Type 1, Just Being Human

Riva Greenberg has written a wonderful article. She has been type 1 for 42 years, and has published three books. They are very good books, and I enjoy reading them. Here is her article on “Just Being Human”.

“We all have little ‘blunders’ in day-to-day life, right? Leaving the cup of coffee on the roof of the car and driving off, locking ourselves out of the house by accident, forgetting the lunch date we made with a friend eons ago…these things happens, whether or not you have diabetes.

I recently had a funny everyday blunder in which I went off to record an interview for an article and realized much later that there were no batteries in the tape-recorder. It hadn’t worked properly during the interview and I couldn’t figure out why.

Later that night, I pulled out the recorder and showed my husband how when you press the power button nothing happens. Then I handed it to him. He began to look at it when he remarked, “It’s awfully light. Are you sure there are batteries in here?”

Doh.

I disclose my error, foolishness, absentmindedness, laugh-inducing mishap for one reason: since life has become so increasingly fast, busy, frantic, chaotic, multi-task-demanding, haven’t we all noticed some lapses and spells of absent-mindedness?

Now ponder: how are we expected to perfectly fulfill the multiple and constant requirements of good diabetes management? Without any mistakes?

The daily list of diabetes to-dos is endless:

planning meals

counting carbs

taking your medicine, if on insulin calculating your dose before each meal and post meals for corrections

checking your blood sugar x times a day and deciding what to do about the numbers

deciding whether it’s safe to exercise, grab some glucose tabs or wait an hour

seeing your team of doctors

getting your lab work done

shopping for healthy food

preparing healthy meals

managing the tightrope between highs and lows

packing and carrying your supplies everywhere

always having fast acting carbohydrate on hand for a low

figuring out how to manage the time difference when you travel. I still haven’t cracked this one

explaining when people tell you you can’t eat something

explaining when people ask you to eat something they made just for you

hitting a rough spot, tough time, mysterious readings, burn-out and depression

knowing no one “gets it” who doesn’t have it

knowing it never lets up

knowing you have a responsibility each day to do your best, yet being human simple can’t always do it

wondering how that will impact your here and now and long term future

…and on, and on, and on, day after day after day after day after week after month after year after year after year after decade after decade after decade.

Now tell me what we do every day isn’t miraculous. And I’ll tell you when you falter, it’s human nature, like forgetting to put the batteries in your recorder.

When you notice you’re out of juice, just put your batteries back in, and turn the power button back on and let it be.”

I identify with every part of Riva’s list. How about you?

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