It's my parent's 40th wedding anniversary in a couple of days time and they have taken the whole family away to Disneyworld. So I'm spending a lot of time with them as we wait together whilst my nephews exploit the rides and everything else on offer. Ok, I've been on a few rides too.
My Dad suffers from a very rare condition called CIPD, it's where the nervous system is attacked by your own body and the protective coating around the nerve is damaged. It affects many different functions and is basically a pain in the arse … leg, back, feet, hands and most everywhere else. To combat this syndrome you have to take a bunch of pills, including steroids and they mess you up pretty well too.
So because my Dad is getting a load of medical advice from a load of different specialists and I'm not hearing it first hand, it's difficult not to believe that when my Dad passes this information on it hasn't been enhanced with hyperbole first. And at times it probably has – see, I don't always believe it!
I don't know why I think he might exaggerate occasionally, I guess it's just human nature to think that. It dawned on me just now that perhaps this is the reason why I feel my girlfriend doesn't believe everything I tell her about the affects of diabetes. She believes I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.
One thing I've noticed in the last year of being diagnosed is that diabetes, when not under control, can make your knuckles crack and bleed, your sex drive disappear, your feet fall off, tiredness, a drunk feeling as you approach a hypo, eye problems and a whole host of other equally annoying things. When I pass this information on it doesn't have the same credence as when the Doctor says it.
To compound the problem further the Doctors and diabetic nurses don't really seem to fully understand it either and there are a range of opinions on a host of matters. And to complicate it even more there isn't always one type of diabetes (I have mostly type 2 with a tiny bit of type one-ness thrown in for good measure – as far as I can make out). On top of all that, diabetics can get a range of no symptoms to anything and everything under the sun.
If I were to pass on advice I would say, where ever possible, have your partner come with you to the doctors to have it explained to you. Having diabetes means you take an interest in it but that you are also getting first hand advice to help you make sense of it. Family and friends are just reading about it online. They can't have the same level of knowledge as you but they also won't believe you entirely whey you explain it to them. I know I don't with my Dad, so why should they?