This morning I was standing in line at the drug store to get my diabetes drugs when I felt that familiar sudden dip in my stomach and throat. Color drained from my face and my fingers started to tremble and I realized with a thump that my sugar was dropping. Again.
Outside the store it was lightly snowing; inside I worried that I might collapse on the floor. I fished in my handbag for my glucose tabs and quick, before I actually did hit the linoleum, found the tablets and swallowed them, willing that the three would boost my sugars high enough to allow me to drive into the city for a doctor’s appointment. In the line, I closed my eyes until the sugar did its magic and I was suddenly aware of how angry I was. Mad at diabetes, mad at my low, mad at everybody and everything. Focus, I told myself. Think of how many times you’ve been through this in the past and how many times you’ve solved this problem. Shrug it off. But this morning, for some reason, I couldn’t. I was tired — tired of taking medicine, tired of watching what I ate, tired of being held hostage to my metabolism.
Which is ironic, since I spent the morning counseling a friend who has just developed acid reflux in her throat. Fed up with her newly limited diet, she told me how her new therapist told her she has to ‘take control’ of the illness, and not let it overrun her. That’s right, I told her, that’s exactly what I’ve done with my diabetes. I’ve traversed all the stages of grief and come out on top — diabetes isn’t the boss of me.
But at this moment, when I’ve moved from the drug store line to the driver’s seat of my car, wondering if it’s safe yet for me to drive downtown, it’s all I can do to try to control my annoyance at my body for having betrayed me yet again.
I wonder who really is in charge.