Beechbeard, I've had a lot of anger over the years too.
I've never done this before, but I'm actually going to tell my story, so I hope you guys don't get bored. When I was diagnosed with t1, I was visiting my parents, as I was a university student. I went to a walk-in clinic and they told me to immediately go to emergency, so I did. After five hours of waiting, the doctor came to my bed and told me I had t1 diabetes and hypothyroidism. She then told me there were no beds available in the hospital, and she asked me to go to my brother's house and have him show me how to use the needles as he was also tl. I left the hospital dumfounded. Nobody educated me about either of these new diseases, and unfortunately, my brother was an addict so it was apparent he wasn't the best person to ask about using needles.
I went back to university and didn't know what to do about my new diagnosis. It seemed nobody really cared about my situation, so I didn't either. I, like my brother, became an addict instead. I was pissed off at the disease and wanted nothing to do with it. I didn't regularly check my blood sugars. and I didn't really care about much in life. I couldn't even really educate myself because there was no internet back then, plus not a lot was known about t1 diabetes.
A few years after I graduated, my brother became schizophrenic. He threatened to kill me on several occasions, and my blood sugars skyrocketed. I felt horrid both physically and mentally. It turns out I had chronic kidney failure in addition to the diabetes and the hypothyroidism. Because I was so fearful of getting a kidney transplant, I left for South Korea to teach English for two years and to try and search for answers within myself. During my stint, my brother died from t1 diabetes and crack. I was overseas and never had a chance to say goodbye.
When I came back to Canada, I had no choice but to deal with my diabetes because if I didn't, I was going to die. During the four-year process in trying to find a donor, I was still smoking pot and drinking. It was the only way I knew how to cope. Nobody got tested, nor did anyone including my family, ever talk about the transplant. That's when I became more ashamed of the disease. I blamed myself that nobody was going to get checked to see if they were a match. I felt I wasn't worthy of a new kidney, and I fell into a deep, deep depression.
When I tried applying for long-term disability through the company I worked for, I was instantly denied because of the fact that I was t1 diabetic. Diabetics aren't covered in most company policies. I had to fight with them and take the case to the Human Rights Commission with only 9% of my kidney functioning. Finally, my sister came forward and found out she was a match and the insurance company gave me my disability one week prior to my transplant.
Although elated and blessed with a new kidney and new chance at life, my anger and shame were at a substantial peak in my life. My body went through many drastic physical transformations, and I completely broke down. I soon started my counselling and realized that I was sexually abused at age 10 and throughout my life.
BUT, I've been dealing with it. I started counselling two years ago and I'm on the road to recovery, While I was living through all of these situations, I was writing about them too. I know I'm not the only one who lives or has lived with barriers, shame and anger. I know what is involved with being the "ideal" diabetic, but getting there can seem impossible when you are at your lowest point. I've decided to help people who are stuck in their depression, by helping them identify with what is causing it. There are so many aspects of diabetes that have not been written about, so I've made a journal of what isn't discussed in these chat rooms so I can face them head on. I'm also no longer angry and I'm coming out of my depression.
Most people I've talked to about this have told me that you have to take ownership, and I understand that and I've done that. But as a t1 diabetic that has been through the system, I want to make changes to these insurance company policies. I want to end or enlighten non-diabetics about the discriminations we have to face. I want to create an opportunity for us to improve life for diabetics by ending the discriminations we have to deal with on a daily basis, That's why I encourage people to tell their stories. If we don't talk about these issues, nothing will ever be resolved.