Tag Archives: diabetes awareness week

Googling guide dogs in your lunch hour: Jenny Marr on the constant anxiety of living with Diabetes

You think you know someone and have some understanding of what they are dealing with.

And then they write something that makes you realise that you have no idea.

Jenny Marr is one of the most wisest, most competent people I know. She’s a great leader and team builder and one day she’s going to represent the Borders in Parliament. She has the sort of drive that reminds me of our very best campaigners.

I always knew Jen has Type 1 Diabetes and I will never forget the early morning phone call during the 2017 election when I learned she was in hospital because of it. Thankfully, she was home in a couple of days and all was well, but it did bring home how the line between good health and crisis was more finely balanced than I’d appreciated.

The theme of this year’s Diabetes Awareness Week is “seeing Diabetes differently.” Jenny has written a piece for the Scottish Lib Dems website which, as she puts it, aims to help  us “see Diabetes in its entirety.”

If you read nothing else today, read and understand this. 

As she says, there’s a lot more to living with the condition than not being able to binge-eat chocolate:

We’re more at risk than others of losing our sight. Translation: if you get something in your eye, you wonder if it’s the beginning of the end. On bad days you’re googling guide dogs on your lunch break.

Wake up with pins and needles. Translation: have I got it so wrong, my circulation is starting to fail? Could I get around in wheelchair? You assess all your usual haunts and whether you could continue as normal.

I’m in a meeting and I’m tired. Translation: is my blood sugar too low? I’m too anxious to leave, too anxious to check my blood in front of people. Do I just eat something and risk making the wrong decision? There is only anxiety.

On the worst of days I have sat at my desk gripped by fear and unable to work because I think I’ve taken too much insulin.

Paralysed for hours, the only work completed is the Oscar nominated performance of “normal girl in office” I have to play so everyone thinks I’m fine.

And then there’s the constant working out that balance between food and activity and the effect it might have. Imagine the mental energy that takes up:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRuth Bright 9th Jul - 10:52pm
    Thanks so much for this discussion everyone. My Dad would have been one hundred years old today. I wish we could have sorted this one...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 9th Jul - 10:46pm
    Innocent bystander, I am a little more optimistic for the future. When I lived in the States in the 1980s there was great concern that...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 9th Jul - 10:18pm
    David Raw, this what Peter Sloman of New College, Oxford tells us https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/251445/Sloman%202015%20Contemporary%20British%20History.pdf: ...she married Sir Rhys Williams, a South Wales lawyer, coalowner, and Coalition...
  • User AvatarWilliam Wallace 9th Jul - 10:01pm
    The concept of active citizenship isn't simple or easy, either. What responsibilities does a citizen have to fellow citizens, society and state, in return for...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 9th Jul - 9:41pm
    @ Joe Bourke. Lady Juliet got about a bit.... from National Liberal to Liberal and then to Conservative. Why did she join the Tories, Joe,...
  • User AvatarTonyH 9th Jul - 9:34pm
    This is an excellent initiative from Jamie, and has netted some really positive national publicity for him - and therefore the party.