Feeling Crabby


I’ll admit it: I am exhausted right now, and don’t particularly feel like writing about diabetes. Nor do I feel like dealing with diabetes. But since from as far as I can tell, I still am wearing an insulin pump, I figure I’ll suck it up and post.

The reason I am tired, dear readers, is a good one: I had to get up at 4:30 this morning to go fishing for Dungeness crab. Yes, one of the perks of being a freelance writer is that it gives me a chance to do cool stuff, like tagging along on refueling flights with the Air Force, going to a Formula 1 racing school or, in this case, spending the morning bobbing on the waves in the Barbara Faye, a 70-foot troller, outside of Half Moon Bay, pulling up crab pots. The downside is that I had to drive for an hour through fog at five in the morning, and then spend three hours in what some people might describe as a “vomit-mobile” — the Pacific in December is apparently not very calm. Since I have been blessed with a pretty strong stomach, I didn’t puke — but it was rough enough that I could see why someone might.

Anyway, I bring this up because I think it’s important to recognize that even if you’ve got diabetes, you can still go out and do stuff. I feel like I’ve heard many tales of parents — or diabetics themselves — who restrain their activities because they’re worried something will go wrong. And sure, there’s a time and a place for concern — a diabetic kid is at more risk than a child who doesn’t have to worry about hypoglycemia. But I think that once you know how to manage diabetes, you need to also learn to manage that fear. I was diagnosed at 22 and three months afterwards, participated in a six-week bicycle ride across the United States. It was fucking hard — and not just because it’s difficult to estimate insulin doses when you’re biking for eight hours a day. But I look back on that trip and am unquestionably grateful that I did it. What else would I have done? Sat at home weighing my food?

Likewise, this morning’s crab trip was a good reminder that diabetes doesn’t need to be a roadblock for things you want to do. And the upside of this particular adventure? Crab has no carbs.

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