Don’t forget, YOU are the expert on YOU.

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Ownership | 0 comments

Although this advice is not new, it bears repeating.  “Trust your instincts.  You are the best expert on you.”

As you live your life with diabetes or any other chronic condition, you adjust to your new status.  You become familiar with the symptoms of things too high or too low, too this or not enough that.  You learn what works for you and what doesn’t.  If you aren’t intentionally ignoring yourself, this just sort of happens.  As humans, we all have our own preferences as well.  I like vanilla, not pistachio.  Hot coffee, not iced.  Wheat bread, not white bread.  I prefer hot weather over cold and I’ll always take the lake over an ocean.  As we experience the many facets of our lives, we are the only people on the planet who truly know what it is like to be ourselves.  I know what it’s like to be me.  You know what it’s like to be you.  After that, we are guessing.

Knowing ourselves serves us quite well.  It helps us find careers that align with our nature, partners that don’t make us too crazy and vacations that help us relax.   Our interpretation of the world around us and how we experience life all start with our personal perspective and our understanding.  As we see, feel, hear, sense, smell, taste and experience things we automatically compare to previous situations to anticipate what it means:  good or bad, better or worse, new or old, yummy or gross.  We interpret every nuance of our lives so we can seek out pleasure and avoid pain based on what we have learned thus far.  It is unique and known only to each of us individually.

But somehow this notion that we are the experts on ourselves goes by the wayside if you have a chronic illness.  All of the sudden, everyone appears to know more about you than you do!  And while this is a good thing in crisis or when newly diagnosed, it can derail things sometimes.  Personally speaking, if I have a new symptom show up, the knee-jerk reaction from those “in the know” is “It’s your diabetes”.  Almost before I can get the words out of my mouth, it is decided that the root cause of anything is diabetes.  And while I realize diabetes does have complications and you can’t disregard that possibility, I politely (and indignantly) state, that “That ain’t always the case, bub!”.   I know if it is something I have experienced with diabetes or something new.  In the case of something new, it could be dangerous to assume it’s “just diabetes”.

When you experience these encounters, my advise is to stand your ground and explain why you don’t agree.  Make sure your voice is heard.  Ask for further consideration, perhaps even a second opinion. It is our job to self-advocate, to not be brushed off.  You are the one with the most at stake – right?  Don’t be intimidated.  If something doesn’t feel right or seem to make sense, trust your gut and take the necessary action.  Although our providers, teachers, mentors, family, and bosses are a wealth of information and advice, they are human too.  They can’t know exactly what you know. They may be experts, but they are not the expert on YOU.

Disclaimer – this advice is not an excuse to ignore what you know you need to do, nor is it a get out of jail free card while you are in denial and don’t want to deal with “____________” (fill in the blank).

Stay strong friends!


Patricia %



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