So How Should I Presume?

The routine of self-management—the routine necessitated by the multiple daily diabetes tasks—has the potential to become a mind-numbing burden that triggers some new dread in me each time I perform an aspect of it.

Oh yes, I’ve given it much thought. Each fingerprick followed by its pinhead-sized drop of blood might easily remind me of my mortality, each low blood glucose[1] the Eternal Footman’s snicker, every high the sun dipping a bit lower on life’s horizon.

Diabetes and the routines necessary to stave off its complications[2] can wear on a person. The mind can easily make a misery out of a condition as insidious as diabetes.

But I’m not that morbid, and I don’t find it a burden, nor do I (often) allow each diabetes task to trigger dark thoughts. In fact, I never found it a pain to perform multiple daily injections. And once I moved to wearing an insulin pump[3], I discovered that the reservoir and site changes quickly became cake. The routine of checking my blood glucose and counting carbohydrates[4] and bolusing for meals: something I now do without thinking (or, I guess, without thinking too much).

These are the chores that come with the territory, that terra which is the land of the broken pancreas.

The routine of self-management—my routine of self-management (because I don’t presume to assume my experience is your experience)—has thus far not really been a burden. At least I choose not to think of it as such. Don’t get me wrong. These diabetes things I do: They did, for quite a while, fill me with anxiety and worry about performing each diabetes task correctly.

A few examples I look back on and smile wryly at the naiveté of (and those of you who know of what I speak can add any number of the dozens of things to the list):

But a year and a half into living with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve found that time indeed takes the edge off.

Is it possible I was measuring out my life in test strips?

Shall I go today without checking? Do I dare to eat a brownie?
I shall bring along no test kit and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the insulin pumps singing, each to each.

I do not think they won’t sing for me.

  1. low blood glucose:
  2. complications:
  3. insulin pump:
  4. counting carbohydrates:
  5. insulin:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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