The day after
Today I am writing the day after. The day after the shopping and hurrying have been done, the many decisions made, the family has come and in my case gone. Today for my wife Sheryl and I this is a day of ahh. We have finished our preparations, and have had the big day. Some plans worked, some did not. My children have left the house; the grand children are on their way home and our comfortable house is once again a home.
For me it is a sad day the end of the hurry up season. My anticipation was met and sometimes not. The love of my sons was expressed, and I got to hold the little ones tight. My daughter in laws were happy to be with us and the dogs got along, it was a special three days and I am so sad it is over. I cried as my last ones left the house bound for their traditions, leaving my traditions behind.
Today as the house returns to the quiet I know well; I am reminded of diabetes and I have a wish for you. It is one I have learned a great deal about over the years. In fact over 39 years it is the single most important truth I have learned and it applies to us all. Here it is:
We are not perfect nor will we ever be.
Many of us try to be perfect; we want to bend this disease we share to fit into our lives. But like our many holiday plans, we can never make it perfect. We can try to be perfect, we can do everything right, but still we will fail. When we fail (and we all do) my wish is that you can find it possible to forgive ourselves.
I hope adults who go to office party and eat a cookie that causes high blood sugar will find it in themselves to blame the disease first for a high blood sugar. I hope the type 2’s who forget a pill or a type 1 who forgets an injection will first blame the disease, not themselves when their blood sugar rises to much.
Too often we blame ourselves first. We let health care providers do this as well. I know a doctor who often says to his patient, if you had not given yourself too much insulin, not ate that cracker, forgot your juice or whatever causes issues, you would not be low, ill, upset or worried if only you had done this that. In that tirade of instructions I wish the doctor would just once say the truth, you know even if you do everything right sometimes diabetes will be unmanageable. Sometimes you cannot corral this disease. In short, sometimes, it is not your fault. When doctors start in about you should have, could have, would have, must have, please keep in mind, sometimes diabetes happens. You can do everything right and still have high blood sugar. Sometimes it is just not your fault sometimes ( and
What about us individually? Most diabetics I know share a common trait, we tend to get down on ourselves when the blood sugar goes up or down or sideways or we ride the up and down dragon and we cannot usually explain it. I offer this single thought to you. If you have tried to do your best, it is not your fault. Instead live today, work on the outcome, lower or raise your blood sugar, but do not blame. We have enough blame in the world, we do not need more. Instead do better, but do not blame yourself. Blame the disease.
Finally I feel so strong for the moms and dads who watch over us with the youngest of our brethren, those who are too young to take of themselves. I ask you hear my plea even more than the adults among us this season. Give yourself a break. Blood sugar is not something that always does A when you do B. You cannot be perfect. I know you are trying, I know you want the best. Please understand, a high is not your fault and low cannot always be controlled. Never give up trying, but blame yourself for every single mistake either. You and I are fallible and we make mistakes, but the bigger culprit is not usually you, it is the disease. If you need to be angry, upset, disheartened, do it at the disease.
And with that I will leave you with this story. I am fortunate to come from a diabetic family. My mom was diabetic and he sister, my aunt was diabetic. Mom would remind me often of the early days of diabetes management. When getting the disease meant a choice: do I starve myself or child or loved one and hope that a treatment will be found soon? Or do you let them eat, enjoy life and deal with their illness. In those awful days, if someone had high blood sugar they blamed the disease, not the diabetic. In those early days of the disease people would have thought a good blood sugar 50% of the time was exceptional. And when they were not perfect they blamed the disease, not the diabetic. Now days when they were not perfect we blame diabetics.
It is time to stop blaming diabetics. The real culprit is the disease, blame it first, and do you best to make it better, but don’t forget to blame the disease. Make that your New Year resolution. Blame diabetes first this year, if we can do that, we should always say I will do better, but when you assign blame, assign blame to the culprit first, remember we are trying to control an animal it does not need any more help by ignoring the 900 lbs gorilla, lets blame the cause first, and give yourself a break.
Take care, do the best you can, and kick diabetes in the butt. Blame the culprit first, the person has enough problems to go around let’s blame diabetes and then correct our management. Not the other way around.
Sheryl and I wish you a wonderful holiday season, and that you first give yourself the gift of a good life, We hope you live charitably and love others with great passion.