department, no longer capable of denying or dismissing the classic symptoms of diabetes that I was experiencing. I had a sense of impending doom, but at the same time I was unable to believe I could actually have that word that had been popping into my head for months: Diabetes. When the triage nurse tried to test my blood sugar, the glucose meter just read HI. The staff sent my blood off to be tested but went ahead and hooked me up to an IV and insulin drip. I finally asked someone, “Does this mean I have diabetes?” The answer was an awkward, hesitant “yes.” I remember wondering why I had to ask. Many years later, I know it is not okay that no one understood the importance of taking a few minutes to talk to a young woman about why she was being given insulin. The whole 24 hours I spent in the emergency department waiting to be admitted, no one explained a thing.
Please read it all, it's worth it: http://asweetlife.org/feature/grief-a-necessa...
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