I can talk for hours about diabetes. Literally. Get me started and I have to be forcibly removed from my soapbox at some point for the sake of other people’s sanity. In a way, it’s quite nice to have a condition that has so many variables, it’s not some boring old disease where you take a tablet twice a day and it’s all fine. Oh no, we have multitudinous things that affect our diabetes, which at least makes it vaguely interesting.
But what if I was forced to exercise a little bit of self-restraint for once? If I only had your attention for one minute before you escaped. What would I tell you about diabetes?
I could go for the basics – no produce insulin, insulin needed to convert carbohydrate into energy, no insulin no life, therefore inject insulin to stay alive.
Or the slightly more pessimistic – pancreas no work, need to regulate blood sugar manually, body doesn’t like having lots of sugar in blood, long term having blood like treacle can lead to bits dropping off or stopping working.
Or the more advanced – pancreas is lazy, I do its job by manually regulating blood sugar through monitoring carbohydrate intake and adjusting insulin injections accordingly. Mistakes are punished by low blood sugar sweating and gibbering or high sugar headaches and sickness.
Or you caught me on a bad day and I can see nothing positive about this at all – avoid at all costs, it infiltrates every minute of your waking hours and then disturbs your sleeping hours as well. It’s like a constant shadow, always there, lingering in the background, occasionally pushing its way into the foreground when it doesn’t feel it’s getting enough attention.
Or the positive – it’s a perfectly manageable condition which requires a little extra thought and planning in day to day life, but not something which should noticeably limit what you do.
Or the brief but not very helpful – don’t get diabetes. It’s all needles, blood, sweating, nausea, embarrassing yourself in public, comatose and rotting toes.
Or the super brief but equally unhelpful – worse than a cold, not as bad as something imminently terminal like a head on car crash.
Depending on when you catch me, I could probably tell you any of the above. But if pushed, I’d likely settle for something along these lines. Your pancreas produces insulin. Mine doesn’t. I therefore do its job for it. I try to keep my blood sugar levels stable by balancing what I eat, the impact of exercise, stress, hormones and the weather against the volume of insulin I require. It doesn’t stop me doing anything, but it can be a complete nightmare at times.
What about you?