Friday, March 4, 2011

Frustrating Dichotomy

Recently, a news article stated that a local couple "Suffers from Diabetes." This kicked off a conversation between Stacy and myself.

On one hand, living with a chronic disease does permeate every aspect of your life. Unexplained (or expected) lows and highs, extra doctor visits, needles, tubes, insets, vials, stares from people after you bust out a Capri-Sun in a nice restaurant when the service takes longer than your bolus allows, and constantly explaining yourself to people (including clueless nurses!) are all part of daily life.
Failure to keep track of all this is disastrous; the fact that poor management, laziness, or indifference can kill very quickly must be understood.

On the other hand, life goes on. Washing our hands, flossing our teeth, and getting exercise are all daily activities that improve our health and we just accept as life. Living with diabetes, when just added to the rhythms of life can be similar; it becomes background noise if it is allowed to just be another beat in this rhythm. Lifespan, pregnancy, and fitness are frequently just the same as in a 'healthy' person.

It is a frustrating dichotomy then, when you need to describe living with diabetes. Is it trial and suffering, or just part of your life? Should you be accommodated or treated like normal? There is no easy answer, except that it will always be a little of both.

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