Being brave is being afraid
. . . but doing it anyway.

. Katherine Marple

Published Articles

The Diabetes Drain

Posted on June 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM



Originally Published on


By Katherine Marple


I want to give up.


That’s the thought running through my head after struggling for eight hours with glucose readings over 300. I tried water, exercise, an extra dose of Metformin, resting … and nothing was budging that glucose reading. I was stuck. I was tired. I was drained.


I often write articles about keeping your spirits up with diabetes. Many times, I’ll admit that it’s tough having a chronic disease, but I usually follow that up with motivating words like “Keep pushing, keep going, be strong!” Today, I’m too tired for the bravado. Today, I am burnt out.


I went to bed last night after already battling a high reading. I had spent much of that morning and afternoon dipping into the 40s. Once it was finally registering in the optimal range, I was only able to relax for about three hours before it climbed higher, and higher, and higher- resting at 312. It sat stubbornly for the following eight hours, as I did everything I could think of- everything that had worked in the past- to get it to go back down. I awoke this morning, the battle still steady, the diabetes army piercing through my emotional armor.


I laced up my gym shoes and attempted to fight back even harder.


I admit that my diabetes journey is riddled with pot holes and rough patches, but it is not often that my glucose is so far out of range for such a long stretch of time. I’m still not sure quite what happened to cause it today, but it got me to thinking: how awesome could I be if diabetes didn’t have me.


I want to give up.


I heard that quiet voice in the back of my mind as I stumbled out of the gym. Being unable to complete my normal Monday routine because this particular 300 glucose reading was one which was sapping me like a spile in a maple tree. Sometimes a 300 doesn’t feel very different from a 150, for me. But sometimes, like today, a 300 just drains the energy and spirit right out of me. I pushed myself during my workout, hoping it would bring my glucose down- or at least start the downtrend, like exercise typically would. Instead, I felt my organs start to burn, my muscles gave out, my vision spotted and blurred.


I staggered out of the gym and sat in my car for thirty minutes, regaining focus for the drive home.


Today’s score:

Diabetes: 1

Me: 0


What could I be if diabetes didn’t have me? I have the resilience and perseverance to get through this chronic tick of a disease every single minute of every single day- nearly 17 years now. I have the creativity to find my own path, the ability to research and the willingness to try new things in my treatment. I have determination to continue exercising, eating right, balancing mental and emotional health, managing four different types of medications. What if diabetes wasn’t here? Who could I be with all of these traits, but with none of the physical burdens diabetes and my other autoimmune disorders cause?


The possibilities seem infinite.


That is, until I consider, maybe having diabetes nearly steal my life from me 20x in my short 30 years of life is what made those beautiful, strong traits present themselves.


I do get downtrodden and drained. Diabetes is a mean disease, and I am so frustrated and exhausted from fighting back every step of the way. But, like the bullies in grade school taught me, I will get through this. Your aggression is giving me reason to become stronger and stronger… and I will succeed.


… There’s that valor again.



Stay Strong. Be Brave.


Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, PCOS, Pre-Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Victoza, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes-related novels: “Wretched (this is my sorry)” and “Deathly Sweet.”

She can be found at and

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