Due to recent exciting news events, I've moved my trip down memory lane to Friday this week...
Another wonderful fellow D-blogger, Lee Ann Thill, recently posed a question on Facebook: "who exactly is responsible when people with diabetes aren't 'good' diabetics?" Over 30 replies ensued, as this perennial question brings up all sorts of fundamental issues of living with diabetes: proper access to education and medical care, family support, diligence and "compliance," and issues of blame and guilt.
Lee Ann followed up with a moving blog post, "Another Round of the Blame Game." There's so much to appreciate in this heartfelt testimonial. But one passage that stuck out to me was this:
"The treatment protocol is ridiculous and labor-intensive. Pretending to be a pancreas day in and day out isn't as fun as it sounds. If doing this crap every day until I die isn't a complete time/energy/emotion succubus, I don't know what is. People without diabetes only have the hardship of imagining living like this for a few seconds before they have the luxury of conveniently dismissing it as not as bad as we say it is without ever really having to do it."
Well said, Lee Ann! But what about the blame we place on ourselves? I consider myself pretty conscientious about my D-care. But does this qualify me as a "good diabetic," even when I know I have some pretty sloppy habits?
It all brought me back to this post, originally published two years ago:
True Confessions of a Good Diabetic
I read other PWD's blogs, and they always seem like they have it so together. But then again, when fellow diabetics meet me in person, they seem to think I have it all figured out, too. Closer to the truth is probably that we're all just taking it day by day. And man, do I stray sometimes:
I don't carry around backup insulin. I did tote around a vial of Apidra for a few weeks one time, and it went bad, so that turned me off. Now I just carry a single syringe in my OmniPod case, with the vague idea that if the Pod fails while I'm out and about, I could draw up the insulin out of the defunct Pod. I really need to test that theory empirically soon.
I never eat bread, but every once in a while I snarf up almost an entire bag of Quaker cheddar rice cake snacks — to the tune of at least 75g carbs in one sitting. Yipes! My B-A-D. (And to think that most folk consider rice cakes "diet food"...)
I put off getting my lipid panel test for up to two months sometimes, because I can't stand the fasting thing. Not eating breakfast before I leave the house makes me feel weak and off-the-scales cranky. Thankfully, my hubby's willing to make it a "lab date" and take me out to breakfast afterwards. I hereby apologize for everything that happens before we hit the cafÃ©, Honey.
On bad BG days, I often think, "Oh, what the Hell?" and I indulge in "taboo" foods like a big bowl of frozen yogurt or a nice chewy granola bar chock full of raisins. (What?! I'm messed up already, aren't I?)
When I go on hikes, often I take along glucose tablets only. That means I even leave my meter behind, which in my case is also my insulin pump controller — which would freak out many a tethered insulin pumper, I know. But sometimes one just NEEDS to be hands-free and medgadget-free. At least for a few hours.
I walk barefoot around the house (in warm weather) and I rarely check my feet for injuries. Luckily, my City-Gal feet are so delicate that I could probably feel a single flax seed in my shoe. I also like purty shoes, the kind that aren't necessarily D-friendly.
So am I still a "good diabetic"? Yes, I think so. Am I a perfect? Um, noooo. A control freak at heart, diabetes has clearly helped me to wean myself off the more neurotic strain of perfectionism. Hopefully I'm morphing into the good kind of perfectionist — one little diabetes defiance at a time.