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On the Other Side of D-Grief

September 9, 2011

Medical diagnoses are matters to be grieved. And yet, as is so often the case with grief, finding the time to grieve is kinda impossible. That has been the case for me this past year. I feel like I’ve been unable to grieve the death of my pancreas, and yet everything I’ve done has in some way related to mourning that death.

Now, I feel this trend changing.

Diabetes is normal, and a part of who I am. It is something that I laugh about. One of the many beautiful things about diabetes camp that has carried through – and one of the most powerful – is the ability to laugh about the damn disease. Singing songs all summer about taking shots, putting on skits about evil villains trying to plague the world with ketones, and endlessly laughing with fellow diabetics about our perplexing, ridiculous blood glucose readings – helped. Sometimes you just have to laugh to make everything okay. Knowing how to laugh about the D-force has helped put diabetes on the shelf-of-crises-past. Now, diabetes is just the ongoing scrolling subtitles in the sleezy French-cinema of life.

Maybe it’s clearer now that I’m settling into a new town – I’m excited to build communities around other interests, like music and rock-climbing and cycling and organic food – but not desperate so much to obsess about diabetes. Sure, I’d like to volunteer for the local JDRF chapter, and I’m going on a field trip next week to Banting House with that organization, but…the acute loneliness has passed. The grief has passed.

Diabetes is just this cool other part of me. Not something I’m busy getting used to, feeling sad about, being consumed by, or desperate to talk about. Just something that challenges me, tests me, occasionally inspires me, and ultimately makes me a better human.

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