In the spirit of full disclosure I have to admit that I come from worrying stock, so I come by the behavior honestly. My grandmother was a worrier, my mother is a worrier, and yes, I'm one too. It's in our dna, if that's possible. Or at least it's part of our family culture, just like being political or not might be. Or using cilantro in your food. Or driving a certain brand of car. Some families do it one way, others another. In mine, worrying is just something we do.
So given the fact that I have a natural tendency to worry, it doesn't surprise me that I do so when it comes to diabetes. Living a long time with any chronic illness, and with diabetes in particular, what with all the details and vagaries you have to manage, presents lots of opportunity for worry. In the immediate: did I take enough insulin? Will that walk make me go low? Was their hidden fat in that meal that will send my blood sugars sky high in the next couple of hours? Yep, there's lots to get a worrier worrying here. And then of course there's the long term stuff to worry about. Complications. Physical things related to diabetes that you didn't know about until you start having it happen, like frozen shoulder or thyroid disease or whatever. Who knew until the doctor says "oh yes, diabetics have a higher chance of getting x". Yes indeed, chronic illness has so much that serves as fodder for worry.
Because I tend worry anyway, and because I have a disease that presents lot's of stuff to worry about, I am realizing how much I'm living in a low grade state of worry everyday. Worse yet, I'm beginning to realize that this worry state spills over into the rest of my life and quite frankly, is making me become something I'm not thrilled about. Every pain, every stiffness, every natural aging thing like needing glasses or having a mammogram every year or aching more after activity, everything makes me worry a little. Is it something serious? Is it something I need to see the doctor for? Is it yet another cause for worry? And then I say no, it's fine, don't worry. But inevitably I think "but what if I'm ignoring something I should be paying attention to". God knows one thing diabetes has taught me to do is pay attention to the slightest changes and details. How do I only turn that on for diabetes and keep it off for everything else? How do I know what is really worthy of worry? And more importantly, how do get some time off from worry when I never get time off from diabetes? How do I strike the right balance between appropriate vigilance and too much worry?
All good questions and not surprisingly now I'm worried I won't ever figure it out. Ok so that's a joke (but not totally)!