Thursday, November 09, 2006

Imagine a day without Diabetes

Dear HR Department,

I would like to submit my request for a vacation. Some time off hardly seems like a long time after 19 years of uninterrupted service to you. Nineteen long years of finger pricks, shots, blood sugars, A1C’s, ketone strips; of bouts with depression and anger, asking why me and praying for it all to be taken away.
I truly didn’t understand the long-term commitment ahead of me and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that, as a five year old, I didn’t sign up for this! You chose me. I do apologize if that seems petty.
It didn’t occur to me at the time when I was thrown into all of this that the benefits were so few—camp friends, the Diabetes OC (I’m struggling to make this list any longer)—and the demands were so many—constantly on call, wide swings of emotion, complications, loneliness, alienation (I’ll spare you the whole list). I’m glad I didn’t know. It wouldn’t have done me any better to look to the future. Instead I had hope. Hope for a permanent vacation. My retirement was my reason for persisting through it all (I persisted less hard during college, I’ll admit) and the hope that I could enjoy myself without the 24/7 demands that you’ve put onto me.
My retirement seems far off right now and this affects my perseverance and efforts. I’m beginning to slip again. If I could just enjoy a short vacation, I think you’ll see a stellar performance one more.

I will eagerly await your approval on this matter.


I have a question for you all (with or without diabetes):

When you hear the phrase "Imagine a day without diabetes," what does it mean to you?

I think of a literal day without diabetes. One 24 hour period of freedom. Non-diabetics that I have asked responded that it makes them think of a cure. I am interested in knowing what the question stirs up in you. I think it's telling that I am moved by just the prospect of one single day without this disease. As much as I would love a cure and would never turn it down, I think sometimes I lose hope. I don't think about the cure often and I certainly don't expect it (not trying to be negative). I think I'm bitter and I think I need hope. I have more hope for those who are young now. For Gracie. For Joseph. For every child with diabetes.

I need to remember that my hope for a cure is not a selfish thing, but a hope for them.


Kassie said...

what hope I have for a cure comes from knowing the Josephs and Gracies and Rileys and Brendons and Daniels and Olivias of this world. Though we could all use a day off.

Kerri. said...

I'm not sure if I could handle one day off. Diabetes is so all-or-nothing. I think I am the same way. I remember when I went from 9 - 11 shots per day to one pump change every four days. It took just about sitting on my hands to keep me from taking that familiar Lantus injection. Weeks passed before I kicked that habit.

I wish their was a cure. I have a little bit of hope still buried that I will see one. But, like you, I think more about the little kids who are growing up with this than I do for myself and my fellow adults. I wish for peace and health for them. They deserve to enjoy their beautiful childhoods.

As my brother once said to me, I look forward to the day when all of these blogs are empty.

Anonymous said...

I doubt I will ever allow myself to truly hope for a cure. Not for me, not for my mom, not for Gracie. I just don't believe it will ever happen, and the disappointment would just be too bitter

art-sweet said...

If you get that vacation approved, let me know. I'd like one too.

I think I would need more than a day, although that's what the phrase makes me think of as well. I'd just be twitching all day: where's my pump? do I have my glucose tabs? what do you mean I don't need them?

Sandra Miller said...

To be honest, (though I used to quite a lot) I try not imagine that day too often-- it's just too painful.

No more finger pricks, no set changes, no highs, no lows...

I want it so much for him it hurts.

Scott K. Johnson said...

It would be a whole new world for me! Like you and many others here, I know no different.

I wonder how much better I would feel if my BG's were just always and automatically where they need to be...

And boy, would I be PISSED when my day was over.

Great post - very entertaining to think through!

Chrissie in Belgium said...

I CANNOT IMMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT DIABETES! When you put the question out there, my first reaction is skepticism. What other sickness are you going to dish out to me instead...... I have heard a cure promised so many times, that I am deaf to such mumbling blab. ISN'T IT HORRIBLE THAT I TRULY CANNOT IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT DIABETES..... I have had D for 45 years. I just cannot imagine anything else. That is frightening!

Penny said...

Kassie, Thanks for your comment. That was sweet.

I want to see a cure for all of you. Will it come? I don't know. But, my hope remains intact.

I don't want Riley to have just one day without diabetes. I want him to have a lifetime without it. Anything else just won't do. One day would be too disappointing. I think after that one day, it would be like him being diagnosed all over again. I don't want to go through that again.

So, if he could go one day without diabetes, I wouldn't take it. Selfish? Maybe. But, one day without this disease wouldn't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

I want a cure. I want the whole nine yards. I'm greedy that way:-)