With summer and extra exercise on the schedule, I’ve been pretty oblivious of my type 2 diabetes.
And, as we all know from our classics, a little hubris is a dangerous thing.
Once I had decided I didn’t really have to think about it anymore, diabetes, lying in wait, sent me a wake up call.
I was out walking the dog, with my neighbor’s daughter, Julia. We were talking about her move to Brooklyn and school and her plans and suddenly I broke out in a killer sweat and shaky fingers, and realized, I’m not going to make it back home without a real effort.
The question is not why this happens – I know why. An hour of Zumba the night before. Plus another hour of weight lifting that morning on a bowl of yogurt and blueberries. Rather, the question is why does this always happen when I’m not prepared. I’m supposed to always be prepared.
But after 25 years, there are still times when I leave the house without sugar tablets and without my meter – even when I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t.
And why is that?
That’s also easy to answer: I have diabetes and though I generally take good care of it, I still nurse a little shred of denial that I’m not quite like everyone else without diabetes
That morning, I dragged myself from my friend’s daughter. I told her I was having a sugar meltdown, but would be fine. And then, slowly, painfully, I made my way up the block, tugging my schnauzer Noodle along, until I reached my house and a big glass of O.J. brought me back to life.
What makes this disease so hard to accept? Part of it is its invisibility, but part of it is simply that I get so tired of asking permission from my body to do things. Why can’t I run an extra mile or two and not worry about passing out? Why can’t I do exercise and not end up wiped out and tired? Why can’t I eat a chocolate sundae without worry?
Because I have diabetes, that’s why. And even when I’m in a little bit of denial, it never forgets me.