Is there anything in your life that you know you should be doing, but you are putting it off because you’re scared of what it will mean if you actually do it? Maybe you know you should be making peace with an estranged family member, but are scared of how she will respond when you do. Maybe you need to go to the bank and discuss a better system for paying your bills and getting control of your debt, but you don’t want to have to make the lifestyle changes you fear may be necessary.
Maybe you’ve had gestational diabetes four times, which means you are at risk of having Type 2 Diabetes, but you keep putting off getting tested because you are scared of the results.
That last one is me, as you probably guessed. My “baby” is 15 months old now, and I still haven’t gone to the lab for my follow-up blood sugar test. For a while I was telling myself that it was just because it’s too difficult to make time for—and this is totally true. It’s a two-hour test, I have to fast for least eight hours beforehand, and obviously I can’t take a baby (or four) with me to the lab. I haven’t gotten my hair cut in over a year either, unless you count that time Juli trimmed it in the hotel bathroom while we were on our blog retreat. It’s just not easy to get away when you have four kids under six and one of them is a nursing baby (which was true for the first 10 months, anyway).
This is only half of it, though. The truth is that I’m scared to go because I simply don’t want to know. I don’t want to have to worry about my blood sugar for the rest of my life—four pregnancies gave me enough of that experience.
Besides, I can’t shake the feeling that if I am diabetic it would be partly my own fault, and I’m embarrassed about that. I know in my head that having diabetes is not a character flaw, and it has never occurred to me that someone else with the disease is at fault for having it. But even though I know this intellectually, I still feel that if I do have diabetes, I could maybe have prevented it by being generally healthier. I wonder if I had lost weight and started to exercise better after my babies were all born, maybe my test results would be different than the results I am now somehow expecting. So, here I am, 15 months later, with an expired requisition form, no test results, and a nagging pit in my stomach.
The bottom line is that I haven’t gone to get tested for diabetes because I’m worried that I will find out that I have diabetes.
But don’t worry, I’m going now. The thing I’ve realized recently is that you can have diabetes without symptoms, but if you ignore it for too long you no longer get to have the symptoms as a warning—you just get the consequences. So now I just need to know. When I was at the doctor with my kids yesterday, I sheepishly explained the situation. He quickly wrote up another requisition and seemed to think it was important that I actually use it this time.
I guess that sometimes the thing to do when you are putting off doing something difficult is to just actually do it. It’s only going to get worse if you just keep putting it off. Find someone to watch your kids and just go to the lab, already. Call the bank and make an appointment to see a financial advisor. Pick up the phone and call your sister and don’t worry about what you’re going to say until it’s ringing. These things might be hard to do, but we can do them.
Now all I need is to find that someone to watch my kids on a weekday before breakfast. Any takers? Mom?