There must be a reason why I got diabetes. My money is on something technical involving a lucky combination of genes, viruses, a grumpy immune system and a certain lack of luck. But, there is another alternative. Perhaps I was selected because of my amazing ability to transform into a pancreas?
I have a theory. I think that in my case, circa 1983, pancreases around the world united and decided to try and increase the size of their empire. Not content with having a single presence in every being in the world, they wanted to boost their powerbase with more recruits. I have a vision of the inaugural meeting of the Pancreas Promotion Society (PPS) taking place in a darkened room complete with full fat coke and chocolate biscuits. The agenda was simple – pancreases felt overworked and undervalued. They wanted more resources to help them do their jobs, and more time off. Therefore, they were going to launch a recruitment drive.
By recruiting people to play at being their own pancreases, real pancreases could enjoy more leisure time and a better quality of life. The Kidney Protection League were vociferous in their complaints at the potential damage this would cause to their members, but sadly never got their act together to mount a decent defence. And the Eye Evaluation Executive were tragically blind to the whole thing.
The first step in attempting to outsource the pancreatic workload to the body owner was to identify the qualities they were looking for in a trainee pancreas. These included:
- Mathematical genius – or at least a vague familiarity with numbers is desirable. Carb counting, insulin dose calculating and blood glucose results analysis is a critical skill.
- Excellent eyesight and dexterity for deciphering nutritional labels written in size 5 font on the bottom of an open yoghurt pot without getting wet.
- A certain lack of standards. The ideal trainee pancreas needs to quickly lower their standards. Blood spotted sheets should be accepted as normal. Ingesting decade old fruit pastilles coated in several layers of pocket fluff should not be considered strange or repulsive.
- A positive outlook on life, without which playing at being a pancreas gets quite dull quite quickly.
When I think back to my four year old self I don’t recognise many of those skills. I was showing promise with my times tables, had mastered an impressive number of Janet & John books and could swim without drowning. I like to think the PPS must have spotted some glimmer of potential in me and that’s why I was chosen by them to become one of their number.
Or perhaps it was nothing to do with my talents at all. Perhaps, like any respectable organisation, the Pancreas Promotion Society is an equal opportunities employer. So ultimately, they’ll recruit you whether you meet the criteria or not. Sadly they don’t seem to have a particularly effective performance management system – I’ve messed up so many times in this job and they still won’t sack me. It seems I have what is a very rare thing nowadays – a job for life.
That’s how I think I ended up with diabetes, what about you?