Wil Dubois over at DiabetesMine wrote a thought provoking essay yesterday about how living with diabetes long-term is like Groundhog Day, the movie. Wil is an excellent creative writer and has lived with type 1 diabetes a long time. He gets the constant day-to-day drudgery that diabetes creates with its never-ending demands.
Here’s a good description of what we face.
Because to some degree we’re all trapped in the same day, day after day, required to carry out the same tasks. And not just any tasks. Diabetes is replete with endless, mind-numbing repetitive tasks; and if we do them all eternally right, the best we can hope for from our efforts is, to quote my friend Dr. Bill Polonsky, that “nothing bad happens.”
What most intrigues me about this piece is the hope it offers at the end.
Stealing another page from the East [Far East metaphysical philosophies], I can’t help but think about the Japanese tea ceremony. It’s a simple task that’s evolved into a high artform with an emphasis on perfection. Why not challenge yourself to treat blood sugar monitoring the same way? Instead of viewing it as a chore, a burden, a duty, a tribulation—why not view it as a challenge to be perfected? Become a master of the BG check. A martial artist of the lance and strip.
Crazy? Perhaps. But if you can shift your mind to turn an aggravating chore into a challenge, an art to master, why not? Wouldn’t this be growing as a person? As a person with diabetes? Likewise, why not treat a shot as an elegant dance? A carb calculation as an interesting puzzle to solve? Tracking meds as a memory-building exercise? Alarms as a language to learn?
Yes, we’re trapped in this ongoing Groundhog Day, but what we do with the time spent here—for what may be a personal eternity—is up to each of us.
This distills the diabetes philosophy that has sustained me for the last 6+ years of my 35-year diabetes journey. I acknowledge and accept that fate chose this destiny for me. While this is not the life I would choose, if I have to live this life then I’m going to be darn good at it. The pleasure I take from my blood glucose victories adds to my energy and makes my long-game possible.
I highly recommend clicking over to Wil’s column and reading the entire thing.