Thursday, 11 March 2010

Oh, to be 'normal'.

The word ‘normal’ for me is pretty much definition-less, in terms of diabetes. My normal is going to be totally different to yours.

For me, normal is testing 6+ times a day. Packing a 200ml carton of OJ in my handbag is not only normal, it’s almost subconscious. Injecting myself 5 or more times a day is totally normal. Automatically guessing or remember the carb count of every food/drink I lay my eyes on is completely normal (and again, subconsciously. Oh how I would love not to do this!). Carrying a pencil case full of kit is normal for me. Using the term ‘kit’ to mean insulin and a testing kit – as opposed to say, illegal drugs and their paraphernalia! – is very normal. Avoiding pic’n’mix is normal, if not saddening! Injecting in public is normal, as is dealing with any stares I get. Trying to modernise peoples’ ways of thinking is normal (“yes, I CAN eat sugar”). Making frequent visits to Selly Oak Hospital is normal. The constant frustration of being pancreatically challenged is very, very normal.

So I’m curious: what is normal for you? What do you do on a daily basis that you no longer think about?
I like the way we can have these big differences. 

I find people fascinating (I almost studied anthropology at uni, and still consider it an option). I love hearing about different people, different lives, different attitudes. I have a particular interest in and empathy for children with diabetes, as I was diagnosed just before I turned 3. I have spent my entire life with diabetes, or so it feels (I don’t remember not being diabetic). I’m also very interested in the parents of children with diabetes. I would love to chat with both the child and the parents, and see how their feelings and perception of diabetes varies.

Ultimately, there is no such thing as ‘normal’ in terms of diabetes. It is such a personal thing, which can be affected by so many things (oh let’s, drink, exercise, alcohol, mood, general activity, attitude, let the list go on...). It seems that with diabetes, there is no right or wrong, no good way or bad way of doing things. You have to find out what works for you. It’s a constant uphill battle, and the best thing to do, I believe, is to arm yourself with as much climbing equipment as possible, to make it as easy as you can.