The diabetes rumble in the parking lot

Why does this keep happening? People with a type of diabetes calling out people with another type of diabetes for a proverbial rumble in the parking lot.

It happened again. And on World Diabetes Day too.

…sigh…

That whole Type vs. Type argument raised its ugly head. Makes me sad. It doesn’t matter who started it. It matters that it keeps happening. This divisive argument usually goes like this: somehow this Type is diabetes and doesn’t want to be associated with that Type. People should know the difference! People should stop saying stupid stuff about diabetes. Names should be changed! Then people can say that stupid stuff about the Type they are referring to (and not my Type of diabetes). If that Type gets attention/research/treatments then my Type won’t. Mom always liked you better!

Jeezus…

Somehow I can’t imagine people with rheumatoid arthritis people calling out people with osteoarthritis for a proverbial rumble in the parking lot. Different things cause each of them. Each has its own pathology and treatments. And still it’s all arthritis.

Every time the Type vs. Type argument starts again I have only one thought: It needs to stop…NOW.

 

Voyage & Return

I hear this story told by people who had a “wild youth” despite living with diabetes or people who “didn’t take care of” their diabetes.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one version of this plot. The young son, after receiving his share of inheritance, ventures out into the world only to squander his fortune and return home broke and hungry. His father welcomes him back without reproach. In fact the father celebrates his son’s return.

I hear this story told by people who had a “wild youth” despite living with diabetes or people who “didn’t take care of” their diabetes. During this phase of their life they lived recklessly, not tending to their health. Perhaps they were stopped actively monitoring their blood sugar and flew blind. Or they binged on carbohydrate-rich foods only to purge it from their bodies after. Some manipulated their care regime to cover for extremes in their eating behavior.

The lucky ones live to tell the tale without any obvious side effects or complications. It’s amazing how resilient the human body can be, even when it’s not 100% healthy.

But for many people with diabetes there is no welcoming father to celebrate their return afterward. There is only the reproachful brother who wonders why we should celebrate and ignore past transgressions. That reproachful brother takes the form of guilt and fear and there is no escape. Because, you see, that reproachful brother lives within the person with diabetes.

It’s like we never left in the first place.

 

Voyage & Return is one of the seven basic plots identified by Christopher Booker in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. This week I am looking at life with diabetes through the prism of these seven basic plots.


The Quest

The ultimate quest, of course, is for the cure. The thing that will end the suffering. The thing that will restore the treasure of good health.

The quest is a heroic tale of treasure recovered and enemies vanquished.

The ultimate quest, of course, is for the cure. The thing that will end the suffering. The thing that will restore the treasure of good health.

This quest has not met its heroic conclusion for people with diabetes.

So people with diabetes end up on lesser paths. Not able to pursue the cure on his or her own, the goal becomes better blood glucose management, or getting a medical device, or avoiding complications.

The obstacles faced are purely man made. Doctors who need to be persuaded. Insurance companies that need to be convinced. The self who needs to be committed. It can feel like the 12 labors of Hercules. As soon as one hurdle is cleared, another appears. And in a cruel twist of fate, just as the finish line is within view, just one more obstacle appears needing to be handled.

For people with diabetes, it’s the never ending quest.


The Quest is one of the seven basic plots identified by Christopher Booker in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. This week I am looking at life with diabetes through the prism of these seven basic plots.