I Give Up
I don’t ever recall saying, I give up. I did it, but saying it was not really part of who I was. Interesting enough I think I might even know the day I did it. I think it was one of the seven days I was in the hospital following diagnosis. I did not really take all the classes, information and nice little helps that were offered during that week very seriously. Frankly giving up was just way easier than going through all the nonsense it would have taken to comply with the stuff being said to me that week. I listened, sort of, to the classes, and I heard all the stuff about getting a cure pretty soon, but frankly, I believe I just decided to give up.
So let’s turn the clock back a bit. It was June 1974, I was in Florida at Disney World, and wow was I ever sick. I wanted to see the Hall of Presidents pavilion at Disney World and after the line wound round the park, it seemed like about 20 times in the hot sun I got in the air conditioned building and promptly fell asleep. Well since that was my number 1 reason I wanted to go to Disney World, I guess someone finally got the message that I was ill. Ok well maybe it was the bill I was running for drinks. Getting in the place was like $33.00 a day and I was pushing about $60.00 by mid-day at the drink stands. Oh yeah, I was not feeling well.
So back to the hotel a nap some urine sampling and these hushed discussions about ‘what do we do next’? Oh my goodness, imagine the problems my parents had. We were in FL they knew what the issue was and we still had our last ever family trip planned to the one place my parents saved to go for a year or more. I, their only child that they loved, and wanted to show how much he meant was sick as a dog. My dad wanted me to drive, I passed and he looked at mom and said we need to do something. Yeah things were tough that week in Florida.
For some reason we drove, I slept, the car moved to west coast of FL and the Gulf of Mexico. My parents walked on the beach, I am sure they had some serious talks and good cries. I know that today if one of my sons developed diabetes, I would be crying and probably sitting in front of, Old Ben the Bull (he is not really a bull) and my sons are in their 30’s let alone 17 years old. God forbid I would visit this thing on one of my grandchildren. I do not know if I could take it. I really don’t.
So anyway the family got in the car bid ado to Florida, my mother’s first and last trip there, and away we went back to Kokomo. I slept, dad drove mom worried as we raced home. I ended up in the hospital on the following Monday. Then the training started. I had this weird feeling that when you checked into a hospital you should check out ‘cured’, when I heard I was not to be cured for 10 years, I sort of completely checked out.
Wow how much fun was that? I was planning to leave in July less than 3 weeks later for a month of backpacking in New Mexico at Philmont. My second trip in two years and if the Hall of Presidents was cool, Philmont meant everything to me. But I am stuck in the hospital in 1974, listening to crap about diabetes. That crap, likely on Wednesday, after I had faked my way into two extra oranges, instead of learning to inject insulin that I think I said to myself ‘I Give Up’. I will comply to leave this place and to get to New Mexico, but otherwise, I GIVE UP.
Of course the ramifications of that decision to give up were big and they lasted over the next 25 years. I was 17 angry as can be and absolutely in denial. Turns out the hospital was treating the wrong disease. They wanted to treat diabetes, they needed to treat depression. Sure they could stabilize my blood sugar, we know today given enough insulin one can balance most blood sugars, but the ‘I Give Up’ syndrome now that is a horse of a different color.
So instead of treating the underlying issue, they gave me insulin, some syringes a diet plan and instructions to go see the doctor in 3 weeks. So I was turned out to face my life. A life, I did not choose, one I did not want, and one that if I injected enough insulin I could tame. Because I seemed compliant I got to Philmont and I promptly said in my mind I need a life and I need it now, so much living so few years or so I was told. I figured 10 years to a cure? Yeah I can make it that long and I did now almost 4 times over.
25 years later I started treatment for the underlying problem. 25 years later I was successful; I was part of a wonderful family and was married to a beautiful wife. I was accomplished two college degrees and I was miserable. My mom died waiting for the 10 year cure, and I was living ok but not stable hoping for a 10 year cure. Why, because 25 years before no one, not me, not the doctors, treated the underlying issue. In FL I was miserable inside I carried that misery along for the ride for 25+ years.
Yeah I gave up in 1974; thank goodness others didn’t give up on me. I needed a miracle to make it long enough to get to the basic issue. I got it. I fear others do not, and that at least for me is not acceptable. I hope it is not acceptable for anyone who knows the truth, diabetes is a disease we can treat, but to be successful we have to treat the other disease that often shows up with diabetes. We need to treat depression or the ‘I Give Up’ syndrome. For me at least ‘I Give Up’ was far more dangerous.