Imaginary Conversations about the Lemon.
Sometimes when I’m trying to figure out something, I have conversations with people in my head. I make up imaginary situations where I am with someone, sometimes with someone I don’t even know, or in a place that doesn’t exist, but I have this conversation as a way to work out what I think about something. Sometimes I do it to vent about something that is frustrating me, but without actually having to make myself vulnerable to another person or risk embarrassing myself.
Last night, I was frustrated. I was frustrated with my diabetes, after having gone low during an all staff meeting at work. Although I caught it early, thanks to my continuous glucose monitor, and was able to test (72 mg/dl) and treat (regular Coke – blech), later on, after having told someone I had gone low and someone saying something about what if I had passed out, I started to think about what if I had passed out. Of course, I wasn’t going to pass out. I am usually too sensitive to have my blood sugar drop to a range where I think that could ever happen. I wasn’t that low either, and I wasn’t dropping that fast and I didn’t have to walk that far to get something to drink.
But the entire staff was in the conference room, on the other side of the office. And I thought to myself, if I had passed out, how long would it have taken before anyone saw me? Would I have been able to scream before losing consciousness?
And the fact that this thought occurred to me made me very angry. And while I was thinking about this, I ended up having an imaginary monologue with someone I work with. I thought, maybe instead of keeping this in my head, I should blog about it and share it with people.
“I spend every waking moment of every day trying to be normal, and the second I accomplish that it is taken away by the next thing that I do. I do everything I can to be like everyone else, and I go to bed praying that it was enough and that in the morning, I will wake up. Because people have died from this disease. They have died in their sleep from this disease. I know people who have died from diabetes.
People think that you just get sick from diabetes if you don’t take care of yourself. Or that some body parts might not work the way they are supposed to. Or they think that this is something that you do to yourself and that you deserve it. People think that diabetes is just something that happens and if you do this or that then you’ll be fine.
But that’s not how it works.
Diabetes is a disease. Diabetes is just like cancer. You can influence cancer as much as you can, but cancer can still kill you even if you do everything the right way. So can diabetes.
Diabetes has taken so much from me. It has taken away my time. It has taken away my money. It has taken away my ability to think clearly. It has taken away my ability to eat ice cream on a hot, summer afternoon without feeling guilty.
Sometimes I think that because I make it look like I know what I’m doing and because I am active in the diabetes community and because I talk a great story and walk a great walk that somehow no one thinks this could happen to me. That somehow something bad will never happen to me because I’m good. I’m an advocate. I’m an educator. I’m a thought leader, dammit.
Bad things happen to role models all the time.
And it terrifies me.”