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Diabetic Love

October 4, 2013

Today someone at work told me, after I told her I was diabetic, that I should “marry someone else with diabetes, so we understand each other, and then adopt babies.”

That’s not what this post is going to be about, but I thought that was a good way to start.

I’ve been thinking about the invisible toll of diabetes, the psychological stress that I’m so used to I can’t even notice.  Being caught in a never-ending cycle of accomplishment-guilt-frustration-pride-more guilt-decision making-complex math-failure-hypoglycemic haze-ketonic haze (and did I mention guilt?) is like breaking up with your partner and getting back together every hour of the day. Or at the very least, it’s like being wired into the internet 24/7 without that sudden breath of fresh air when you get away to the cottage, out of cell range and off-line…just for a weekend, but still…

I also have been thinking about how tired I am of being the freak in the room with diabetes. I want my friends, colleagues, and family to understand.

Then I had an idea.

I wondered what would happen if I sent an email out to a bunch of people in my life, proposing this: everyone goes out and spends 50 bucks on a box of Freestyle test strips and a meter (the meter comes free with strips). Then, for five measly days, everyone commits to testing their BG ten times a day.

No hassle with having to give mock-shots or make pseudo insulin-to-carb calculations. Just test the damn blood ten times a day. See what it’s like.

Would people do it? I thought to myself. Would people actually get over the fear of blood-letting, would people be willing to part with fifty bux (a fraction of what it costs us PWD a month to Not Die), would people actually care enough to try out this little piece of what life is like for someone they care about?

Then I asked myself: would I be willing to set an alarm that would wake me up every 90 minutes all night long, simulating what life is like for my friends with nursing infants? Would I shave my head bald, in solidarity for the clients I would with undergoing cancer treatments? Would I drastically modify my diet for a week, to understand what life is like for my friend with severe Crohns?

Maybe, but realistically not. At least not without a clear sense of why it made sense to support that person in that particular way. Which doesn’t make me a bad friend – I just think that I show my friendship through actions and words in other ways, perhaps more meaningful ways.

So I’ll stop expecting the people in my life to Drop Everything and Experience Diabetes. And I’ll just keep letting them love me in the invaluable ways they do.


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