Friday, April 11, 2014

Revisit: What We Aim For.

As I look back on how frustrating yesterday's #dayofdiabetes turned out (I spent the majority of it out of range), I'm reminded of why diabetes management is so frustrating in the first place. (Original post: 2011.)

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Most people put their hard work into something with tangible results.

Chopping, dicing, mincing, stirring, baking, grilling, zesting... these things result (hopefully) in a satisfying meal.

We study hard and stay up late into the night and morning to cram for exams, so we can hold that hard-earned diploma in our hands.

We wake up early and throw ourselves into whatever it is we do as a vocation, and can find gratification in reputation, self worth, and means to earn a living.

We sweat and stretch and exert, so that our bodies stay healthy. So that we can win a medal. So that we can beat someone in a round of basketball.

We meticulously count calories and track exertion, so that we might lose (or gain) weight.

In all these things, there is a goal to reach. An achievement to celebrate. But when it comes to diabetes, the ideal end game of all our hard work is... nothing.

We work hard so that nothing happens. So that we keep our eyes, kidneys, feet, and everything else free from harm. We do all of this so that diabetes remains an invisible monster.

(What sort of motivating tool is that, anyway? Aiming for nothing? Nothing is a lousy reward.)

I think that's part of why living with diabetes can feel so burdensome at times - not only do we deal with the counting, the equations, the guessing, the emotions, the never-endingness of it all, but we do it all just to "keep up". Just to be "normal". We do it all so that nothing seems out of the ordinary.

We hope that all of that "something" we do leads to nothing.

The best possible result of our work is that you will never know there was any work to be done in the first place.

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