I’ve been dealing with (or really, not dealing with) my T1D since my diagnosis, for the past four years and ninety days. (If you do the math, that’s 1,550 days.) But with all the changes that I’ve experienced in that time, I really haven’t had a moment to cope with my diagnosis and process what it means for me to have diabetes in terms of adjusting my physical expectations of myself.
For example, I love gardening. But it has become very difficult for me to work for more than a couple of hours without experiencing low blood sugar. This is extremely frustrating and disheartening, because I can’t do the things I used to be able to. I can’t keep up with my husband when he does yard work alongside me. I feel broken, like a shell of my former self.
Then I had a brilliant idea. “Write a letter,” my therapist always says, “and just don’t deliver it to the person. It will help you to express your feelings.” So why not write a letter to my T1D, as a form of catharsis? Better yet, why not mail it to my pancreas and have it come back, marked “Return to Sender” as unclaimed mail!
This is my new art project. I will type my letter and create my envelope, mimicking the yellow UNC postal label and all. That I will create this envelope is just as important as the letter— simply because it’s Return to Sender status is a symbol of the tireless and incessant management of the disease.
Maybe once I’m finished with this project I will frame it in a shadow box and hang it on my wall. This will give me some closure and peace of mind about at least accepting my situation. I encourage others to do the same; the highest form of flattery is imitation.