Within the span of 15 minutes, I shamefully eat a candy bar (sans testing, sans bolusing), show the Professor ads on blood glucose machines for an assignment, (which leads to a mini-discussion on the advances in diabetes) and say “I wear an insulin pump.”
Notice that I did not say “I have diabetes” or “I am diabetic.” No ownership of this disease that, like or not, is mine. I will however talk about, educate about it or use it as my trump card when it is useful to me.
As soon as the conversation with the Professor ended I wondered whether or not anyone had seen what I ate and then heard what I had said. Paranoid, maybe?
It was this strange sort of awakening in how I deal with diabetes. The bottom line is that I don’t want it. Don’t want to share my body with it, don’t want the lows, the highs, the restrictions, the complication or the guilt it brings. I don’t want any of it…unless, of course, it will benefit me in some way. I have made no real commitment to this disease.
I look at myself and wonder how I can still have such a twisted, complicated relationship with diabetes after over20 years. Have I really learned so little along the way? Why can’t I "just put on my big girl panties and deal with it"? How do all you other PWD’s accept it? From my very limited viewpoint it seems like there are people who have done a much better job of the acceptance and commitment to taking the best care possible of themselves than me.
Yeah, sure, none of us asked for this. Not one of us honestly likes having diabetes, although some are much better at finding the silver lining than I. It seems to me though that in order to effectively manage diabetes and live with it you need to take some ownership of the disease. How do establish some sense of pride about something you loathe? I’m not thinking the kind of pride where you tell every single person you meet about the disease or have it painted on you forehead (although isn’t wearing a trusty medical id bracelet pretty close?) but more along the lines of enough pride that makes you (me) want to the best job possible in managing diabetes*.
I’m not sure where I got it from but I have a picture in my head of a grandpa type saying something along the lines of whatever you do, do it well and do it with pride. That is sentiment that for the most part I believe in. But how do I have pride in and do the best at something I simply don’t want?
*side note: as I was typing this, the spelling correction I was given for my spelling of managing that came up was: mismanaging – hmmm?