The other day , I sat in a horseshoe shaped room and on a curved screen that wrapped around the room watched a video of a house and garden. The room was dark and as I concentrated on the moving images, I forgot about the other people in the room. The people sitting on the stools around me ceased to exist as did my companion who was sitting next to me unless he shuffled in his seat or leaned over to murmur something.

I was alone, focused and unable to be distracted by anything around me. The pictures were vibrant, stunning, bright. I was swallowed into the screen and felt myself wandering the gardens and peering into the rooms. I wasn’t a visitor or a viewer, I was in there; an active participant.

At the moment, I don’t really feel like I am an active participant in my diabetes management. I feel like I am on the outside looking in and am very easily distracted to think about anything but.

Right now, diabetes is taking a back seat as I deal with other far more emotionally encompassing issues. I am still coming to terms with the pregnancy loss I experienced almost four weeks ago and some subsequent concerns. I’m angry at diabetes right now, which is irrational given that it had nothing to do with the miscarriage. But I need something to blame, and I can grab onto diabetes; hold it up as the culprit. My faulty pancreas is taking a bashing at the moment as the scapegoat I need to try to make sense of what has happened.

But I know that this can’t go on forever and sooner or later I need to start to deal with my diabetes again. I am writing about it a lot, but I suspect that is a way for me to give it prominence and know that I am at least thinking about it.

It is times like this that having loved ones around who care about me and my diabetes can be a double-edged sword. While I am fiercely independent and can’t stand the thought of someone peering over my shoulder asking about my latest BGL , I probably do appreciate some concern and perhaps a little extra gentle involvement. I know that they are reluctant to step in, fearing my further withdrawal as I stupidly try to prove my independence. The truth is, right now, I need them to step in.

It’s a balancing act, because if your loved one with diabetes doesn’t usually welcome your help, how do you step up a little without attracting their anger? Testing the waters to see what level of involvement would be welcomed is probably the first step. If you’ve noticed that your loved one isn’t checking their BGLs very much – or at all, maybe asking if you can retrieve their meter from the depths of a handbag is a first step. Or if you see that the last spent CGM sensor has not been replaced, asking if there is a reason that they have not replaced it may have them talking about why they need a bit of a break from all the data. But at least they will be thinking about the rationale behind their actions.

Perhaps offering to take care of keeping hypo stores stocked or making sure that there is enough insulin in the fridge would be welcome. And inquiring about any upcoming medical appointments and offering to accompany them – with a promise of lunch or coffee – is a lovely idea.

Everyone is different and what works for some would not be appreciated by others.  Often, when we are going through tough times – whatever they may be about – we are not looking for others to provide solutions. We don’t really want advice. We just want to know that people care, are standing by us and, if necessary, will help if asked. Hopefully, the period will pass and soon enough they will be once again an active participant in their diabetes management. But until then, be gentle, be involved and let them know that you are there. They will appreciate it. They really will.

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