Despite what the media may say every time they herald the ‘end to painful injections’, it has never been the needles, the pump insertions, the finger-pricks or the sensor insertions that cause the most discomfort when it comes to living with diabetes.
They are not even where I feel diabetes most.
I feel it in my heart with an increased heartbeat when I feel the fear of ‘what could be.’
I feel it in my eyes as I see the evidence of diabetes on my body with devices, healing and healed scars, tape residue and a pump hidden in my underwear.
I feel it on my skin with the goose bumps I get when hearing the words ‘me, too’ from someone who understands what living with diabetes is truly about.
I feel it through my veins as I sense blood being pumped faster to alert me to a low.
I feel it in my smile when I see – and feel – the power of support and connectedness.
I feel it in my tears as they roll down my cheeks with the frustration of never seeming to be able to get it right.
I feel it in my fingers as I load insulin into a cartridge, feel for knots in an infusion line or grope around in my bag for my kit.
I feel it in the dark recesses of my mind when I consider the scary things that only get an airing when my defences are down.
I feel it in the pit of my stomach as the guilt that inevitably comes to the surface. Guilt about the burden I am on my family and friends.
I feel it on my lips as the tingling of a low or the dryness of a high remind me that I must attend to my blood sugar.
I feel it in my hip pocket as I fork out more money for more strips, for more pump consumables, for more sensors, for more insulin, for more health insurance, for more medical costs. Because there is always more.
I feel it in my words, as I struggle to articulate exactly how I feel, what I need, what I want.
I feel it my nose as the smell of insulin hits and automatically the words ‘It’s the smell that keeps you alive’ jump into my head.
I feel it in my mouth – the sickly sweet aftertaste of the jelly beans or the pineapple juice I have consumed when I just want to sleep.
I feel it in my ears as I hear the click of a lancet device, the beep of an alarm, the ticking of insulin being delivered.
I feel it in my feet as I walk barefoot to the kitchen and there is the sensation of a rogue BGL strip on the floorboards.
I feel it underneath me when I sleep and I roll onto a pump or lie over my sensor.
I feel it. It is everywhere.