unfortunately, i’m not wired like one of those little cuckoo clocks where, every hour, my pancreas pops out of my belly and goes, “hi! pay attention to me. i’m broken, remember?” (i guess in reality that’s not really that unfortunate because that would be REALLY weird and gross). anyway, i digress. but seriously though, diabetes is like a stalker ex boyfriend (and to my three real-live exes, none of you are like this, and i thank you for that.) who just won’t leave you alone. calls, texts, emails, sleeps on your doorstep, writes you stupid songs, begging to be taken back. except diabetes is worse, it doesn’t go away when you throw things at it.
unfortunately for me, the 25-year-old impulse-a-holic, this whole “paying attention to my insides” thing can be ridiculously challenging. most of my friends are significantly more able-bodied than myself. they are tall, skinny, gorgeous, intelligent, and could house a bathtub filled with carbs and never pay the price. so, naturally, majority rules in my social life which tends to lead me down the road of totally ignoring the fact that i have a malfunctioning organ in my abdomen.
places i run into particularly binding challenges are: exercising, boozing, losing weight, traveling, and maintaining a socially acceptable love life.
if i was a diabetes- free chick, i’d be able to go for hour-long runs without the innate fear that my blood sugar is going to plummet into the 40’s and i’m going to die mid-stride. whenever this happens i have to come home and eat which is really awesome when i just sweat my ass off burning calories. sweet deal.
if i was a diabetes- free chick i would be able to try every crash diet under the sun and gain and lose and buy $200 jeans that, “totally fit me that one time i lost 30 lbs from going paleo for 3 months”. i mean, it would be so awesome to at least try.
if i was a diabetes- free chick i could hop in the car on a whim drive across country and live out of my car, eat mcdonalds and luna bars the whole way, and never once stop to freak the hell out because i haven’t been keeping track of my 900ish different medical thingamajigs that keep me up and running.
if i was a diabetes- free chick i wouldn’t have to do an awkward little jig to hide my infusion set everytime i take my clothes off in front of people. i already scramble to stand or lay perfectly so my rolls are hidden, let alone hiding a device that’s hooked to me with a very glamorous tube.
but if i was a diabetes free-chick, at this point, who’s to say i’d be any different than i am?
it’s been 6 years since i was diagnosed. i’ve traveled all over the world. i moved out of my parents house and got a real job in a timely and acceptable manner. i’ve gotten drunk many times. i’ve had many boys in my life. i’ve run a half marathon and climbed a few mountains. i’ve eaten like complete shit for several days in a row and i’ve cried in public because i was pissed at my insurance company. so what if i left a box of test strips on the roof of the car once and they fell off on the way to the airport (bye bye, $100!). and so what if i ripped my infusion set out at a bar because i pulled my pants down too fast to go pee?
i’m here, i’m doing the best i can, and despite my little pal, diabetes, occasionally calling the shots (ha! get it?), i’d like to think i have it pretty good. i mean, yeah, of course i wish i was a diabetes- free chick every day, but just because i’m not doesn’t mean i’ve had to totally sacrifice my spontaneity and zest for being a wild card a lot of the time. all of this is part of growing up and learning how to balance the speed at which my life travels and the lack of speed at which my pancreas secretes insulin on its own. this is why people invented 24-hour pharmacies, ice packs for my face when i cry a lot, glucose tablets, and translator apps for iPhones…one step at a time, it’ll all get figured out someday.