So I had class yesterday (a graduate course taught by a guess professor who is really well known, with a bunch of other grad students from another university), and I started feeling my bloodsugar drop about 15 minutes before class let out. I knew I could make it through the next 15 minutes before getting a snack outside.
But then, I was called on to translate something. It's the first time I was called upon in the entire term, and there I was trying to figure out Proto-Italic with a dropping blood sugar. I couldn't do it. I tried, but I couldn't put words with definitions. I could barely read. I was all sweaty and almost burst into tears. The other students were looking at me wondering why I couldn't do it (probably wondering if I had prepared for class of not), and finally I told him that I was diabetic and thought my blood sugar was dropping. He said that's okay, he didn't mean to put me on the spot, and called someone else.
After class, he told me he was type 2, and knew exactly how I felt. It made me feel a bit better (as I was shoving a granola bar down my throat), but I'm still really embarrassed.
Firstly, I'm trying to convince myself that I can take care of myself and get a PhD. It's really hard, from health care issues to the weakened immune system and illnesses to the overwhelming stress that makes my blood sugar levels really hard to monitor. And of course, when something like this happens, I feel like maybe I'm not meant to be a scholar.
Then there is the fear that people think I use diabetes as an excuse or that I'm lying about it to cover up my preparedness for class. I had prepared yesterday but you'd never know. I think this is the worst. I'd rather just not have this disease at all, and I'd rather not be thought of as a diabetic, than someone whose disease prevents them from doing a good job.
Then, of course, there is the ever annoying "why don't you just take snacks to class" or "just make sure your blood sugar is in control" or other pieces of advice that I could use. Well, duh. 9 times out of 10 I remember to bring my snacks and blood testing supplies to class, and my low was just a slip, I accidentally over-corrected for a snack. I still had things relatively in control, I just couldn't do complicated translations.